Posted in Addiction, humor, Learning, Life, living, Mental Health, Musings, People, random

A Few Things I’ve Learned in Rehab

group

For the sole purpose of writing SOMETHING, because I just cannot seem to get my inspirational juices flowing, lately (God, that sounds so much grosser than I intended for it to), I figured I would write about my stint(s) in drug rehabilitation centers. You normal folks are probably curious, anyway, so why not? Please keep in mind, due to my family circumstances (I am the primary breadwinner for my kids) I have never been to an inpatient facility. I mean, I have been to them, but never lived there. I am talking about OUTPATIENT treatment centers.

Here goes:

1.) The more money the program costs, the better the food is going to be. My biggest regret over going from full days (what they call partial hospitalization) to intensive outpatient (half days) is that I no longer got to eat the fantastic, gourmet, lunches from my current place. Quite frankly, this could be a trick to get you to stay full days longer. One thing every addict has in common is this: We are HUNGRY when we get off drugs. Starving.

2.) Addicts of every age are generally pretty upset with their parents. This seems to be a common thread among us.

3.) No matter how much you like to talk, you get to a point when you have had ENOUGH fucking talking about your fucking FEELINGS. It’s exhausting.

4.) Even if, somehow, you do not know the Serenity Prayer when you get to treatment, by the end of the third day you will have said it so many times that it has forever lost all meaning to you. You might as well be doing the Hokey-Pokey. It means nothing at all.

5.) There will be at least one person in your group who hates everyone. They don’t really hate everyone, they just really want a stiff drink.

6.) There will be several people in your group who have no idea why they can’t still smoke weed. Weed is not  why they are there. They are there because they wanted to stop snorting Oxy’s.

7.) There will be at least one person there who makes you want to jump out the window every time it is their turn to talk. You get to the point where you start exhibiting odd behavior, such as slapping your hands over your own eye repeatedly, or rude behavior, such as tapping your foot impatiently on the floor, while glaring at them. They will not give a fuck. They will continue to talk and talk and talk, usually about the same fucking thing they talked about yesterday. And the day before that, and the day before that.

8.) There is a reason most outpatient programs are only thirty days. That is the length of time one can tolerate this kind of stuff before becoming increasingly hostile.

9.) Most addicts get really weirded out over discussions about God. This is why we refer to a “Higher Power” instead. It goes down more easily.

10.) There will be one person in your group that doesn’t get that, because he is a total Jesus freak, and he will offend everyone else by quoting the bible and talking about how Jesus Christ is the one truth, etc. Everyone else will offend him by arguing, well into lunch, over this. Your entire next process group will be awkward because the counselors will force you to discuss the “incident.”

11.) “Anxiety” is an addicts favorite word, followed closely by “fuck”.

12.) There is no way to tell, when looking around the room, who will actually make it. The ones you think are definitely going back out are sometimes doing great in five years. The ones who seem to have it all together often don’t last a week.

13.) Heroin addicts think tweakers are the devil. Tweakers think heroin addicts are the worst. We don’t trust one another at all. The funny part is, the end result, all the way down to how horrible one looks, are exactly the same.

14.) Treatment centers are terrible about getting paperwork done.

15.) No matter what I have said in the words above, getting help when you need it, checking yourself into a treatment center, is the best thing you can possibly do. No matter how rough it is, or how annoying, you find out that being in a room full of others trying to get right, you are with your people. You have found your tribe. These people know what you are talking about when you say “I hate who I have become.” or “I feel so ashamed of myself.” in a way that no one else could ever possibly understand.

I am phasing out of my treatment now, and I am ready. Ready to go back out into the land of the living, and actually get some living done. Not that I haven’t been doing that already. Oh, for the love of God, I am just not very entertaining right now, outside of my lists, am I? Oh well. It will come back.

Until then, have a wonderful day. 🙂

Posted in family, friendship, Life, love, Musings, parenting, random, relationships

The Tangled Web We Weave…is Actually Pretty Rad.

tradition

So, the other day, I went on my first date in…I don’t know, like, forever. It was super casual, an afternoon, after the workday but before I pick up the kids kind of date. We took a walk together, got some ice cream, walked back, chatted. Oh yeah, and I met his ex-wife and all three of his kids. Yeah, that happened. It could have been awkward- I’m not going to lie, there was an element of awkwardness pervading the scene. Here we are, innocently chatting in line for ice cream, and first one, then two, then three of his kids barrel into him, followed by, in a much less (thankfully) exuberant manner, his wife. I mean, ex-wife. Thankfully. Anyway, as usual, my desire to end awkwardness at all costs won out, and I found myself chatting with his ex about places my older daughter could start modeling locally, and I was showing her pictures, and we were the next best thing to chummy by the end of it all. Okay, maybe not that, but it wasn’t awful, and it could have been. It’s not the best situation for starters, but we did great with it.

