Tag Archive: Lifestyle Choices


A “feelings” disease.

Growing up I was easily distracted and effected by my emotions.  I felt like I had originally hailed from some other world or place where I had done something to deserve punishment.    I was sure my punishment was being sent here, to this life, totally consumed and enslaved by my thoughts and feelings. Human interactions that came natural to others seems a source of confusion and pure agony for me.

 I cared more about how other people viewed me than developing my own authentic self.  To say I was a people pleaser is an understatement.  I was terrified of disapproval and hoped everyone would like me and always say nice things about me.  I learned how to fit in to any type of social circle, sometimes even making up fictitious stories hoping that I would be well received by others.

 I was vain.  Although, it didn’t matter how attractive I actually was because my insecurities ran so deep that no human power of approval could console me. Because I was incapable of emotional intimacy I confused intimacy with sexuality.  I became promiscuous, which only heightened my feelings of anxiety and degradation.

 I was very intelligent but unable to form or follow through with any long-term goals.  I lacked self-esteem and perseverance.  I walked through the motions of life but believed everyone else was more deserving and was capable than me. 

Intuitively I always knew there was some life force at work greater than me.  I leaned towards the idea of a collective consciousness.  I experienced brief moments of synchronicity; moments where I experienced that notion that everything happens for a reason and that my life was a valuable and important part of the collective.   Those times were short lived, and I always regressed back into my insecurities.  I felt as though, that continuous and lasting connection with the life force of the universe was just out of my reach.  I couldn’t determine if this was because I was undeserving or because I didn’t know how to make the connection.  Either way I was left feeling rejected, inadequate, afraid and uninspired.

I started using drugs and alcohol when I was thirteen.  Truthfully though, I couldn’t wait to use my first drug.  I was desperate for something that would alleviate my constant anxiety and feelings of suffering. For a while, years even, the drugs and alcohol offered me some relief.  The enabled me to tune out my nagging fear, anxiety and social discomfort. Naïve to my already bazaar using habits, I believed I was using socially, the way my peers did.  I hadn’t realized yet that ultimately, I was trying to fill the God sized void.

I completed high school with honors. I left for collage with a full academic scholarship only to drop out within the first year, move to West Palm Beach Florida, and become a bartender.  By this time my drug use had progressed, and it was necessary to adjust my lifestyle so that using didn’t appear abnormal to those around me.  

I had no goals, no future, no purpose.  I was involved in multiple abusive relationships, physically, emotionally , financially, and sexually.  Not all of my relationships were terrible.  I never lasted long with the “nice guys” though. I always convinced myself I had become bored with them.  Really, I didn’t believe yet that I deserved to be treated kindly or with respect.  Those “nice guys” couldn’t complete with my lack of self-worth.  I didn’t want someone to fix me, I wanted someone who understood my suffering and could experience it with me.

Eventually I became pregnant.  I had never planned to have a child, However, something in me knew that this life had been granted by some life force greater than me, I may have even been calling that power God.  By this time, I was a daily narcotics user.  I lacked the capacity to honestly consider anyone’s needs other than my own.  I had no prior experience with babies or children, but I felt compelled to follow through with this pregnancy.  Fortunately my son was born without any drugs or alcohol in his system, but I was using again within two months of his birth.  

I had grown incapable of living life without the use of some type of drug or alcohol.  I didn’t differentiate between street drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs.  The drug itself didn’t matter so much as the emotional relief I was trying to give myself through their use.  I believed they enhanced my performance in life.   The birth of my son forced me to become painfully aware of the dangers of my drug dependence. I found that my fears alone did not provide me with the will to quit.  I could not stop using drugs or alcohol through any power of my own.

Since I had become aware of the consequences of my drug use, and realized that I could not stop using with ease, I grew determined to find a way to change my life.  I tried multiple times to just not use drugs or alcohol using my own power of will, only to return to using.  I tried not using specific drugs or to limit my using to certain days or times, and always, eventually lost control.  I tried studying different scientific, approaches and ideas, metaphysic, quantum physics, and many different spiritual practices. I investigated different religious ideas and even chose to get “saved” at one point.  I tried seeing a psychiatrist and dealing with my problems medically.  I moved to different houses with different people, changed jobs and changed boyfriends.  No matter what I tried tot maneuver, I could not stop using. I didn’t know how to live as a responsible adult or caregiver. I felt embarrassed, abandoned and totally defeated. I couldn’t imagine living with my guilt, and feelings of inadequacy without some type of substance to anesthetize my chronic emotional discomfort.

