Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Processing the Past and Being Restored
August 20, 2010 at 1:22am
It smells like warm light blue soap with hints of red wine in the air here tonight. I like it. It feels alright. And I cherish that. Because these days the good feelings aren't so common anymore. We've come to layter times. Times of less light, day by day. Days marked by overwhelming thoughts. And feelings that are too real, and thoughts that are too real, thoughts that say plain things in our minds, that we know our true, and we can hardly believe it. Things like; I don't know who I am anymore. I don't trust myself. I don't like myself anymore. And I have no idea what to do. No idea how to make it stop. And hardly the intention or desire, it may pop up for a second or even a minute, but it passes before I can use it. No, I'm stuck here, and I'm going nowhere.. so fucking fast. And I remember just a few years back when everything felt like it was just beginning. I felt like I was on the fast track, and I could do no wrong. I could do no wrong. No matter what stupid mistakes I made it would always be alright. And now, it's starting to catch up to me. No, it's caught up to me. And it's run me down. I'm in denial over it. In the waste of it. I'm drown in it, face down in it, long dead. What's happening now? I haven't a clue. But it has me now. It has me good. I don't even want out anymore. I'm starting to love it. Love it because it never runs dry. And no one demands anything out of me. Yet I hate it. I choke on it, like bile, like vomit, because something inside will always demand the hero out of me. Pulling, like a cord, the best out of me.
I was digging through my writings on my old blog, the blog I wrote during my years of addiction, alcoholism, and sadness. The fact that I was one day going to be ok seemed to flow out occasionally in those pieces. God wasn't going to let me die. He had his forces watching over me, and he personally sat with me in that cold and dark empty room, as I tried to understand what was happening and why.
I don't know which is harder, what I did then, or what I'm doing now. Getting well is a very hard thing to do, even with God's ever-present hand on events. Sometimes I want to give up, and just throw it all aside. I don't want to do drugs again or drink. No, I tried that and I know where it leads.
But I'm going to be completely honest with you. On nights like tonight, and many nights lately, I've asked God if I could just come home. But that isn't what I was really thinking. What I was really thinking was, I just don't want to exist at all. It's not like that all the time, but some nights, it's just like that. I'm so very tired almost every day, the effects of such devastating addiction on my body... well I still feel the affects today. It's been 11 months and 1 day since the terror ended, but still I feel the effects bodily and mentally. Despite all the growth I so often feel very weighed down by the past and uncertain of the future. I go through the motions day by day, I do my morning readings, I pray, and I go to my groups. I take on the day. But often at moments, like when I walk at the dog park and just think, I wonder at everything that has happened.
There is such a gulf in my mind between what has passed and what is now. I can't seem to reconcile the two. I don't know if I'm ignoring the facts, or if I've just forgotten.
God is bringing me back from this. I can see that clearly, and I know it is good and right to continue. And I intend to continue.
But I get overwhelmed by all of this. And I just want to give up, not to turn back or fail, but to just... stop feeling. Just to stop being... would be such a relief to my tired and weary soul. This is a heavy process, a long process. A march from the very bottom. Trying to climb that ladder is exhausting.
Trying to combat this destruction within myself is tiring. I understand that. I know it. I rely on God. But I know how Paul felt under persecution. The loneliness and isolation of it. It's maddening.
I know this is the right thing. But it's so exhausting. Can't I have a break? I wish I could.
But every single moment I exist, I do indeed.. have to exist. I have to feel the pain. That's the key. I have to feel this pain. The weight of what happened. I have to process it. And mourn my tragedy. It's through mourning, that I will be healed. And then I can proceed forward.
I finished reading "Pain and Pretending" by Rich Buhler. It was a wonderful read, and facilitated much healing. But it's not just my childhood I need to recover from, it's the period of time from age 16 to 27, when everything was wrong and nothing was right.
How does one process such madness? How does one return from such a place, tucked so far back in the woods, down a rabbit hole, and in a bizarre tangent reality?
How does one return from these things...
The divorce of your parents at age 15?
Becoming addicted to ambien and getting expelled from High School?
Mental hospital visit one?
Crashing a 2001 pontiac sunfire while drunk at 6 in the morning?
Being raped repeatedly by a young man named John at age 22?
Two weeks in a holding cell?
40 days in a jail block?
Losing all your friends?
Leaving reality for several years, to the bizarre playgrounds of dissociative hypnotics?
Rehab, recovery, and relapse?
Hurting everyone you know and wondering why you did it?
Misdemeanors and police encounters?
Laying in a hospital bed overdosing, being told by the doctor you may not live the night?
Mental hospital visit two, three, or four?
Detox in Chippewa Falls? Oconomowoc? Milwaukee?
Staying awake for days?
Failed treatment after failed treatment?
Being told by your mother that she wishes you could just pass peacefully?
I'm alive today. Not because I searched and found the perfect rehab. Not because I buckled down and quit everything. Not because I read the right book. Not because I discovered to key to enlightenment. Not because I pulled myself up by my boot straps. Not because I got the right kind of therapy. Not because I finally had enough. And not even because I walked back into 12 step recovery.
I'm alive today for one reason, because at the very rock bottom of my life, I said three words utterly earnestly, over and over again: Jesus help me.
And it's not even because of those words that I'm ok today. It's because of God's mercy. It's because of Jesus taking the full power of my endless sins into his own being on the cross, and being separated from his Father despite having done nothing wrong. He wore my failure for me, and by that, had mercy on me. And if that wasn't enough, he heard my call from the bottom, and had mercy on me then, and from then until now, I function on grace alone.
That is why I feel so far from it. Because without that grace, none of this would be possible. If that grace left me for a minute, I would probably collapse into a pool on the floor. But his grace will not leave me. And I will be ok, one day.
I want to thank you, for allowing me to put my feelings into expression. It helps me immensely, and I hope you take something away from my trials and tribulations. I'll leave you tonight with a piece I wrote in early 2012, not knowing just a few months later Jesus would be slowly restoring me, and building me anew.
March 4, 2012 at 2:55am
Where are you hiding? The rest of me that went sleeping, like a cat hidden somewhere in a quiet winter house, that lacks an open window for ventilation. Where have you gone, that part of me I loved so dearly, that loved the world so clearly, and cared for all living beings equally? It seems I have lost you somewhere in the fabric of a new grim reality tangent with uncertainty. Where have you gone my certainty of the beauty of reality? I can't find your essence that would flicker in the midst of my eyes all the days and the nights that I'd feel so alive. And where have you gone my faith in the divinity that rules all consciousness from some corner of the universe, twiddling thumbs wondering about the fate of it's humanity? It seems you have left me infinitely, humbled by the confusion of a life without certainty. Where have you gone the happy stillness in me that would put a sun in the corner of my day, even in the dimmest opaque insanity? You have gone somewhere to nap in defiance of my tyranny, to come back on a day when I can again receive your gifts and contemplative curiousities. Perhaps you've always been here with me, waiting for me to remember you, as you have not forgotten me.