Then, last night, I went out for appetizers and drinks (my drinks were Shirley Temples, of course) with my sisters…except, they aren’t REALLY my sisters. They technically belong to my ex, many times removed, also referred to as my daughters father, or “baby daddy” number one. Yeah, they are the siblings of my first offspring’s spermatozoa contributor, and I just sort of barged in and snapped them up. He has seven brothers and sisters, and I couldn’t decide, so I hogged them all. I love these people as much as I love my own people, and there is no distinguishing that love from the love for my “own” family. We have so many memories, and so much history, I feel confident in claiming them as family.

I would like to think that this phenomena I am experiencing in my life is a wonderful side effect of the breakdown of the traditional family unit. Perhaps it took a while, I don’t know. I don’t see the same things playing out in the lives of my mom (who is not friendly with her husbands ex-wife, to say the least), who modeled her life very much after the traditional family that she had with her folks- I’m not saying it worked out very well, I’m saying that is what she was going for. However, I do see it playing out in a myriad of ways in the lives of those around me. The ability to let go of the ideals we may have concerning what makes family family, and choose to love one another, and accept one another, instead. I cannot see the down side of this. I don’t know where I would be without my stolen brothers and sisters, and I don’t even like to think about it.

Last night, at dinner, I listened to one of the girls talk about how she went bra shopping with the current girlfriend of her daughter’s father. “I just love her!” she said. How can this be bad for anyone? The other day, my daughter and I were talking about a man we know who is raising his girlfriend’s son as his own, which isn’t all that unusual, except that he was the product of what you might call…a pause in their relationship. Yeah. Say what you want about it, I think that is the most noble and loving act I have ever seen. How awesome that he could swallow his pride completely and raise this boy with all of his heart! That, to me, is what love is all about.

A couple of days ago, I had this bright idea to set my brother up with this girl I adore- she is smart and artistic, one of those bubbly people that you enjoy encountering. No big deal, except that she is also the girl that my ex had an affair with years ago. Oddly enough, we have this bond now, forged through confession and pain, and finding out that, whatever else may be wrong with that dude, he has EXCELLENT taste in women. It didn’t happen overnight, that is for sure…but here I sit, trying to finagle her a place in my family. Hahaha!

I am not saying that everything about having a traditional, well functioning family is bad- far from it! If you can achieve that, Jesus, good for you! I know how hard it is. What I am saying is, if things have to be the way they are, what a wonderful discovery we have made around that fact- that the truth is, love is more prevalent than ever, even in these fractured and confused roles we play. That we are not bound by some imaginary sense of honor, or by pride, to disdain those that we may very well come to love. And that family is, really, more than blood. They are the people that you choose along the way, or that choose you, and how you nurture one another. I don’t see anything wrong with that at all.

Have a lovely Sunday. 🙂

Posted in aging, beauty, family, inner peace, Learning, Life, love, Musings, random

40 Looming

40

I’m excited to turn 40.

Not something you hear a lot, I don’t think, at least not honestly…but I mean it. I mean, sure, it didn’t just happen. I was very upset a few weeks ago. Perhaps I will be again when the day comes (May the 8th, if you want to send me a card with money). But this morning? I had a vision of my future, and it looks so good.

For one thing, I am not really worried about what anyone else thinks about my life anymore. Do you know how fucking exciting that is? All of the energy I dumped into making my life appear the way I thought other people needed it to look- that is exhausting. I think, the day I decided to check myself back into treatment without a whole lot of conversation with anyone about what I was doing, or why, I kind of took my power back. I don’t need anyone to understand. I don’t really care what anyone thinks about the fact that I still struggle with addiction issues “at this age”. This is my story, my life, and it just is this way. I am handling it. If I need support, I know where to go for it, but I no longer need the approval of the masses to feel okay with where I am.

