Isn’t it great how we all have favorite things? I love books, music, and nature. I also have other odd favorites, like bread butts, burnt baked goods, and finding whatever I need when I ask the universe for it. So, it’s no surprise that I once had a strange attachment to a parking spot which caused me a great deal of anxiety and grief.
It started at my old toxic job after co-worker #1 got sick of the bosses shit and quit. Enter, Susan. A quirky senior citizen born and raised in New York only evident by the way she says ‘reguleh’ and ‘wehk’ (work). She moved to Pennsy in her early twenties. It turned out we both lived in the same town (an hour from the office) and both liked to be early.
The first time I saw her car in my parking spot, I was like, “OK, Susan. You’ve only worked here for like three months. That’s my parking spot.” I said it jokingly, but was serious. I had ten years seniority on her at the time! How dare she! This went on for a number of weeks until I came home from work one day and vented to my husband about her disdain and blatant disrespect for me.
He was kind of shocked at my attitude. “What happened to letting go and letting the Universe? What happened to detaching?” I thought about that long and deep.
What the hell was I thinking? A parking spot? Really, Darlene? So, I did what any level-headed human would do… made a cup of coffee and wrote out a list of my resentments and the why’s of it all. It turned out my attachment was the basis of my misery so I had to detach.
It was difficult for a day – after I prayed on it and looked at it for what it was, I asked the Universe to remove my shortcomings and the attachment…
I wanted it removed, believed it removed and so it was removed. Ironically, after I let it go she stopped parking there.
Have you ever gotten attached to anything like a parking spot, mug, etc?
I am still bummed they stopped doing the daily post and that has dulled my motivation to blog. Edits for the novel are almost complete, along with some new entries for Poetry Through Recovery which still does not have an official release date.
Despite the delays, I came up with another great idea for myself since I have so much to offer the world.
I am starting a YouTube Channel. Yes! How exciting, right? It’s going to be a trial and error thing at first because I have some issues with talking (it’s why I am a writer) but I want to do this because I feel a deep calling in me. (I guess it helps that I am taking a public speaking class in the fall!)
My YouTube Channel is going to be about getting through the bullshit of feelings, to put it bluntly, so people can live their best life. There will be an edge about living sober because one of the biggest reasons why people abuse drugs is because they don’t know how to deal. In light of this sick, sad opiate epidemic, I feel like it is something I need to do since opiates almost killed me and I am here to tell the tale of survival. I am attending a viewing tonight of a young woman who died last week as a result of opiate abuse. 😦
There has to be a way to stop all of this insanity, and I believe the first major step is self-awareness.
The username is irrelevant to the cause right now (it is Ninja500Chic – I used to ride a motorcycle!), but that link name will be changing to something more appropriate to what I want to do… which is help people with the truth about living sober. And not just sober, really. Living life free from the bullshit of regret and the past.
I am still figuring all of this out. Meditation has been a cornerstone in my life recently and let me tell you, it helps. A lot. It really makes sense to me now how life situations come in piles instead of droplets.
I am so excited about this! ❤ Stay tuned my friends… this is going to be beautiful.
Please, go to YouTube and follow my channel for upcoming videos about how to live your best life whether you are sober, want to be sober or are struggling to stay sober. Maybe you have a family member who struggles with addiction… this channel will help you to see inside the mind of an addict from both sides.
To be brave. What does it take? I think most of us are brave every day. We just don’t bring it up. There is, after all, not much humility in bragging about a character asset. There is a hashtag going around – #metoo – in order to spread awareness about sexual harassment.
Not many people want to talk about being a victim, but we kind of have to talk about it. Awareness is a biggie in helping others and it is oh so brave to share a painful shame-filled story. Of course, it hurts… it hurts when I share my pain, but I know deep in my soul it helps almost as much.
Bravery isn’t planned. It just happens. The bravest this to be is unapologetically yourself. Every f**king day. Just be you. It is a wonderful thing. Be brave and say NO. Be brave and say YES. Be brave and just effing be YOU.
‘And it harm none, do what ye will’
Everyone should live by that rede. The world would be amazing if we would. It is braver to do the right thing that it is to be part of the crowd.
You told me I was brave
As you looked the other way
I had no way out
But had so much to say
I was just a child
And you were quite a man
You held my whole world
In the palm of your beastly hand
Now I am much wiser
As I look around the world
I am no longer a victim
No longer that little girl
*This is not my best writing, but I am dealing with a migraine today… Have a beautiful day my friends. ❤
As a former trainwreck of society, I dumped my share of toxic damage on many loved ones and even a few strangers while sifting through my twenty year ‘it’s not me, it’s you’ phase. It was something I was ashamed of after a sober realization in the middle of the night when I sat up in bed screaming, “I am a monster bound for a sweltering hell!” But after successful and even a few unsuccessful amends to those tied to my ‘train tracks of redemption’ I see my part in all of it. When I was still actively using, I wore a mask of self-righteous indignation, and I destroyed anyone who didn’t cosign my bullshit.
