The Virtuous Vituperator

Thursday, October 16, 2008

20 year old dust!

Hello 20 year old dust....

As I'm blogging/journalling about my latest life shit I came up with a cool analogy I want to write down before I forget it, but first the usual Beth longwinded preface to the story.

I am a drug addict. In recovery. 21.5 years worth of recovery.

But wait says a pal or two, we've seen you drink?! This is true. Alcohol counts as a drug. I'm counting druuuuuugs, like acid, cocaine, pot, and the like. I stayed sober off of alcohol for a good five or so (maybe more) years. I reintroduced it to my life, and make my personal pilgrimages to full sobriety several times a year to keep myself in check. Sometimes I just plain don't wanna drink, overall, it's social and I'm not a daily drinker, or a drink to drunk person. In fact I haven't been drunk in quite a few years. I have a mild heart condition that prevents that from happening as it were, I cannot get drunk without suffering some nasty consequences. Moderation is key.

I digress. When I was 17 years old, on April 5, 1987 to be precise, I had a mild heart attack. Lesson learned the hard way- drugs are bad. PDAP/12 step recovery here I come. I never looked back at drugs. A terrifying feeling to have a heart attack. It's not something you really forget. How the truly committed drug addicts go back is beyond my reckoning. I was terrified straight.

I did the usual 12step recovery system. Got through it, thinking, whew, glad that's over with, move along. Flash forward 20 years. (21.5 to be precise) and I'm a new person, I have kids, house, work, the usual shit. I'm also doing a lot of personal growth work. Have been for three years. Since the stress-induced vertigo began.

I have a new friend too. This new friend may or may not fully understand this, but I open up to him as I truly AM. All of me. Most people only give a version of themselves to the outside world and save the crazy crusty stuff for a mate or a BFF. Not me- I'm not whole with anyone, including myself. It's a huge part of my addictive personality. Total inadequacy when it comes to settling down and just being me. I have worked my way to a point of actually feeling pretty close to whole. My new friend actually puts me at ease enough to open up to be whole and myself with him and I am infinitely appreciative of the chance to get to do that for the first time in my life. It is also scary as all shit. I am trying super hard to not self-sabotage this and remain true to being ME. Same friend does not "get" that because the only me he knows is ME. Plus, it's too easy for me to fall in to the not me pattern I'm so accustomed to.

I went in for a weekly therapy session as I'm embarking on divorce #2 and well, it's not a lot of fun. In fact, it's kinda sucking even though I am looking forward to the moving on portion of this.

I was sitting there talking about all of the above and more and I said in so many words--- you know I thought I had worked the program all those years ago. But I'm not whole, I'm not comfortable being me and I've spent a LOT! of time and energy putting on the face I think each person wants to see. Carrying bucketloads of work and guilt to try and please each and every one of them. Who on Earth could ever love or like me as I am? Therefore I MUST find a way to please you. And find, and find, and find..... and find some more. I must EARN your false love, because you only tolerate me because I'm useful. Years of work to move past all that pain.

Today I sit there and realize that 21.5 years ago when I went into the 12step program that I worked MOST of it. Most is not good enough when tackling such things. That while I did not fall back to prey to drug addiction I addicted myself to pleasing others. I went back in and looked around and didn't see a pretty and pristine place.

I equate it to living in my room. It's a nice room. Stuff where it ought to be. But upon closer inspection I find little piles of dust in the corners, under the rug, under the bed, little sprinklings everywhere. HMMMMM Dust? How did you get in my pristine little living space? I must sweep you out. Sweep-sweep. Lo! What is this? A big honkin' pile of dust. But it's not dust- it's a dust MONSTER! A dust demon. I blew up my demon a long time ago, but who knew I had to clean out my room from the dust he left behind. So once swept all back together there he is offering me all the cozy comforts I know and lvoe so dearly. Inadequacy. Uselessness. Undeserving of love. Inpatience. Patheticness. And....

21.5 years.
Look at all this dust. What do I do with it? Redistribute it and hide it again so no one will notice? Hmmm that didn't work out so good these past 20 years because I going into my second divorce and have a trail of shit behind me and self-destructive behavior up the wazzoooooo to last 5 people 5 lifetimes each. Do I pretend it's not there and just walk around it? Ummmm it's a honkin huge pile of dust right in front of the door, I CAN'T ignore it. Where I'm at in this game I can't do anything but focus on it.

So I'm getting the broom and I'm REsweeping my room. I'm also going to completely clean it top to bottom. Then I'm going to chip away at that dustpile bit by bit til its gone. I don't think it's going to take too long, but it's embarassing that others have to see it, but is also ok because I'm ok as long as I know it's going down, not up, and when I'm done I will have a beautiful clean new room.

When the dust is gone then I will have completed that 12step program. Not til then. I doing a combo 4, 8, 9 step right now. I thought I did this once before but I didn't do it 100% committed. I'm doing that now. I'm actually slowly sliding into step 10.

My next anniversary of my sobriety will be here in April. I'm going in for my chip. I want it now. Before I had sort of forgotten about it and then was reminded and blew off getting it. Not now. I WANT THAT CHIP!!! It took me this long to figure out why it felt weird to go get it- well now they couldn't keep me away.

Moral of the story- if you're working the program- dig in for the total honesty required to get the job done. Sweep up regularly to be sure. It's too easy to overlook it.

I'm so proud to realize this is it- I'm actually going to be finished.......
Thank you Friend for listening and opening my eyes to where I'm at. You didn't see it or say it, but I was myself with you and the revelation came to me all on its own as a result of our honest chats. While our friendship may be fleeting, I will always have a great affection and admiration for what this has afforded me and I hope you continue your own personal growth and complete your program dust free.


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