And as much as I can be okay with however anyone feels about anything I do, the best part is- it no longer has to affect the way I feel about who you are. Let me give you an example- there is someone I love a lot who absolutely disapproves of my inability to hold my shit together. They don’t always say it directly (although they do at times), but it is definitely out there, clear as a bell. In the past, this persons judgement and opinion of me would predetermine how I felt about them. But that is not true today. Today, I can love anyone completely separately from their opinion of me. This is incredibly liberating. I feel as though I have arrived somewhere I didn’t even know existed before.

Another thing? Forty does not feel old at all. Like, at twenty, forty seemed just hopeless, didn’t it? I thought it would be so different than it is! I feel pretty amazing, actually. My health is perfect (thank you, God), my wrinkles are minimal, my body, while a little, um…sturdier than it was at thirty, is still holding up just fine. At forty, you can be just as beautiful as ever, with not nearly the amount of effort you may imagine.

While we are talking about beauty, lets go a little deeper- Do you know what I think is beautiful? The way I have learned the value of family, and of my girl friends. I think it is beautiful that the idea of a fairy tale romance has faded, but the idea of being with a man that I can be great friends with, that I can laugh with, is front and center. It is beautiful, the things that have lost their power over me, and the things that have revealed themselves to be greatly important. I am so okay with this. It is beautiful to look at someone and see beyond the exterior- I am now at an age where I can look at someone older and see the person inside, and this changes a lot for me. Perhaps I was more shallow than I ever dreamed I was before, but whatever. I can’t change the past. I can, however, be excited about who I am becoming.

Someone who can laugh at herself. Someone who catches herself when she is behaving in a way that is not okay, and corrects it. A person who is interested in everything, most of all, what you have to say when you are talking to me. I am learning how to really listen. I am learning the true value of kindness, period. That the only thing that really matters, in the end, is love and compassion. Not my opinion about anything. Just love, just compassion.

When I look ahead, I see lots of nature. I want to spend more time outside, doing everything. I want to see new places, and I will. I see a woman who is embracing life, and all of her many, many blessings. Yeah…I think forty is going to be great.

Have a great day!

Posted in Addiction, fun, inner peace, Learning, Life, Mental Health, Musings, random, recovery

New Things

new things

So, this whole waking up at four in the morning thing- it isn’t really new. It’s new again, but not really new. I guess this is just how my internal clock wants to work. Perhaps it means I should move to the east coast? I don’t know. I’m not ready to do anything that drastic.

But here I sit, it’s six in the morning, and I have been up for two hours already. I am on my third cup of coffee. I will probably want to take a nap sometime today. Whatever. If I lived in a better neighborhood, I would walk my dogs, since the incredible ex is here ( I can hear him snoring away in my room- my room, by the way, being NOT where I slept last night, for you nosier types. No nookie for the ex. Not that I didn’t think about it, its just…not a very good idea, you know?) and I actually have a little freedom.

I am experiencing some new things, however. For instance, I had some people come over and bless my house yesterday. I still smell like a hippie. There was lots of sage, salt, and water involved. I had a pretty creepy dream about demons (which, by the way, I don’t even believe in. But had you had this dream, you would have reconsidered your entire belief system as well) and thought it might be a good idea to have this done. There was prayer involved, and I’m pretty sure some chakra fondling. I learned that I hate the smell of sage. I am, however, very appreciative of the effort, even if I felt a little like a weirdo fake while the thing was happening. I’m pretty sure my neighbors think I am a witch now. There will be many prayers for me in Baptist churches all over Seaside this morning, and probably at least a couple of Catholic ones.

Also, I am probably going to go on a date with a really nice guy this week. He reads my blog, and I hope he doesn’t get a big head over this. I am looking forward to spending some time with him, and getting to know him better. He seems to like food as much as I do, and he also seems to want to be outside, which are both major bonuses. Most exciting of all, though, is that he seems to know how to be a grown up without being a total stick in the mud, which I appreciate. He has been exceedingly patient about waiting for me to get okay with going out, and he has actually seen me in person a few times and STILL wants to go out with me…so that is encouraging, lol.

I hope what I am about to say next does not kill the whole damn thing, but then there is this other guy. I won’t be meeting him any time soon, because he lives in another country. I may never meet him at all. He is…hmm. I don’t know the right way to say it. He piques my interest on many levels, lets just say. He has a very different belief system than I do, but he has a sense of humor about it. He is smarter than hell. He is great to banter back and forth with. We discussed never meeting at all to avoid disappointment (he feels I will be, and I feel he will be. I don’t know why I needed to explain that, since, if it were the other way around, I highly doubt we would continue this…whatever it is) . It is just fun to revel in such an easy, non-threatening, connection. I mean, I am definitely not running into this dude at Rite Aid in my pajamas, you know?  You don’t need to suck in your stomach on messenger. He is helping me find my flirtation legs, whatever the fuck that means.