I hated that I couldn’t just stop and live the way I saw other people living.  It didn’t make any sense to me that while knowing the negative consequences of my drug use I couldn’t just change the way I was living, I couldn’t just stop.  From the depths of my defeat and self-hatred I hoped and prayed that God, whatever that meant, would just take my free will and force me to make good decisions for my life and for my son.  I believed that I had lost the ability to make any good or rational choices for myself.

At this point, I met a guy.  I was bartending, he was drinking at my bar and we struck up a conversation.  He told me that he was recovering from drug addiction and that he went to church.  That was all I needed to hear. In my desperation, I convinced myself he had the answers I was looking for, he could help me. In retrospect, I think I was just afraid to be alone. My relationship with him was the most tumultuous I had experienced yet.  We were using together within weeks of meeting, despite his claim to be recovering from drug addiction and my desire to change. We used, and fought, we broke up, and got back together cyclically.  We were completely toxic for each other. We were two sick people trying to blame each other for our own problems, while simultaneously hoping we would fix one other.

Like earlier in my drug use, I began to isolate from friends and family in an effort to conceal the effects of my drug use and the abuse in my relationship. Totally powerless, and feeling unable to protect my son, several people called the Department of Children and Families with requests to investigate how I was living and parenting my son.  I was unable to accept personal responsibility for my drug problem and behaviors. I sold DCF a story where I was the victim in an abusive relationship.  I complied with their requests, I scammed through drug tests and forced classes, and my case with DCF was quickly closed.  My son never left my custody and I resolved my issues with the department of Children and Families. 

 I was unable to understand the motives of my friends and family and I grew distrustful and paranoid.  When my business with DCF was done I chose to take my son and move out of state with my increasingly sexually, financially and emotionally abusive boyfriend.  I believed a fantasy that we would move out of state and start a new life where we would finally get clean. I told myself we would be good to one another, and raise my son in the kind of town where he would go to the school with the same kids throughout his entire school career.  Obviously, my fantasy was soon exposed.  Once we were out of state I found myself totally isolated, with no phone, no money, and no vehicle.  I had my then two-year-old son, a drug habit, a boyfriend who had now also become physically abusive to my son also, and no idea what to do next.  My grand plan at that point was to locate a women’s shelter locally where my son and I could go live and find the help we desperately needed.  

I had been given the gift of desperation.  I was willing to do anything to live my life differently.  I knew I needed help. The powers that be knew I was ready.  A family member of my boyfriend’s came to visit us.  While visiting, the boyfriend and I engaged in a volatile fight.  This was normal for us, but this time there was a witness and this time someone called the cops.  His family member offered for my son and I to leave with him and stay with him until I figured out our next step. It fell so obvious to me that this rescue had been orchestrated by some power greater than me. In my best efforts I had been unable to leave that relationship on my own.  After spending so much time feeling imprisoned by my insecurities, by drugs and by other sick people, I finally felt free. I had never experienced so much gratitude in my life.

That relationship was one of my more useful experiences. As dangerous as it was, it was the conduit that the universe used to change my course and save my life.  Not only had I finally become painfully aware of my mental, emotional and spiritual condition, but I also became aware that there was a practical solution to my problems.  When I met that boyfriend he may have lied about being in recovery at that moment, but he didn’t lie about having experience with a Twelve Step Program.  While we were together I tagged along with him to a few Twelve Step Meetings. I had experienced enough failure while using drugs to believe that these meetings might offer a solution to the way I was living my life. 

I began attending a Twelve Step Fellowship immediately.  I had left most of my belongings behind, changed my phone number and overhauled my Facebook page to delete people I used to use drugs with.   In this recovery program I learned that I wasn’t an inherently bad person, incapable of making responsible decisions.  I suffer from the disease of addiction. I found people who shared my feelings currently, as well as emotions I had experienced since childhood.  I connected with other people who had also used drugs as a solution for their pain; but now they simply experienced life as it happened unfiltered by chemicals.    Those whose energy was the most attractive to me had used this Twelve Step program to learn about their spiritual condition, and find a solution to their problem. They no longer caused intentional harm to themselves or others.  I learned that the result of this program is an awakening of the spirit that allows each person to live authentically and to be a benefit to others.  