Fast-forward eleven years, and through hard work, determination and a lot of ‘for fuck’s sake’ moments, I have seen the error of my behavior and have now crossed the bridge to unwillingly watching non-sober people try to live their non-sober lives.
I am not talking about people who drink casually or have wine with dinner a couple of times a week. Drowning in addiction is a terrifying thought… and it isn’t something that becomes apparent immediately, which is more terrifying. Most times, we have no idea there is a problem until it is too late. Although every knock on the door is a storm of chaos and turmoil saying “What’s the worst that could happen?” we do not possess the ability to recognize we are the eye of that storm until it literally destroys our life.
“But for the Grace of God, there go I.”
I am currently working on a memoir because my story is important; it is important for me to write as much as it is important for people to read. Hell, it is possible as you read this you know someone who just cannot get their shit together – maybe they hide bottles in the house and car – or maybe it is you. I share my story to help those who are still sick and suffering.
When I run into a new version of the old me, I have to stay and deal because honestly, these people are put in my path for a reason. While my initial thought is to get this person in a sober headlock and bombard them with catch phrases, famous quotes, and literature, I am confident this will just scare the shit out of them, so I have to resort to stern subtlety.
Stern subtlety: Not cosigning their bullshit but not making them feel inhuman.
I have someone in my life right now who refuses to understand that while bad things don’t happen every time they drink, every time something bad does happen, they were drinking. And I want to grab this person and shake them and somehow get footage and lowlight reels from when I was their age and in a whirlwind of chaos, but I can’t do that.
I can’t save her.
I have to remind myself I cannot save anyone… salvation lies within, my friends. Instead, I have to sit and listen… really listen… and yeah, maybe throw a few slogans their way if the opportunity arises, but mostly I just sit and listen… and hope like hell they get it sooner than later.
“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” J.K. Rowling
If you think you have a problem with drinking, please visit:
Okay, so I’m an alcoholic. I was probably born one, but didn’t catch on until my late twenties. Further, I didn’t do anything about it until my early thirties. I tripped, stumbled, blacked out… did all the crazy things that alcoholics do and then some.
The one thing that got me tripped up all my life was… me. I am so damn hard on myself! I can go down my list of “nots” and really spiral into a dark, lifeless hole.
I am not pretty enough; smart enough; talented enough; GOOD enough. It seeps in like a cool November breeze and before I know it I am sitting there shivering with rage. I cry, curse at myself. Hell, when I was a teenager, I even used to hit myself if you can imagine that one. I just hated myself so much. I hated me, I hated my mother for giving birth to me and I hated God for allowing my birth. Surely, it was a mistake. Why on Earth would He put someone as pathetic and ugly as me on the planet?
Yeah, ugly. I suffered with my self-image for a long time and still do… sometimes. I was picked on all through school as a child and then a pre-teen and a teenager. I was even made fun of as an adult. I resorted to violence to fend off the teasing when I was younger. When I was older, I just drank more. Surely the alcohol would numb my self-loathing.
I guess I felt, “hey, if I can’t be pretty, I’ll be a brute.” Even though I weighed maybe seventy pounds soaking wet when I was thirteen. At five feet seven, that right there my friends is a ‘bean pole,’ as I was called.
There were much worse names.
I was picked on in junior high school because I didn’t “fill out” like all the other girls. I was so flat chested, I didn’t even wear a bra. One time, some boys were walking down the hallway behind my friend and me and they grabbed at our backs to snap our bra straps. I found out later they did that to prove I didn’t have a bra on because I didn’t have breasts. They laughed their asses off that day. I ran in the bathroom and cried.
I felt worthless. I felt ashamed. I felt soooo ugly.
So yeah, I became violent. I started getting in fights with other girls and I started beating up boys. Beating up boys! Not so much beating them into a bloody pulp, but I got the best of them for sure.
Now, you would think that after all these years, and all my years sober and all the step work I have done and all the resentments I have talked about with my sponsor and all the shit I have let go, that this would be the big one I wanted to let go, because, after all, who the hell wants to hold onto a big pile of shit?
I just don’t know how to let it the hell go! I am so mad still (sometimes.) I am not mad all the time, but sometimes I just get mad. Sometimes, I look in the mirror and still see that skinny, flat-chested girl who used to get picked on. The girl who boys didn’t like. The girl who boys didn’t ask to go to dances and when she was at dances, they certainly didn’t want to dance with. The girl who never got put on the “list of girls.”
A lot of people say, “Darlene, get the hell over it. That was a long time ago. You’re beautiful!”
Yes, there are times that I feel beautiful. But there are other times, usually when I am watching television or I am on the beach or at a big concert or something, that I just get way lost in the hoopla of what is defined as beauty today.