I am going to meetings again. Somewhat grudgingly, the first one, but I went to one yesterday alone. It was 6:45 in the morning, and it was AA, which I appreciate for their organizational abilities and peacefulness. I like that shit. NA can get a little rowdy and crazy sometimes, but it will always be where I most identify. Drug addicts are my people. So are alcoholics, whether they like it or not. I like the quiet feeling of an early morning meeting.

And I like the quiet feeling in me. I like that I am looking out at the people in the world again, appreciating what is happening all around me, instead of always focusing in, on myself, like I was. I realize the disease of addiction is selfish and self centered, but when you are in it, you forget how true that is. I am looking out again. I feel the light coming back to me. I am happy to be where I am, and who I am. This is a good thing, indeed. A very, very good thing.

I hope you have a beautiful day.

Posted in Addiction, inner peace, Learning, Life, Mental Health, Musings, People, recovery

I Have a Bad Gratitude

Print

I woke up pissed off this morning. My dog, who has probably a few fleas, but a major dollop of nervous doggish-ness, sat next to me on the floor and scratched, ALL NIGHT. ALL FREAKING NIGHT. I can’t seem to stop being all sweaty, and my sleep, with these two elements in full force, made my night suck balls.

Also, my oldest daughter decided she wanted to move home, so while I was gone, she switched our bedrooms…sort of. What I mean by this is, half the stuff that was in each room is now in my living room. The living room, by the way, being where I slept last night, because when we tried to put the TV in my “new” room, the cable doesn’t work in there. It took me forty five minutes on the phone with comcast to figure this out.

So, I woke up pissed off. My house is a mess, and my life is turned upside down, and I don’t like it.

Except, I realized I am looking at it all the wrong way.

1) I have a dog that LOVES me, and, in spite of her misery, sat next to me all night long to protect me.

2) I am sweaty because I am sweating shit out of my system, which means I am healing.

3) My daughter chose to come home. She loves me, and she worked her ass off all day long on her day off, to move back home with me.

4) I don’t need cable in my room anyway.

5) I made best friends with the cable lady, and she is sending me five free pay per view movies because she couldn’t resolve my problem on the phone.

6) I don’t have to go to work today anyway. I get to go talk about my mental health with a bunch of like minded people people in a similar situation.

7) my life is pretty darn good. I am done complaining.

So, see what I did there? I turned my bad attitude into gratitude. Not bad for one point five cups of coffee. I am off to shower and meditate. Have a fantastic day. 🙂

PS- I’m going to get Lucy her flea medicine today.

Posted in Addiction, Depression, Learning, Life, Mental Health, People

The Uglies

medusa

There is this thing that some of us- maybe all of us- have. I don’t know if we are born with it, or if it is something that happens with time, and disappointment- the thoughtless word from a parent, the cruel jibe of a classmate, a build up of these things over the course of years? I don’t know. I am not here to try to figure that out. I do know that some people seem to overcome their tendency towards unkindness over time, while others, it only worsens. I call it “the uglies”. My friends, I suffer with a pretty bad case.

For me, it is like a knotted ball of impatience, anger, frustration, and…well, just ugliness. It sits, this ball, in the center of my chest, and longs to come out, to choke the joy out of the people around me. This is a pretty deep revelation from me, even if, lets say, you know me, and its no surprise to you. I am in NO WAY proud of this, and I am not trying to be funny. What I am trying to do is sort it out, work through it, try to lessen it somewhat.

What I do know is that adding any substance to it makes it worse. If you can’t figure out what I mean, I suggest you go back and read some of my earlier posts, I am not getting into specifics here. When I say worse, I mean, it multiplies the uglies about tenfold. Which could be worse, if it didn’t also put so much distance between me and the people I love the most. The uglies, plus the substances, drive a wedge between me and everything I love about life- so much so that eventually, even a phone call is more than I can tolerate. It keeps me from my friends, and from my family (the ones who are lucky enough to be able to get away from me) and from anything good or fun in my life. I have never, not once, been able to avoid this happening, once I have allowed it to begin.

But I have figured out that I don’t have to let it get so bad. I don’t have to wait until my life is in shambles to wave the white flag. My life is not simple, it is not black and white, it is not that easy for me. I wish it was. Sometimes I like to pretend it is. But that really does no one, least of all me, any good.

