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.
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.
Relapse is a harsh reality in the world of recovery. There are a million reasons people give for relapse but the number one I hear everywhere I go is this: RESENTMENT. Someone who follows my blog sent me a fascinating, short video about relapse. If you’re interested, watch it. Profound, it sticks to the point.
The disheartening truth is that addicts and alcoholics relapse long before they pick up again. A switch goes off and the obsession kicks back into the brain. The obsession leads to the compulsion to drink or drug. Once the compulsion is acted upon, it is off to the races.
Please, watch the video, visit the website if you wish, and leave your thoughts in the comment section! I’d love to hear from you.
Yep.. I almost had to pinch myself this morning. I am seven years clean and sober today by the Grace of God and the amazing people he continues to bless me with. Today (and for the last three days) are days that I feel so great inside… inside. Someone commented on my Facebook status that I should be proud. I AM PROUD! 🙂 Holy hell, if you would have known me seven years ago you would have went screaming into the sun, moon, stars… whatever. The point is, I was an ugly person.. not because of my physical appearance (although this day seven years ago I wasn’t looking too hot) but because of the person I was inside.
I took so many hostages, lied to so many people and used anyone and anything to get what I needed. It was all about me and fuck everyone else. Even after my first couple weeks not picking up a drink or a drug, I was still like that. Getting sober for me was about more than just putting down a substance. It was about learning a new way to live.
Thanks to God, my program and the amazing people who God has put in my life I am living a new way; an easier, softer way which in essence, is hard, gratifying work.
Yes… I finally deactivated my Facebook account. I’ll tell you why. Because a person like me should not be on a thing, succubus, demon .. whatever you want to call it. It is a huge time suck that frustrates and upsets the hell out of me. I was on there today and thought, ‘Why the frig am I torturing myself like this?”
I have a body image problem and being on Facebook does NOT HELP. Seeing all my boyfriends new recent friends that are female DOES NOT HELP. Airbrushed images of almost nude women posted by groups and friends does not help.
All of it hinders me, makes me feel bad about myself and then I isolate and rerun old tapes in my head about “why I am not good enough.”
It’s bullshit. I don’t need it. I don’t want it. So I am on a Facebook Hiatus indefinitely. I will definitely be blogging more! I landed an internship with a Philadelphia online music magazine so I am stoked about that! I sent my novel to an editor and am still writing for brutalism.com.
I have way too much positive, substantial stuff going on for myself. I refuse to ruin it for me. And since I know me these days (like really know me) I know what makes me happy, sad, jealous, confused, angry, etc… so I am off to work on that and stay away from one of the triggers.
Peace out friends!! You’ll be hearing from me a little more in the near future.
Ya know, I kind of do this sometimes. It leads me nowhere but around in a vicious circle of self-loathing and resentment. Like, right at this very moment, I am sitting in my own crap. So I figured, ‘hey, my S Post is due, I should write about this.’
Saturday night my boyfriend and I went to a bar & grill. Ugh, I know. But his friend (who he hadn’t seen in over twenty years) was playing in a band (with his other long-lost friend) and he just wanted to clear the air with things in the past. Okay… no biggie.
We both talked to each other before we left and made a pact. Neither would leave the other under any and all circumstances. Period. If things got hairy or either of us started to feel uncomfortable we would say so and then we would jet. Okay, there is the pact.
I know you probably already have an idea of what happened. Yeah, he left me sitting at the bar (with my soda and Loaded Nachos) and went to go mingle with all his old friends. I sat there alone for thirty minutes being ogled by creepy old guys and the ‘shot girl’ asking me three times if I wanted a shot. My blood pressure shot through the roof the first time she came by and I snapped ‘no’ as I waved my hand. Still, she came by two more times. Ugh, again.
So I am trying to see through the wall to locate my boyfriend in the other part of the bar. “Where the fuck are you?” I am thinking as I get upset. I can’t see him but hope he is on the other side of that wall.