For the record, I don’t watch much television and I rarely go to the beach. I listen to a lot of music, do a lot of writing and I do my readings everyday because a small part of me knows it is all in my head. A small part of me sometimes sees something beautiful in me.
I never think of drinking over this. Hell, I can’t remember the last time a drink entered my mind. Thankfully, I have a lot of women in my life and a pretty good support system. Thankfully, I have the rooms and the literature I read.
Thankfully, most times I recognize it is all in my head.
Not sure if you ever saw the movie “Shawshank Redemption,” but there is a great scene in that film regarding ‘hope.’ Tim Robbins’ character has it and Morgan Freeman’s character thinks he is hopelessly romancing hope because hope is a heart breaker.
Maybe it depends on the person when it comes to hope. I used to feel disdain for hope. Maybe it was because I grouped hope with wishing and praying when I was using and drinking. Then again, the things I hoped for were things like not getting pulled over by the police while I was high or having twenty extra dollars in my pocket to finish getting my load on. Go figure.
These days ‘hope’ is very different for me. I do hope for material things like hitting the lottery or waking up one day with big boobs, but I know these things aren’t going to happen, so I am acting the child when it comes to hoping, praying and wishing for things.
I need to redirect my hope to attainable things that are not materialistic. I write music reviews for three different websites. At this moment, I am not paid for this, but that’s okay. I love what I do. I hope to one day get paid to write about music, but until then I will work my day job and write about music in the evening.
I hope to one day have a flourishing career in the music/writing industry.
“You cannot always control circumstances, but you can control your own thoughts.” ~ Charles Popplestown
Wouldn’t I just love to control everything, everyone and every circumstance so that I may never be upset, angry or hurt. The truth is, I have no control over anything except my thinking, and that is where the trouble comes into play.
For years, I tried to control the behavior of others to manipulate my mood. I would tell them how to behave so that I may be happy. This is a temporary fix to a deep problem.
Honestly, the sheer effort it takes to control other people and their behaviors is exhausting. Putting people where we think they belong, helping them act the way they should act and relying on others to make us happy is unfair to us and them.
Do you find that trying to control everything is exhausting?
How awesome is it to celebrate freedom from the slavery of drugs and alcohol? Once a drudgery of self-loathing and hatred, when I put down the drink and the drug, I found a new way of life and discovered freedom to the core.
There were no more lost moments of clarity. Nights once spent in a drunken stupor were a thing of the past. My nights turned into eating at diners after meetings with other like-minded people in search of a common goal. I discovered that drinking and drugging were not a staple when it came to fun.
Fun and entertainment came in new and enlightening ways without drugs and alcohol. As I started to work my program, the chain-links of self snapped one by one, creating a gate I could swing open into a new world.
When I was little I played games like most kids. Hopscotch, Tag and Freedom were some of my favorites. As I got older, I joined a few organized sports like softball and basketball. I was athletic and while I didn’t particularly enjoy losing, I did it gracefully… sometimes.
Somewhere along the way I learned the awful habit of comparing myself to others. My looks, my education, my material belongings… all of this and more was never good enough, never small enough, never big enough, never pretty enough; it was never enough and there began my dark spiral into the “not’s” as I call them.
Comparisons are like keeping score and I came up short (the loser) every damn time.
Something I’ve learned in sobriety is to compare myself to myself. Everything about me I need to compare only to myself because, being a good alcoholic, it is easy for me to tailspin into a dark hole of self-doubt and woe-is-me.
“She’s prettier.” “Her boobs are bigger.” “Oh my gosh! Look how cute her feet are! I wish I had feet like that!” I mean, it goes on and on and on! Ugh… I can go from 100 to 0 in less that thirty seconds when I start keeping score in my head.
Keeping score wears on my self-esteem, it shows on my face and most important it drains me. Luckily, I love to read self-help books, go to meetings and talk with other women. I have learned when I start to keep score and am learning how to stop.
Say the Serenity Prayer.
Realize that everyone is beautiful in their own way (including me).
I am better than I was a year ago.
I am on my own journey, and it is amazing.
Focus on my attributes.
These are some of the ways I deal with my “not’s.” I’m human, so some days are easier than others.
“The reality – the real reality – is that we are already worthy, there is no test to pass.”
That’s right. Worthiness. Self-worth. Feeling worthy. I battled with this demon for decades. I battle a little less each day and am winning the war. Go me!
Worthiness was all in my mind. I tied my self-worth to people, places and things for years (like a good alcoholic). Even after I got sober, I still did this and could not figure out why I wasn’t feeling any different. Then I started reading my Big Book and a ton of other books.
There is no test to pass! No one is judging me. Okay, maybe some people are (human nature), but you know what? Who cares! In the end I have to stand before me and my Higher Power and that is all I have to live with. If I can get to the end of the day and go through my inventory and know that I did the best I could, recognize where I need improvement and give it to a God of my understanding, I have lived my life as intended.
Do you ever feel unworthy? How do you leap that hurdle?