I am sitting here, at 5:51 in the morning, sweating in my freezing cold house. I can’t get comfortable, and I can’t sleep anymore. I think I went to bed at six last night. The struggle, for me, is very real. I don’t want the uglies to rule my life anymore. Yes, this battle is ongoing, and yes, it is tiresome. But I have some fight left in me.

What I want to say is that I am sorry. To all the people I wanted so badly to be there for, and I couldn’t, I am sorry. I am SO sorry. For all the phone calls that I couldn’t answer, and the birthdays that I ruined, for all the family gatherings I missed, and all the times I seemed so selfish and uncaring, I am sorry. I love you all more than you could know- how could you know? I am so sorry. For all of you who have had to watch me self destruct over and over again, and all of you who are just tired of it…I really am sorry. I wish I was some other way. But I am not. This is who I am. I wish it wasn’t. For all of you who have been on the receiving end of my sharp tongue, my mean streak, all of you who have gotten a little too close to that ugliness, I am so sorry. For the ones who have seen the best of me, and are so saddened by the worst. To all of you I have hurt, I am sorrier than I can tell you.

I’m starting over again. I don’t know what’s going to happen, or how any of this will go. To be honest, my hopes are not all that hopeful. How could they be? But, as I said, I do have some fight in me, still. I hope it will increase as I grow stronger. I am waving the white flag this time well before it needed to be over. I have just had enough. I’ll keep you posted how it’s going.

Much love,

Courtney

Posted in Blogging, Goals, humor, Life, People, random, writing

A Few Things…

don't give a fuck

The first thing: I really need to sit down here and write whatever it is that I feel compelled to write, when I am feeling the compulsion. I need to finish whatever it is, and I need to then publish it. This used to be a pretty straightforward cycle for me, but all of the sudden, I have started dragging my feet, over-thinking, stopping in the middle and then abandoning nearly finished blogs altogether. It seemed like a phase, at first, but now it looks suspiciously like a bad habit. I have enough of those already, thank you very much.  So, I am going to try to do that- sit down while the sittin’s good, write until it is written, and then publish it. I don’t want to alarm anyone, but you guys are really missing out on some great and brilliant musings because of my selfish withholding, and it has to stop.

The next thing: My only New Year’s Resolution this year was to give zero fucks what anyone may or may not be thinking, saying, or feeling about me, due to an inordinate amount of time spent obsessing (by me) over what everyone, from the mail man to my mother, those thoughts, etc., may be. I am rapidly closing in on my 40th birthday, and I’m very tired of giving so many fucks about imagined, and real, opinions about me, my life, and whatever else. I mean, who fucking cares, right? It’s exhausting, and I have vowed to quit it. Unfortunately, as is often the case when resolving to change something, I find that I am either giving a lot more fucks about the above mentioned things, or I am just hyper aware of all the fucks I give. But I have gotten good at recognizing the tension that creeps into my body when i start giving a fuck, and I can quickly relax into the “give a fuck” contraction, and breathe my way out of it. Seriously, though, I would like to be able to take in someone’s advice, opinion, or even their shitty, backhanded compliment, and not take it ON, like it’s automatically a fact, or a misconception of which I must convince the sharer otherwise. “Oh, really, you think I could improve my parenting skills? Well, aren’t your thoughts straying far away from home these days, eh? You have a nice day.” “Sooo…you have some advice I didn’t solicit about how I run my life, huh? Wow, and you’ve never even been to my house, met my kids, or seen me outside of a controlled environment. I’m just going to keep texting while you talk, but I am totally listening to you.” THAT is how I would LOVE to be. Instead, I am more like “Oh, shit, the neighbors are watching me parallel park…I’ll just…I think I can pull straight in, there’s enough room. SHIT. I’m twenty feet from the curb, I’ll do it the other way. Why are they looking at me? FUCK. They probably think I am such a lunatic. Oh my God, I am STILL ten miles from the curb. Fuck it, I am just leaving it, I don’t care if I’m in the middle of the road. if those assholes weren’t sitting there, judging me, maybe I could park my car like a normal person…” And this is just me, parking my CAR. There’s a part of me that knows how insane my thinking is, and that they probably don’t even notice what is happening at all. There is a part of me that understands, even if they are gawking at my shitty parking job, why the fuck should I care? I mean, it doesn’t matter. But the bigger part of me is hysterical, loud, and incredibly anxious and sensitive, and she wants those gawking assholes to be in AWE of her mad parallel parking skills. She is the one I am trying to mellow out a little bit.