I finally spot my boyfriend and some hot blonde hanging all over him. Okay, now I am feeling resentful, angry and jealous. This is just not fucking going well… at all. My whole ‘fight or flight’ thing is kicking the shit out of me because I am extremely uncomfortable.
So finally after all that, he comes back over with one of his friends. I know my face says, ‘you suck’ because, after all, I wear my heart on my sleeve. His friend apologizes to me for keeping him away. But do I get an apology from my boyfriend? Nope. All I get is justification and ‘I didn’t do anything wrong.’
For the rest of the night, true to form, I stuffed in all inside because I didn’t want to ruin the night or act like an ass in the establishment. That’s what I used to do back when I was ‘out there.’ I’d act like a total psycho no matter where I was if whoever I was with at the time hit me with a perceived injustice. But this time I wasn’t drunk or high. I was just me… raw and real with my emotions.
By the way, turns out the hot blonde was his friend’s sister.
So I guess I have grown up a little. My old behaviors didn’t ooze from my pores and I kept my composure for the rest of the night. I did try to bring how I felt up later on when we got home, but that didn’t go well. And it’s interesting, because I am still trying to get it out, but having a hard time. I suck at talking! maybe I should write a letter…
Are you able to recognize when you ‘sit in your own crap?’
You’ve heard the sayings… “don’t look back” — “learn from the past” — “the pain heals, but the scars remain” — there are hundreds of sayings that talk about the past. Looking back on the past kept me in a whirlwind of sorrow and misery. I would stay there, dwelling and obsessing like a goat over a woolen shirt. I still do it sometimes and then I think, “what the hell am I doing?!”
Feeling sorry for myself became an art as I sat at the bar, drowning my sorrows yapping about my pathetic life (which was everyone else’s fault, by the way).
I used to be hung up on the “why” of the past. Why did this happen to me? Where did I go wrong? Why me? WHY ME? WHY ME?!
The trick for me is to look back, learn and move the hell on.
It’s true, I have learned from the past. I learned that drinking and drugging were transparent band-aids that masked my misery while pouring salt in my wounds. That is a part of my past I cannot forget. Ever. But, I had to get over it… the pain, the sorrow and especially the feeling sorry for myself. How would I do that? After all, I was great at feeling sorry for myself. I was great at sitting in my own crap while I donned the face of misery and self-pity.
I should bother to look back, but only to learn and share.
I’m not sure how many of my beautiful readers dealt with bullying and teasing as children, but I have to say, that stuff has a profound affect on people. It sure as hell had a profound affect on me. So much that, even today I, at times, have a case of the uglies. You know that sick, yucky, disturbing feeling inside… that “I’m not good enough, not pretty enough..” Hell, not anything enough.
As I write this post, I am reflecting on my day. I had a good day all in all (any day sober is a good day!) I did have a case of the uglies today, however, and when it was going down in my (always) amped up mind, I was beating myself up… royally. The “uglies” as I call them, are sneaky, vile little things that grip me up in a second if I cannot “kill” them.
I was talking with my boyfriend today about this stuff in a sense. Not specifically “killing the uglies” but more so why the hell shit bothers me that bothers me. Like, stuff that shouldn’t really bother me. One thing I do when I talk to people is listen to what I am saying because, believe it or not, there is always some message in my words that I should hear. Does that sound vain and egotistical? Perhaps…
I brought up a profound event in my life that shaped my sense of self from the age of nine until this very moment. I talk about these things because I have to KILL THE UGLIES. I have to remind myself that there is a deeper root to my insecurities and low self-esteem if I am going to get better. There is always something more than the “surface insecurity” and that is what I have to get to… fast.
This is where a big part of my program comes in. I couldn’t get over any of the pain, torment and geekiness I felt from a child through my early thirties. Being a good alcoholic, I drowned my pain in booze and promiscuity, as I searched for someone or something to fill that void or abandonment. Long after I got sober, I still searched. There had to be someone or something out there that could kill this damn ugly feeling. But alas, I learned that I had to kill the uglies from the inside.
