Voice Command (day 251)

The tiny waitress walks by my table with a giant martini. That martini is sexy and beautiful. I think to myself. How could that have been me before? How can it NOT be me now? A mini tantrum fits and punches through my psyche.

I look away.

I turn my attention to my delicious food and my lovely husband and the conversation we are having with my brilliant son who is about to take a trip to San Diego for work. He loves the work he does and he is very much looking forward to seeing the west coast for the first time in his young life.

In under a minute, I have forgotten about the parading martini entirely.

At just over eight months sober, I’ve been having these random inner shit storms that basically sound like this: Well, this sober thing was a huge waste of time, wouldn’t you say, my dear? Guess this wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be – like, at all. Game over, yeah? We’ve lost the point of this little experiment, haven’t we? Why are we not joining in the drinking fun, again? Jesus mutherfucking CHRIST WOMAN can’t we just have one???????

And so forth.

The strange thing is, for many months there, I did not have this mental flip happening inside. I don’t think. I just know that now I am finding the ‘just drink one and drink it now come ON!’ voice is back and sounds just the way it did the first month of my sobriety in January. I am surprised by this – though, logically, I should not be. They say (They? Whoever They are) it’s one day at a time and that the voice never entirely dies off. He was quiet for a long time, though. And he’s quiet mostly now. But once in a while…

There’s no point in sharing this other than to record it for myself in real time. To remind myself that all I am doing to stay sober is working and is 100% necessary and it’s worthy work. And in case anyone else out there can relate.

Overall. I’m good. I’m solid in my sobriety. I know that the glasses of booze I can’t help but notice all around me are just a mirage. Illusions of euphoria, glittering and sweet, seducing me with fantasies of a kind of endless pleasure that doesn’t actually exist.

What Getting Sober Really Means (audio)

I think what getting sober is about is getting into alignment with your truest deepest self. And learning how to integrate all of yourself – mind, body, soul, spirit, environment, thoughts, beliefs, commitments, goals, dreams, creations, prayers, words, actions – so that as you move through your day, your night, any given moment, you feel an inner peace. That peace becomes your anchor. Your center. That peace keeps you true. True as in: faithful to yourself, your sobriety, and true as in: in perfect balance. Your steady state is one of humble confidence. Not competing with anyone. No conflict between what you say or do and what you believe. So it’s a bit heavy I guess you could say, because sobriety encompasses everything. But if you can let go of the weight of self-doubt and the burden of keeping the lies and hiding the truth in addiction – your existence, your joy, your experience of the ups and downs of this crazy life – becomes light. Or you can hold it all lightly. More gently. You remind yourself over and over every time you don’t pick up, every time you choose your truth over false outside beliefs: I can take care of myself. I’ve got me, I’m good. I’m okay. I’m safe. I can breathe and be in this moment and I do not have to rush it along. /

I’m Eight Months Sober Today (audio)

I’m eight months sober today. Not a whole hell of a lot to say just feeling very humbled and tremendously grateful. It’s been a wild eight months. So much is clear to me now. About myself. About the energy within me and around me. The sacredness of my existence and of the existence of all things. I don’t know – never have known, never may know – what to say about God or the Divine, but I can promise this. There is something out there. Something which moves powerfully and effortlessly through time and space, light and shadow. And it is grace and fulfillment. It never lies. It aches and it rescues. It whispers and destroys the things – all the merciless things – that have ever, ever hurt us.

Where We Live Now (audio)

The vision you have for your life is valid. Give it time and attention to come forward. You don’t need to rush. But you don’t need to be intimidated either. Take steps toward what you know is true for you. That you are worthy and precious and your life – your experience of your time here – matters. Make it good for you. And by good I only mean sincere. That’s all. Doesn’t have to be strong or flashy or loud or successful or correct. Just sincere. Sincere is where the truth is. And truth is where we live now.

I wrote this in my journal just now during meditation. Just thought I would share it because it felt like a message for all of us. The ones in active addiction. The ones trying to crawl out of the pain and the fear and the hurt and the loneliness. No matter what we are up to, we are seeking to know ourselves. And love ourselves. We just don’t know how. Or maybe, correction, maybe we do know how but we have been steered so wrong for so long that it just takes a lot of quiet and a lot of focus to get back to who we know we are. We always were.

Anyway. I’m 239 days sober today which is just a random number but isn’t everything. My husband told me this thing the other day that made so much sense the way obvious things do when you finally realize them. Don’t make the finish line the goal so that you are always losing until you get there. Make the small steps the goal so you are winning a little bit all the time. I like to substitute the word ‘joy’ for goal. And the word ‘content’ for winning. Make small steps the joy so you are content more of the time. ODAAT, etc.