My hope is that I can bring my “no fucks given here” policy to my blog, as well. I would like you to share your feelings and opinions with me here, with the understanding that I am hearing what you are saying, and I am not going to allow it to embed itself on my skin like a tattoo. I am not even going to put it in my saved file unless it really is worthy, and I will offer, in return, full disclosure when writing, no matter how annoying that is to my mother. Feel free to not care a whit what I am telling you, of course. I am not there just yet, but that is my goal.

The last thing: The other reason I think I need to get on here and write, as close to daily as I can is this: I am just drowning in good material these days. And if I don’t use it, I lose it, or at least, the real essence of “it”, when we are referring to writing. You have to get it out when it is consuming you, because it can die down so quickly, the fire that flares up when one is taken by the muse…anything written when the steam is dying down is going to be less engaging. For me, in my writing, anyway.

Today, I had a horrible day, which means I learned some stuff. The lesson today was this: No matter how incredibly dramatic and awful things appear at first, they almost always simmer down to simply lame and tiring within hours. So getting all hysterical over stuff is pretty much a waste of time. The secondary lesson was: You will instinctively know when it is high time you put your foot down, stand your ground, and defend yourself, and you will also realize that you are a pretty decent human being, all things considered. You, I mean I, do not have to deal with manipulation or bullying from anyone, and I won’t. So THERE.

Well, I am afraid that everything from the second paragraph on is a run-on sentence, written in Pig Latin, but I am not going to check. I am just going to get this published. Besides, everyone knows Pig Latin, anyway.

Posted in Depression, Life, Musings, People, random

Sigh…I Can’t Fake It.

I have been really trying to work up some enthusiasm for blogging, flipping through the file cabinets in my own mind, desperately hoping to stumble across SOMETHING worth sitting down and rolling my sleeves up over. The sad truth is, I got nothing. The even sadder truth is, even when I do come up with something that I can generate an iota of interest in, I am just too unmotivated to sit down and flesh it out. I keep thinking things like “Why bother dumping all that energy into something you will end up not posting anyway?” and other self defeating thoughts of the like.

I have been doing that, too, the few times I have tried to write- struggled through a post from end to end, only to decide, after all that, that I don’t feel like posting it after all. Up until this past month or so, I had never done that before. I don’t know what the hell this new crap phase is I am in the middle of, but I can tell you this- I do not like it, not one little bit. It just bites ass.

I want to come on here and post something witty, or hopeful, or a piece that makes me seem more scrappy and unflappable than I really am, but that would be a big fat lie. I am just completely void of joy right now, which is even more unfortunate considering Christmas is tearing towards us at the speed of light. I don’t have an explanation for it, there is nothing really wrong, or at least, no more wrong than usual. Yet, I feel far worse than I ever feel, even when my life has been in much worse shape. I have no energy, I don’t want to watch TV or read, I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything, talk to anyone, or see anyone. I get hungry, but I can’t figure out what to eat, or what to buy at the store, or if I do, I end up feeling too listless to actually make anything. I feel like there is an invisible force field around me, keeping everything out, leaving me with just total ambivalence about everything. It’s very strange, and contrary to my mercurial nature, and I can’t seem to do anything about it.

It dawned on my just before I started writing this, that the only thing I haven’t considered doing, so far, is to just accept that I am feeling how I feel right now. I always, always, want to resolve things- even things within myself- and I will beat something to death trying to arrive at a solution. If you don’t believe me, ask any of my ex boyfriends…I’m sure I’ve driven more than one dude beyond his capacity to cope with my never-ending quest to get to the bottom of things. But it is a very rare occurrence for me to let go of the struggle and say “Fine!”, to just leave things alone. I wouldn’t consider doing that now if I just plain hadn’t run out of ideas. I want to feel better, but I don’t know how, so I am going to try to feel how I feel and see if there is a purpose under all this blah. Maybe I am missing the lesson because I am so busy trying to minimize and strangle my unpleasant feelings. So, here I am, little hovering storm cloud! Descend upon my head! Lets do this, then…

On the other hand, it could be clinical depression, in which case this method probably isn’t going to be successful. I guess I will have to figure that one out, too. I still don’t want to take weird prescription drugs for my moods, for reasons ranging from vague to superstitious, none of which are based on legitimate facts. As always, I find this quite amusing, considering my drug addled history. Secretly, though, I fear I am one of those crazy people that refuse medication stubbornly, while everyone around them clucks and shakes their heads, exchanging pointed looks behind my back. Perhaps this does happen, who knows? I can’t add that to my list of shit that messes with my head, I just can’t. I’m too busy accepting my doldrums, in hopes that we might be able to work out some type of truce.

