I once read about an underground cave called the Lava River Cave in Flagstaff AZ . I decided it sounded like it could be a fun trip. Within the description of the site there were recommendations to bring a flashlight and extra batteries because it is dark inside. That sounded like a great adventure so off we went. When we got there all I could see was a rather large hole in the ground but people were being birthed out of it so I knew this was the place. I climbed in and down and walked a couple of steps and it was dark, rather, pitch black. I could see other people’s lights but they were of no use to me so I turned on my flashlight and carefully made my way through the cave. The terrain was very uneven with occasional cracks. We made our way through the cave and then something started to happen and I didn’t understand. My vision became dim and it was getting harder for me to see. I was getting quite anxious and my heart started to race. I didn’t know where I was in the cave and I didn’t know how or where to plant my next step because I couldn’t see the ground. It was no longer a fun adventure-I needed to get out NOW. I tried to navigate with the other lights I saw but it just kept getting darker. I could see the shape of my husband and all I could say was “babe, I can’t see, I don’t know where to go. I can see other lights but it isn’t bright enough for me.” It was getting so dark that I could barely see my hands. It was like my brain was shutting down. Then the logic half of me (my husband) casually said, (didn’t he know I thought I was dying) “Maybe your flashlight needs a new battery” Oh yeah the information about the cave did say to bring extra batteries. That was it, I wasn’t dying and I just needed to put new batteries in my flashlight.
The fear, the panic, and the illogical thinking of a codependent; it is paralyzing. So we learn how to control to avoid pain at all costs. The way it mostly plays out is by trying to control the people around us so that their lives don’t cause us any pain.
Now, as I try to navigate away from the disease of codependency my vision has become blurry, very blurry and it is getting dark and I am having trouble seeing.
My heart is having trouble navigating through the dark cave of the anxiety brought on by worry; worry caused mostly by my imagination. My present is constantly making up stories based on my past and it causes me to worry. Up to this day I actually thought I was worrying about others but it was about me. If they…will they…should I do something so they don’t…I can’t leave home so I can prevent the fights, do their laundry, find their equipment, stop them from using, preventing them from being alone, being there if they need me or something.
How do I figure out when it’s healthy to help or be there?
Am I enabling the homeless person on the corner with a sign if I give them money?
Maybe if we all stop giving them money and providing them with shelter and clothes and food then they will hit rock bottom and get real help to get out of their situation.
Am I enabling the person walking along the road with a gas can if I give them a ride? Maybe if I let them walk they won’t go as long before they put gas in their tank.
Am I enabling the person running to the next bus stop if I give them a ride to their next stop so they don’t miss the connection?
Some things are obvious. Don’t give an addict drugs or money. After that, my hearts vision is dim. Other people’s lights don’t help because how do I know if they are right. Maybe they are just tough ragged souls that don’t like people and don’t want to help anyone at any time. They would never understand my dilemma or my heart so how can I trust them.
Maybe they had a hard life and no one ever helped them so they think that is how life is.
I don’t have extra batteries to put in the lantern of my heart.
Back in the day I would just drown myself in whatever would take me away from the pain but I know I can’t do that now. I know it’s time to face the dark beast that brought me to using as an adolescent. It’s been 31 years since I have used but euphoric recall is beckoning…. bringing me more and more reasons that it is ok to just have one, do one.
It is so hard to say no to the eyes that are filled with sorrow, so hard. Instead of using I have learned how to come up with excuses which in reality is lying. The excuses are valid but it’s not the reason I would say no. The real reason is because I don’t trust; I pretty much don’t trust anyone. So I use the excuse and say no but if you keep looking at me with those sad eyes and heavy heart then I will eventually say yes. And yes, now you have learned how to puppet my heart and make me do things I don’t want to do. That is my current way of avoiding the pain. I try to prevent you from experiencing pain. What is interesting is that I am learning that it is my imagination that makes me believe you are in pain most of the time.
My hearts vision is so blurred
But damn, man I am going after the beast even if I do have to fall through a few cracks here and there.