I don’t quite know yet what this blog is about to become but it’s already different because I am different. Eight months sober is a fuck lot of time spent on rewiring myself. And it’s funny because what happens is you intend to save yourself from so much goddamn misery, you know what I mean. There was so much booze drenched pain inside and all around constantly. And day by day, evening by evening, I peeled off that wretched skin suit. I was so tightly wrapped in it. Suffocating. Afraid to move, afraid to speak, afraid to just be. What I am has changed forever. What I thirst for now is just the honest to god truth. Maybe that’s all I ever drank to get to. Ironically enough. Tragically, but sincerely.

Maybe all we need to start from is a place where we can honor ourselves for real not for show. To keep reminding ourselves over and over as we sip our morning coffee: The vision I have for my life is valid.

High Jump (audio)

There’s endless distractions out there. Everybody is after something. Even me, don’t get me wrong. I was dying to write something to share just so I could speak to you. That’s nuts right? Who knows. The internet is full of liars and trolls and scammers but I think mostly it’s just us, you know? Just regular people out here all alone wondering what the fuck to do with ourselves. Why do people always try to tell you what to do. Why do they think they have all the good answers to questions you never even asked.

The sun is so high in the sky at 5:56pm it pisses me right off. But in any case, I want to say to you: if you can sit in a room and just feel what you are feeling and not do anything to deny it or fix it or chase it with some kind of chemical numbing agent you are a mutherfucking hero. I think. Nobody will see you and nobody will know but I see you, I know. I see my own reflection in the mirror when I wash my hands like I still do too often. And I like some things about me and I don’t like others but either way it’s fine. It is what it is. If you just be quiet and sit there, all alone in a room, as the sound of the cars sift by down the street outside your window, and you just breathe, man. It sounds so stupid but it’s true. Don’t write anything, say anything, whatever, just sit.

I sit and I smoke a cigarette. I sit and I feel the crushing grip of menstrual cramps. I open the window even though it is way too hot to open a window because it’s August and August absolutely sucks. And I feel the heat sink into each of my bones. I sip on cappuccino and check the spam folder on my blog. “buy viagra” has left me a message to tell me I inspire them and that I should keep going. lol okay but I am already there. Why are people always saying that, keep going. No thanks. I’m just gonna be here. For now. Against all the odds. Against all the fucking distractions about bettering myself – tryinna make me lose my goddamn mind.

It’s Friday night. It’s everyday of your life right in this one minute. Where are you rushing off to? Where have I been trying so hard to get to all this time when I could have spent evenings alone with myself. Writing whatever words I wanted to. Being quiet as the dusty walls. Speaking to you. Whoever you are. You ever notice just how beautiful it is to be here at all. You ever notice you don’t have to spend all your time trying to alter what is. You don’t have to talk at every idea or reason through every problem. You can just let what is be. The breeze coming through the screen. The warm summer wind pushing the plant leaves around for no reason at all but softness and light and the way it is.

Wish I Could (audio)

I am not chasing anything. I am not trying to impress anyone or even myself. I’m not trying to be better just trying to be not false. I don’t need more attention. I don’t want more words. I don’t want anything to define me or try to minimize what I am experiencing right now because what I am experiencing is quite beyond words, beyond language, beyond description.

My recovery continues to evolve, deepen, twist, turn, and surprise. What feels like I am coiling back on myself isn’t exactly that, or at least I don’t think it is. But there are no words in most of my recovery space right now. I meditate a lot. Read non-stop. Currently: Martha Beck’s The Way of Integrity, and David Hawkins’ The Map of Consciousness.

I’ve been dealing with a fuck lot of anger, I notice. Perhaps a level of all out rage that I have never before let myself feel. It is very, very real. It spews all over the pages of my journal, in private. I try to keep it from coming out in the times when I am supposed to be nice to people. But it is really hard. The tears come hot and they push, push, push against my chest. I am so very angry. The way women are not allowed to be. Ugly. Undignified. Vengeful. Like a million mountains all on fire inside my cells. In my stomach, in my brain.

There is a sense I have these days that something massive has already shifted inside of me and I am rather quiet because I have not caught up with it yet. My whole body, mind, spirit, soul, feels so new. So vastly and entirely different from who or what I used to be. Or should I say maybe, different from what I used to chase or value or believe. I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t think I ever really knew. Now it’s all I’ve got. This new story unfolding about myself. And all I can do is feel it. I can’t speak it or write it or make it pretty or palatable or linear or concise or poetic. I can’t teach it or preach it or tell you about it. Because there are no words.