In case you were at all curious, this is why I haven’t been around much. I will be sure to update you all relatively soon, hopefully with better, less boring, depressing, self centered, news. Trust me, no one is sicker of me than I am, my friends. So send me good vibes, and maybe I can get out of this stupid funk. Please? And Thank You!

Posted in Addiction, family, friendship, Goals, Learning, Life, Musings, People, random, Uncategorized

More Normal Than Normal

 

Image

It’s been a while since I have written- you may or may not have noticed this. There is a good chance that I find myself more important than you do…it works this way, sometimes. I have set my timer for thirty minutes, and taken an oath to go clean my disaster of a bedroom- thoroughly, for once- as I suspect this may be the root of my current trouble. My current trouble, in case you are wondering, seems to be a total lack of interest in…being awake, pretty much.

I would say I may be teetering on the edge of depression, if it were more consistent. There’s a chance that I am just worn out, and tired of my slobbish ways, and frustrated with myself for showing little improvement in this one area of my life. It gets super old, never knowing where the hell anything is, losing your keys and your sunglasses, your shoes, and entire ensembles in the abyss of your bedroom. I am a little afraid of what this says about me, as a person, this inability to clean up my act…in this one way. But the thing is, get me out of here, this crappy little house, and I am fine. At least this cloud of dust and disarray doesn’t follow me out into the world.

I am trying to go easy on myself. In the past two months, I have laid to rest some serious shit that I have carried around with me for WAY too long. The burden of addiction (the drug one, anyway) is no longer mine to carry, for now. That broken relationship that kept me stuck for many years, I set that free, too. So why, then, can I not sustain that perfect, blissful happiness that was mine all these previous weeks?

I think the simple answer is this: that is just not a sustainable feeling, over the long term. I am a human being, and as such, I can grow used to ANY feeling- happiness, sickness, sadness, anger. I can carry any of those around with me, and eventually, not notice that I am carrying them at all anymore. It’s as unfortunate on the bad side as it is on the good- I mean, don’t you think? As miserable as I was as an active drug addict, much of my time was not spent in awareness of this misery. It just was. So, in the same way, nothing here has really changed- I have just adjusted to this new gift of beautiful, blessed freedom. It feels normal to me already.

This is why, as humans, we must continually set the bar a little higher, find new aims, new adventures, new hopes and new aspirations, when we get somewhere we have been trying to go. It is okay to revel in it for a while, but for me, at least, I need to continue striving for the next big thing. For me, as a person with addiction issues, I think it is especially important not to stagnate, not to rest on my laurels, not to stop searching for the next thing that takes my breath away.

Addicts are a funny bunch. It occurred to me, while driving home this afternoon, that maybe drug addiction is a lazy way of being different…think about it, before you immediately dismiss the whole idea. Most of the people I know who are in recovery, and same for the ones who are not in recovery in ANY sense of the word, do not suffer from lack of intelligence. They are a smart bunch of people with a rebellious streak a mile wide, nine times out of ten. Nonconformists. Different, weird, odd…on and on. 

Now, bear with me, because I haven’t thought about this long enough to really present my argument in the most persuasive light…but can you see where I am coming from? If you KNOW you are different, and you know it at an early enough age to have spent years, already, being bothered by it by the time alcohol, or drugs of any sort, come into the picture…but before you have a chance to grow up enough to know that maybe there is a better outlet for your wackiness…wouldn’t the drug culture seem like a perfect fit? Wouldn’t it seem like a relief to find your home among the weirdo’s?

Wow. I just found myself getting a little choked up while writing this, and I will tell you why. I have nearly normaled myself to death over the past few weeks, people. I had my mom here last weekend, and spent a lot of time with her, and a lot of time with my various friends, and I did a lot of “normal” stuff, and I am still recovering from all of it. The pointed truth is this- I am different. I have always been different. And it is hard on me to be anyone else, although I certainly do try. I had a dinner party at my house that just about did me in…because it is so incredibly stressful for me. It never goes the way I picture it in my head. The house is never clean enough, and I am never cheerful enough, and it always ends with me wishing I had gotten it right.

