The Truth, the Soul Truth and Nothing but the Truth
Posted Aug 29 2009 10:27pm
Those of you who have read my blog for a while may remember the post I did here when I was talking about my drinking issues. Since then, I’ve been up and down and around and around with the drinking. I’ve abstained, I’ve not abstained. Meaning, I’ve had a drink and I have not had a drink.
I am finding this process compelling to say the least. Most of the time I’m okay with it, other times it’s an incredible stumbling block to me. And when I say that, what I mean is, I’m tied up in knots over it. I’ve got a mountain of stress and frustration and for the life of me I can’t seem to be at peace over it.
I still do not believe I’m an alcoholic though. I had an interesting conversation over this recently with a lady who came here a few times and who also has a blog of her own on sobriety. You can check it out (the conversation) here in the comment section of the post. Her name is Sigal. I expressed to her my thoughts about my drinking habits and why I do not think I’m an alcoholic. And like I’ve said, I don’t believe “alcohol” is my problem.
Here’s what I really think: I think I’ve got some serious life issues I’m facing and they scare the holy shit out of me. Like the kind of stuff that you cram way down into the bottom of your heart and you don’t want to hear anything about it. You know, like pointing your finger at a puppy and telling it to “stay! Don’t you move!”. Except, that puppy has other ideas, you know? So do these issues, darn it.
There is only so much you can do to hold down a buoy of “stuff” when it’s determined to rise to the top. You just get tired of trying to keep it down there. I know I do. There are plenty of people who are much better at this than I am. I wish I had their strength. But, I don’t. I’m tired of trying to hold it down. Really tired.
I’ve read in many places and many times over the years of the impact that unresolved emotional baggage has on your physical body. There has been a butt-ton of medical research done on the effects of emotions on arthritis, IBS, colitis and other digestive issues. Migraines, muscle spasms, chronic fatigue syndrome are just a few others that have been linked to unresolved “stuff” in our heart.
I don’t think it takes a scientist or a genius for that matter to make the connection between our mind, our thought life and our bodies. I mean, if you’ve ever had an anxiety attack, you’ve felt the effects of it on your heart and your blood pressure. I suppose if you really wanted to prove this hypothesis, you could simply sit for a while and entertain some very negative thoughts and notice if your muscles tighten up. They will. I promise.
Now, back to the alcoholic-not-an-alcoholic thing. I guess all alcoholics would say that alcohol is not ‘their’ problem either. At least, I’m assuming that’s what they would say. Because alcohol is just like work, or shopping, or eating, or gambling, or pornography or television or anything else that we use to avoid life and issues in life. But, I suppose what I’m thinking about this entire thing is that the alcoholic’s that I have known had more than a psychological dependence. They also had a physical dependence on it. Like they didn’t just want it, they needed it.
The first time I witnessed this phenomenon I was approximately 22 years old. A young girl I was working with, like younger than me younger, came up to me and told me that she “needed a drink really bad.” She was shaking and sweating and on the border of an anxiety attack. I remember her fear, her vulnerability – her addiction. It had a profound effect on me. I had just never seen anyone like that and I had been around alcoholics my entire life by then. And again, I’ve never been that way. Not even close.
I’m at a cross roads in my life like no other. It’s almost like crap that I’ve successfully kept locked away for, oh, I don’t know, say……most of my adult life……is kicking at the door and demanding that I open it. I’ll be damned if I want to do that.
I know people who believe that if you talk openly about your “stuff” that you are wallowing in it. In fact, I’ve had family members who are not real keen on talking about ‘their stuff’ either, suggest that my approach to this is exactly that…….wallowing. Maybe on some level their words have penetrated and I’ve used THAT as another excuse to avoid it too?
“Well, I don’t want _____________ to think I’m wallowing so maybe I shouldn’t talk about it!”
Pfft. It’s a cop-out. I don’t believe speaking openly and honestly about anything is wallowing. Now, if after you’ve faced said issues and looked honestly at them, resolved them and you decide you want to pack them back up and continue to tote them around; or if you take them out of their “display case” and polish them up every now and then just to keep them all shiny and new, well, then, I would say you now have a ‘wallowing issue’. But, to be honest about something that you’ve successfully denied and avoided your entire freakin’ life is NOT, my friends, wallowing.
When I went to AA a few months ago, it was to accomplish a goal – to shock myself. It was an effort to rearrange my brain cells, my perspective and my approach to what was giving me a hard time. It worked. It completely discombobulated me. I’m firm believer in that – psychological discombobulation, that is. (I totally made that word up). I think anytime you shake something up you’re going to get something new. And that’s a good thing.
Today the sun is rising and falling into my bedroom window. It’s a new morning, a new day and a new opportunity to face this ’stuff’ I keep talking about (like it’s some long lost relative that nobody has ever seen or something). It’s a new opportunity for a different decision.
I’m going to try really hard to make that decision today. I’ll keep you posted on my progress every so often.
I realize this post has nothing to do with perimenopause, menopause or crazy-ass mood swings. But, it is about life and navigating some of the struggles that many of us face. So, I think it s appropriate periodically to talk about this kind of stuff and keep it around just in case some other fifty-something year old broad might be dealing with her ’stuff’ too. You can find this post in “Dear Diary” and “Real Life”.
I’ve begun a new blog section in my side bar. You can find there three new blogs that I highly recommend for anyone who has issues with sobriety, addiction or just want to read some great insight from three people who have done a lot of thinking themselves about their ’stuff’ and life in general. The Spiritual River, Sobering Thoughts & Spiritual Zen will now have their own place of honorable mention in my blogroll. Stop over to see any or all of them and you will find some wise words and great insight there. Really cool people.