I have since made the choice to take this path and found that it is as good as any to Spiritual Enlightenment.  I have not found a reason to use drugs since I chose to use The Twelve Steps as the solution to my emotional and spiritual problem on April 1st 2014.  I was able to stop using drugs and alcohol and change my life soon enough that my son will never remember what I was like while using. I successfully run a business where we offer transitional housing to men re-assimilating after prison.  I am working towards my PhD in Metaphysical Sciences.  I have become a wife.  I am a friend and Step mother.  My family and I live off-grid in the middle of hundreds of acres of forest. I raise goats, chickens, dogs, and cats.  I have begun to build a life that I feel really proud to live. In general, I am excited to experience each day.

I’m not suggesting that I don’t feel uncomfortable feelings anymore, I’m saying that I know they won’t last forever. I’m no longer enslaved to a nihilistic existence. There have been times where life felt really difficult while on this path; when it may have been easier to slip back into my old victim mentality, and I felt disconnected from God and not worth good results.  People I love have become chronically ill or even died.  I’ve lost pets and experienced financial setbacks.  I often encounter problems that I don’t know how to solve immediately.  I still face feelings I don’t understand or know how to process.  The difference now is that I have been shown a way to live through all of these things gracefully. 

While looking into my past experiences and finding out the truth about myself and what’s happened I have been developing a deeper relationship with a power greater than me.  At first my concept of this power was constructed entirely from the Twelve Step program I was attending.  I viewed the Twelve Steps themselves as a power greater than me. I knew The Twelve Steps would help me sort out my experiences and guide me to some type of purpose; and they’ve done that and so much more. Now, through my own experiences I’ve grown to believe that the universe has a way of working all things together and that every experience matters. There are always opportunities to grow and learn.

If you would have told me ten years ago that this would be my life today I never would have believed it.  I have grown to know and respect myself.  I develop a deeper and more complex relationship with the life force of the universe.  As each day passes my passion for life continues to expand and become richer. One of the most valuable things that’s been happening to me along this path is that I’ve been discovering my authentic self.  I’m talking about the parts of me that were introduced into my life when I was a child and have been slumbering since my ego and then my disease became a driving force in my mind; my interests and passions.  Things that seem trivial, like the way I like to dress or decorate my home and music I like to listen to, my parenting style, personal boundaries with friends and families and my sexuality. I’ve become more aware of the world around me and the people in it.  I am mindful of my effect on those I come into contact with.  I used to be so consumed with my own experience and discomfort that there was no space left in my thoughts for anyone else.  I’ve become awake to the truth that, we are all doing the best we can at any given moment.  It’s only been through evaluating my own thoughts, feelings and reactions that I have learned to have empathy and come to this realization.

Although my story tells a lot about the negative consequences of drug use, the drugs were never really the problem.  My spiritual condition was the source of my anguish, I just chose to use drugs as a solution to my pain and discomfort.  I believe the same tools I was given to survive my diseased thinking will work for anyone willing to learn to use them. Anyone could use The Twelve Steps as a path to discover their authentic self and live a purposeful life.  The same path I’ve followed can be taken by anyone who is willing to put in the effort.    Those who take The Twelve Step journey should have an honest desire to live differently, the willingness to be thorough, and decide to follow through all Twelve Steps.  When we put in the effort here and now, the higher realm takes care of the rest. 

Is it too much?

Is it too much?
To ask…

To be surrounded by people who do not want anything from you?
For genuine relationships built from common interests? People who present themselves honestly And keep commitments, without expectation?

To work not live, Not Vice Versa. To make an income that isn’t %70 solely for housing?

For rational thoughts, not clouded with worry, what if’s or ‘what will I do’s?’

To maintain and provide from passions, rather than necessities.

To walk a path, instead of running up and down hill. I’m out of breath.

To sped one ENTIRE day feeling genuinely content, and comfortable.

Perhaps… My biggest issue is that I am ‘asking’ for these things instead of making them happen for myself. Or honestly believing that they could…

William S. Burroughs

“Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape.”

Happiness is a byproduct of function, purpose, and conflict; those who seek happiness for itself seek victory without war.

The face of evil is always the face of total need.

A psychotic is a guy who’s just found out what’s going on.”

 

– William S. Burroughs

 

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