I am who I am, only now it is without the excuse of any substance. This is just me, trying to figure out how I can become more like the person I imagine myself to be in my head. Maybe the secret to that is that I can’t. Maybe I need to accept that there are actually some limitations to what I can accomplish, right now, from this spot. Perhaps next week the possibility will reveal itself to me. I don’t know. But, in case you are wondering, there is no part of me that would trade even this unpleasantness (that really isn’t all that unpleasant at all) for the oblivion I once sought daily. No way.

And with that, I must go. I have a room to clean.

Posted in friendship, Goals, inner peace, Learning, Life, Musings, People, random, Uncategorized

Judgement, Jabs, and Other Rude Behavior.

judgement

When I was quite young and had absolutely no life experience, I was overflowing with opinions on things about which I knew nothing about. I was not confused in the least about what was right or wrong, and I was not shy about letting people know my thoughts about things, either. Looking back, I realize that my opinions and beliefs weren’t even really MINE at all, but just the ones I’d borrowed from the adults I’d been raised by…which is pretty amusing to me, now, when I see how incredibly different my thinking wound up being from where I believed it to be. I was so confident in my own superior knowledge that I was totally closed off from consideration of any other possibilities. This is the first indication that you aren’t as smart as you think you are- when you are so convinced of your own correctness you can’t even hear another person’s point of view.

Because I was so smart and so much less confused than everyone around me, it was quite natural and easy for me to judge people unkindly for their mistakes, their lifestyles, or their bad decisions. I didn’t try to hide what I thought about people anymore than I did my thoughts about anything else. I grew up hearing “you are better than that” quite a bit, and this was applied both to my behavior and to who I was in relation to others- I was told that I was better than the folks I ran around with, and I believed it, for the most part. Rather than find new friends, though, I chose to stick around and lord my snotty better-ness over everyone. Except the ones who were better than me, of course. Even I knew that if I were better than some, some were better than me.

Do you have any idea how damaging this thought process can be, especially over the course of many years? I was constantly sizing people up, trying to figure out which group they belonged in so that I knew how to behave. I had no idea who I was when there was no one else around to measure myself against. I hurt good people simply because I deemed them “less” than me, and looked up to total assholes because they appeared to be “more”. I was mean, unkind, rude and ugly, all because I believed a weird version of what I’d been told and had no thoughts of my own.

The universe must get a special thrill when they come across an idiot like me. I got the opportunity to experience 99% of the issues I had so vocally, adamantly judged others for. You name it, I went through it- from unwanted pregnancy to welfare to homelessness and horrible choices, I eventually had my own story to tell about it. Not surprisingly, my mind had changed greatly about things by the time all was said and done, and I was better for having learned it.

Along the way, I began to notice my hesitation to agree with someone when they were spouting off about another person’s behavior, actions, or motives, especially when it was harsh. My first thoughts were selfish- every time I had judged someone, it seemed to wind up happening to me, and I didn’t want that. Eventually, though, it just didn’t feel good to be mean, even behind the back, of someone who was already struggling with stuff. It felt better to present other possible, more generous reasons on the person’s behalf…which really didn’t please whoever was tearing them down at the time, let me tell you.

As this change was happening inside of me, I also began to notice how much less black and white there was in my thinking, and how much more gray, how many variations there were to the spaces between the lines I had once seen as clear and distinct. As unsettling as this was, it was also amazing, because now there were endless possibilities where right and wrong had been before. The more allowances there were for differences, the less I could form an opinion about someone else, which meant I was far more open to knowing them, and hearing them, and finding the good in them. When I stopped judging others constantly, I changed into someone better.

I’m not saying I am perfect- far from it! Everyday, depending on my mood, I think shitty thoughts about some clueless stranger, for the way they look, or the way they drive, or whatever. It is human nature, and a habit that isn’t easy to break. But when I catch myself, I stop, and find something nice to say. I know how dumb that sounds, but it’s true. I also have to accept that not everyone is working on the same stuff as me, and I notice lots of people who make no effort at all to curb their opinions or judgements. As crappy as this can be, I know that they will keep on until they get it, and they’ll get it when they have to. No sooner. It doesn’t have to change my behavior- I don’t need to slap back just to be even.

It was the sound of my own voice echoing back at me as I struggled that convinced me, more than anything else, to change; not the cruelest words anyone else had ever used to cut me down. I have to believe I am not alone in this. So, I hold my tongue, knowing in that silence their own words are loud and clear in the air between us, ready for whatever journey they are on.