Are You Kidding Me
“It hits you in the stomach. The feeling fills you up-that gut-twisting hang wringing anxiety that is so familiar to..… It is what causes us to do much of what we do that hurts ourselves. It is the substance worry and obsession feed upon. It is fear at its worse. Fear usually comes and goes, leaving us in flight ready to fight, or just temporarily frightened. But anxiety hangs in there. It grips the mind, paralyzing it all but for its own purposes- an endless rehashing of the same useless thoughts. It is the fuel that propels us into controlling behaviors of all sorts.. We can think of nothing but keeping the lid on things, controlling the problem, and making it go away.” This is an excerpt from “Codependent No More” by Melanie Beatty.
I used to have these dreams where I would be under water and I was struggling to get to the top so I could get air. Somewhere in my desperation for air I would take a breath and I could breathe; I could breathe water. I was no longer struggling to get to the top for air. I would just swim around and enjoy my surroundings. I knew I still needed air but there was no urgency.
I think recovery can be sort of like that. When you are involved in the addictive behavior you are desperate for air. You spend time seeking alternatives to air because the struggle for air is too painful and scary. Are you going to survive-make it. It takes up mental energy that just isn’t to be found. When you quit, its like being able to breath under water, you know things are still not right but its better than using and its kind of nice to hang out there awhile. I think the second part of recovery is like the journey to get air after you’ve found you can breathe under water. It’s necessary to sustain life but it’s still a struggle to get there. So you can kind of avoid the struggle for a bit until it starts to get you in trouble again. The second part of recovery is emotional healing and learning healthy life skills or unlearning all of the unhealthy, destructive behaviors/ attitudes, etc. Sometimes we can believe that stopping the addiction is all that is needed.
Personally, I went from being addicted to a substance to trying to survive being married to an addict and then to having a family member that was an addict.. I learned how to act like everything was okay. I learned how to clean up the messes. I learned how to fade away. It was no longer me that lived in the body suit that used to house my soul.
I love reading. I love everything about it.
I love the smell of a new book; the feel of the pages; the way the binder creaks.
The first day of school was always exciting to me because I couldn’t wait to see what new books I would be getting.
Having said all of that, I am currently reading six books.
The 6th book I added to my current reading list is one I swore to myself that I would never read. In my mind the book was for other people; it had nothing to do with me. The people that recommended it to me just really didn’t understand me
It’s about a topic that makes my stomach turn when I hear the word. Codependency.
If I had the choice to be called addict or codependent, I would much rather be referred to as an addict. I mean they are both pretty much the same thing. It’s just that one is less obvious. So, I have to rationalize the similarity because I am just not ready to come completely out of denial yet. The mental image I have in my head of a codependent just doesn’t fit me.
Its kind of crazy but I won’t hesitate to tell someone that I was once an addict but to say that I am codependent. Are you kidding me? I don’t think that will ever call myself codependent. I’ll come up with a new word.
I will admit though that I do have MANY symptoms of a codependent.
I was shocked at what gave me the realization.
I read a chapter about attachment issues in Melody Beatty’s book and it was all about ME.
So, I have discovered that I am still swimming around under the water and I need to come up for air – I need recovery from all of the unhealthy ways of living that have kept me so empty of myself.
I now know where the addiction hijackers took me. I have been living in the basement of codependency for a very long time.
I am going to start swimming up out of the water to get air and get life back in me.
To be honest, I think it will be much harder than it was to stop using. It’s quite frightening.
Pleased to meet you.
Pleased you have taken the time to visit.
Pleased that you are you who you are.
Pleased for what you offer to this world.
Pleased that you have chosen to continue with life and be a part of this puzzle we call life where every life matters because every life is a piece of the puzzle and if one piece is missing then the puzzle will never be complete.
So pleased and so grateful for every life, even for the ones that have yet to be birthed into this world.
Pleased for all the colors and elements of life.
Surprise“Creativity is continual Surprise” Ray Bradbury
Nature promises new surprises everyday. It almost appears as if the Stamin are suspended in water and the petals appear like feathers.
I am currently discovering who I truly am meant to be. I hope to share my journey so that others that may have been or are currently involved in the world of addictions can maybe find a way out or be inspired to get out and get healing. I would love to start a new kind of treatment program but other responsibilities would prevent me from that at this time. I want to do what I can do now, which is to write. Maybe it will evolve in to being able to start that program.
A Different day, a different time, the same feeling
I had someone rage at me yesterday
It doesn’t matter who or why just that they raged while I sat calmly but inside me I was quickly curling up into a fetal position.
I wanted to escape. I wanted to get up out of my chair and run just run as fast as I could to nowhere. Where none could find me.
But I sat and first tried to reason but that brought on more rage. So I curled up on the inside and hid my face from the arrows that were flying out of the mouth that was raging. They were pointed straight at my heart. I tried to squeeze up on the inside into a tight ball to protect my heart but some got through anyway.
Just be quiet I told myself and it will end soon.
And it did end and it was over but I knew it was only the end for that day.
The next day as I tried to accomplish a very simple task-the frustration of the whole automated phone customer service black hole created that same rage inside of me. But I don’ t rage outwardly. It’s all inside and I want it to get out. I want to escape to nowhere and never come back. When rage becomes physical and/or verbal it gets out and it’s gone. The emotional rage in me has nowhere to go-it stays. I am not a violent person but I want it to get out of me-out of my heart.
I want to thrash about and make it get off of me but there is nowhere to go to get it out.
I want to go to a beach and feel the sand make it hard for me to walk. I want to go in the ocean and have the waves knock me down so I can get up and thrash and hit the waves as they come at me. I want the water to impede my motion so I have to use all my effort to move against the waves. I want the water to exhaust the rage within me so it gets off of me and out of me. But I don’t live near the ocean so I sit as the rage bounces and boils within me. I feel like a prisoner in my cell of rage with nowhere to go to get away from it. The door to freedom is locked.
I used to drink and drug and that was my escape but I learned that was only temporary. When it was over, everything was still there and sometimes it was worse.
This subjection to rage was my life when I was married to an alcoholic. Every night I went to sleep I wondered if I would be alive in the morning. When I woke up, I couldn’t wait until he left. My heart would begin to pound and race when I heard his truck drive up in the afternoon. I never knew what to expect. But, I learned very quickly how to slow my heart and be calm and cheery and hope that would prevent the rage that I knew would soon be walking through the door.
And so I learned a new way of surviving. I learned how to act and hide and clean up messes. I learned how to plead and beg lenders to give us, “one more chance”. I learned how to be and play the part of a victim, happy wife, happy daughter, daughter in law, and mother. I learned how to hide me. And later…I lost me.
It’s been about 27 years since I left that alcoholic but I still deal with post traumatic stress and I still haven’t shed many of the behaviors I learned during that time.
But I continue to recover and I am letting go of the persona I created for survival little by little, day by day. It’s a hard walk just like it was to quit using. And honestly, I just recently realized how much of me was still locked away. I still have so much fear that if fear were a color I would be the darkest shade possible.
I will tell you this. Even though I am older, I know this journey to find me will be amazing
I have so much hope for me and I have it for you too!
Whether it’s to stop the addiction or stop letting the addicts in your life consume you or recover from the post traumatic stress of the world of addictions or all of the above…please walk this journey with me. Hand in hand, heart to heart.