Some days I still struggle. I might stop praying, slack on my meeting attendance or stop networking with my sober circle. That’s when the uglies start to seep in. Thankfully, I know just what to do to squash those bastards.
Do you have something that helps you when you start to get overwhelmed?
Through my addiction, I thought I was escaping the self-inflicted hell I had brought upon myself. I used and drank to escape my demons, never realizing I had created more each time I picked up. It’s a hard lesson, really, and one I am glad I grasped before I fell too far down that pit of scarred brimstone.
The sneakiness of addiction is interesting. One night I was high as a kite sailing through a windstorm in a vain attempt to mask my hate and loneliness. Before I knew it, I was living in a basement, my kids taken from me and I was further into hell than I could imagine.
I looked like walking death (literally – I should have taken a picture). All that hate, self-loathing and insecurity I tried so hard to hide, seeped out of my pores like puss from a poorly popped pimple. My isolation was profound. I had resorted to sitting in a basement, doing drugs and drinking while writing pages and pages of angry, tormented journal entries. Those journals are lost forever, but some of the stuff I wrote looked like:
Why am I so pathetic? What the fuck is wrong with me? I wish I would die in my sleep. I’m ugly. I’m a loser. I did so much coke tonight and drank so much Blackhaus, I was sure I would die. But here I am… awake for another epic fucking day.
The thing about such a revolting self-inflicted hell is… it’s damn hard to climb out of that hole. Being unemployed (and unemployable), weighing 120 pounds (I’m 5’10”) and feeling sick (like dope sick) and having to look at that shit in the mirror, it’s hard to say (or think): What the fuck am I doing? This sucks!
That’s crazy, right? But that’s what the demon did. It caressed me slow and soft, told me lies all the while dragging me day by day to hell. I am eternally grateful that by the Grace of God and getting help from my program I was able to crawl and then walk out of the shadows I created. It was not an easy road, but after a while, I realized that the road (my new road) although rocky and sometimes bumpy, was a lot more pleasant than my old road which went right through hell.
When you were in darkness, did you ever think you’d see light?
So I was watching the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) this morning and there were all these fascinating episodes that dealt with “self.” Like, how we treat the self, how outside events impact the self and so much stuff I went out and bought a book by one of the people Oprah was interviewing. “The Untethered Soul” by Michael A. Singer. The book is to liberate us from a contained self-image.
Based solely on the interview, the information I gathered from the show and snippets of the book I scanned, I have hope that this book will break me through my final barrier… me.
I have always tried to keep it real. I’ve tried to remain grounded in all I do, say or feel along with trying to be there for anyone who crosses my life path. But there are these things, these feelings, that get in the way on a consistent basis. And when I let my head get the best of me, I am no longer keeping it real per say, but getting sucked into a myopic array of disillusionment which takes me back to that dark room of self-loathing.
Yeah, pretty messed up stuff. The more messed up part of all this crap is that I project this putrid bile onto other human beings. Instead of just being in a moment or looking at things for what they are, I tend to read deeper into whatever is going on and then I project my thoughts, insecurities and the like others.
This leads to:
feeling less than
That is a pretty hefty list of awful feelings, ideals and all around yuckiness.
Lately, I have been way up in my head. This is a tough place for me when I am trying to live a life of peace. My head is not peaceful. It is constantly chattering, whispering and telling me rotten things. I believe these things. I give my thoughts weight and that is when the horrible list above comes into play. I used to drink and drug to get rid of these thoughts and feelings. Drinking and drugging is not an option for me.
This is why I bought the book. My thoughts (and yours) are so automatic, I never question them. You’ve heard the saying, “I think, therefore I am.” UGH!!! How awful is that? I certainly do not want to be what I think! My twelve-step program helps ( a lot!) but lately I just feel like I need an added tool.
As I go through this book (highlighting sentences and paragraphs like I always do) I will be updating my blog with what I have learned and if any of it is making sense. It made sense on Oprah’s show, therefore, I am sure it will make sense.