Y.E.T.s

I don’t think I’m the only person who listened to people talking in meetings and did a mental checklist: “haven’t gone there, haven’t done that, etc.” At that time, I was still trying to figure out whether I was really in the right place.  

I remember hearing women in treatment with me talking about things they’d done to support their habit.  They said things like “I’d be looking over at the pipe (in the middle of *the act*), thinking ‘just a little while longer, baby’ ” I could imagine that, but I hadn’t gone to that place, yet. I think it was the codependent gene plus NO business savvy whatsoever that kept me from that particular business. I envied the women who had been financially compensated -however slightly- for their wares. I just wanted to be ‘loved’. I suppose that was my weakness. 

In retrospect, I’m grateful that I wasn’t quite that hard, because I know how people become that way. I’ve been through enough self-destructive and emotion-numbing experiences, without adding even more, thanks. 

I hadn’t gotten any DUIs, YET. I hadn’t gone to jail (for more than a few hours), YET. I hadn’t subjected my children to the horrors of a using parent (only because I wasn’t blessed to not have kids while I was using), YET.  I hadn’t been in any vehicle accidents while under the influence, YET…

The Oldtimers told me to listen for similarities. I had put myself in dangerous situations. I had been in abusive relationships. I had lied, cheated, stolen, and murdered. I hadn’t thought twice about cheating on my mate, or about taking yours (just because I could was reason enough). I had driven when I could barely make out the lines on the road. I had awoken on the side of the road where I’d finally given up on finding my way home. I had placed the addiction ahead of my love for anyone else in my life. I hadn’t considered that the entire time I was living in direct opposition to my own values and morals, I was damaging my own spirit. I had no idea the depth of the devastation of my heart and mind, wrought from the years of “not caring”. 

I had become so much less than human. By the time I was done, I really felt like a bloody pile of flesh. And I volunteered for the vast majority of it. It was what my master required. But I digress.
The Old Farts in the Rooms told me that “YET” stood for You’re Eligible, Too. So, if I continued on the trajectory I’d been on, I was most assuredly going to sink even deeper into the depravity that I had heard about, and more. 
Today, I can apply the YETs to my life in a very different way. I haven’t gotten a degree YET. I haven’t become a Grandmother, YET. I haven’t travelled out of the country sober, YET. I haven’t been an “Empty-nester” YET. I haven’t been a home owner, YET. 

I’m blessed beyond measure. I know that my Tribe is there for me, and I know that I don’t have to EVER go farther down on that elevator than I had when I got off. The Program taught me to be grateful. And I surely am, today.    

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A Beautiful Mind

I just finished watching the movie (again), with my younger son, this time. Interesting how we watched the same flick but came away with different feelings as a result.

He said it was a sad movie. My takeon it is that there are seriously sad parts, but that this movie gives me great hope, that a person with mental illness can have a rewarding life AND have someone amazing stand with them, through the good times and the bad.

A Beautiful Mind won awards when it came out, and it deserved it!. It is difficult to watch at times, but so is life. If you’re looking for a thought-provoking way to spend a couple of hours, this is a good one. 

I’m going to turn in for the night. Thank you so much for coming by, especially when you drop me a note. I love hearing from you!

Outta control!!

I think that one of the most universal ingredients in addictions of all sorts, is a desire for control. Sometimes just an iota of control, and sometimes absolute omnipotence.

Miss Jackson sang about it

When I was a younger girl, I had some symptoms of OCD, as well as an eating disorder. (I wrestle with body dismorphic disorder, still) As I grew older, I became aware of the kind of relief I gained when I did my ocd things. It was a time and an activity that I could control. Same with the food. There were other motivations, of course (for the ed), but it all came back to attempting to have some kind of control over my life.

Control what?

I suppose what it boils down to is trying to control the emotional pain. In my case, I was undiagnosed with depression from a young age, as well as the residual effects of having a rageful and quick-tempered parent. As a child of a child of an alcoholic, I had no control over much of anything until my parent’s divorce, and then I was left to fend for myself a lot of the time, while babysitting my younger brother. Yes, it was an average family situation as far as I could tell: Mom worked herself ragged, trying to provide for us (she did a great job, really), I watched my brother every afternoon, and Dad was only around often enough to keep Mom on edge. And no child support, to speak of. Pretty normal, right?
But I digress.

“I wanna make my own decisions. When it comes to livin my life…”

I wanted to be The One in control. Thankfully, I found the answer when I was about 15-16. My non-medicinal numbing activities weren’t completely doing the job, so when I was given an opportunity to “check out”, I jumped on it!

Oh what a relief

In one year’s time, I discovered Maker’s Mark (sicker than a dog, throwing up all the way home – what a glorious night!!), and after babysitting for an older schoolmate’s brother, I recieved a small bag of (skunk) weed in payment.
I’d stepped throught the looking glass, at that point. If I couldn’t control my life, I would begin finding various concoctions to help me stop being aware of it all. Somewhere between my freshman year in high school. and the end of sophomore year, I’d gotten more comfortable in my position in life. When I was high, the continual bullying didn’t hurt as much. After a few drinks, it didn’t bother me as much that my Dad had walked out on me.
Lunch money was never used for lunch; it paid for diet pills, maybe, unless I stole them. And the vast majority of money that passed through my hands – it was never much, mind you, but good drugs were cheaper then – went for pot or acid.
My peers at school began calling me “the acid lady”.

Today, I’m powerless.

The more I remember that “me having control” is an illusion, the easier my day goes. It’s difficult knowing where to draw the line, sometimes, especially as a parent. But besides the parenting gig, I’m content letting God be in charge. Shoot, I wish I wasn’t supposed to be navigating the waters in the role of Parent, a lot of the time.

What can I control?!

Only the stuff inside of my skin. That can be a daunting enough task, thank you.

Posted from my cabin in the mountains.

Would you be my, could you be my…

image

The one man who loved me just the way that I was.

…won’t you be my Guest Blogger? Hi, Neighbor! 🙂
So, do you now hear Mr. Rogers’ voice singing in your head? And the “ding-ding” of trolley cars?? Yeah, me too. Just checkin’.
Regardless of whether or not you recognize that handsome fellow, I’m looking for some help. The time has come for some brave and wonderful soul to be my very first guest blogger! I’ve not done this before, so I hope you will be patient with me. If you would be so gracious as to write an Intro for my readers, and then answer 2-3 questions about your own experience with mental illness/addiction, PLEASE leave me a comment below, saying as much. I haven’t any idea of whom I particularly want, but there are a few of my fabulous readers that I’m really hoping will step up.
Don’t be shy!
Remember, kids, “a friend who cares is a friend who shares“. 😉
Look for a way-cool bit of Special Guest Bloggishness here-abouts, soon. (Woohoo! Are you excited? I am.)

Posted from my cabin in a pasture.