And So It Is

You learn to use the voice inside you that you tried drowning out with booze. You begin to say the things out loud that you told yourself you should never, ever say. And those things sound like:

What I need is….

What I want is…

What needs to stop is…

What needs to change is…

What hurts is…

What brings me joy is…

And you come to realize that you are the only one who can decide to fight for your own life to come forward and be seen, heard, and lived. The ripple effects of that are not up to you to try to control or hold back or spare people from. And so it is…

Drink of Me

I have been alone but seldom lonely. I have satisfied my thirst at the well of my self and that wine was good, the best I ever had, and tonight sitting staring into the dark I now finally understand the dark and the light and everything in between. Peace of mind and heart arrives when we accept what is: having been born into this strange life we must accept the wasted gamble of our days and take some satisfaction in the pleasure of leaving it all behind. Cry not for me. Grieve not for me. Read what I’ve written then forget it all. Drink from the well of your self and begin again. Charles Bukowski

I don’t know that there is any better way to express how I feel right now. Where my head, my heart, my tremendous pain, and my healing are. I am a recovering addict. That is as real and true as is earth, fire, water, and air. Whether it is acknowledged or not by others. I know. My soul knows. The one well I couldn’t bear to drink from is now the only one I want. The well of myself. It’s dark and deep, cool and life giving. And no one else can see into it but me. 

The Silencing

Withdrawal, fear, missed opportunities, indecision, suppressed feelings, blockages, sleepless nights, anxiety, ego issues, pride, low self esteem, mind over the heart, gossip, negative influence, lack of confidence, codependency, staying in the comfort zone, fear of rejection and confrontation, mask wearing, hiding behind morals, closed heart, depression, faking happiness, stagnation, work abuse, addictions, lying to oneself, denying own dreams and wishes, mediocrity, boredom, depending on the opinions of others, fear of vulnerability, inner emptiness, silencing the voice of intuition, running from oneself, inability to receive and express love….

Wading through the depths of the self is a dark, thick wood. Ready or not, I am in it now. I think the problem with optimism in the face of the cruel reality of the culture we live in is that it cuts us off from ourselves. It is a sickness. False optimism, this obsession with finding, faking, worshipping ‘happiness’ – it is a murderous endeavor. An attempt to kill off the truth of what is really going on inside. It is unsafe and insane to deny that the darkness is real. You can stab the truth as often as you like but it will never die.


Quote source: Karolina

It Comes and It Goes (audio)

He’s prolific – writing like a gushing faucet that just won’t shut off – and my writing mind is dried up as an old seed. Just as well I guess, at least someone is writing even if it isn’t me. And he’s a better writer anyway, although I guess that could mean anything at all. Or nothing. Nothing at all. We write or we don’t write but either way our minds are always going, going, going.

I scroll through images of women of various ages all sporting hair cropped in fresh pixie cuts. Only they aren’t called ‘pixies’ anymore they’re called mixies or bixies or some shit. God i would love to chop off my hair just to have done it. Just because it’s such a foolish ridiculous freeing thing to do and most people who think it through at all come to the inevitable conclusion that, logically speaking, it’s a bad, bad call.

Anyway I might still do it.

I know this might sound crazy because while I am now 209 days (!!) sober I can’t help but feel everything but also, at times, like now sitting alone in the morning light, I feel the realness of total nothingness. And not the poetic kind either. Not the sensual exoticism of a languid sort of freedom or the feline-like stretch of aimless curiosity. It isn’t arty or inspired or visionary or any of that. It’s just the kind of dead as if maybe somebody shot some Novocaine into my spirit and so even though I do believe I’ve got a spirit in here someplace, there’s absolutely no hope of actually feeling it.

We were at this party the other weekend, an outdoor summer whatever, and as I sipped my sparkling water the guy next to me was rambling on some misogynistic bullshit like a sixth grader when come to find out he’s sixty something. He’d been drinking all day slow but steady. And all I could think was this was also probably why I drank. Sure I have my own unhealed trauma and whatnot and I’m working on that but then there’s this foolishness of just having to live around other people who are so obnoxious it makes you want to scream. I think I drank to dull my natural impulse to slap somebody.

Just living is hard I guess is what I’m saying. We are surrounded by so many lies, so much ignorance, so much relentless focus on things that not only don’t even matter but which are crushing us underneath the weight of a culture that abuses us constantly. We are immersed in toxicity, submerged in it, steeped in it. No wonder when you stop numbing out the world, it all comes crashing in over you like the kind of thunderous waves you know no matter what you do you can’t escape or control or even try to push back against.

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