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.