Friday, October 22, 2010

Who I Am

I am so many things. A woman, mother, survivor. My life has had so many experiences and it is mottled by so many stereotypically "bad" things. Today for the first time I have realized that long ago, I mastered defining myself. Is the definition complete? Of course not. Do you see me as I see myself? Probably not.

Take for instance, one recent aspect of my life... my chronic binge drinking. Do I call myself an alcoholic? no. When my life got out of control with an addiction to meth, did I call myself an addict? no.

There are always aspects of my life that are out of control, yet I still remain strong and I am able to proceed with this certain confidence that I can do anything I want to. Why? because I genuinely believe it.

I don't believe in God. Haven't for a long time. I believe in the good of all people and I believe there is good energy, beyond what we can see, that can be felt and can be harnessed, but I do not believe in some judgmental guyish type entity that has control over anything or that has expectations of me or that will punish me if I do not act accordingly.

I also do not believe there is a conscious existence after this one, so I really do make the most of using my consciousness :)

I know I haven't been around in a while. To try and explain all of the missed events would take entirely too much time and most of all energy for me to relive so that I could type it all out.

Today I spent the better part of the day looking for blogs on eating disorders. My niece is bulimic and she has been staying with us for awhile. When I haven't been reacting to a suicide attempt, panic attack, or sitting in an emergency room or psych hospital, I have been trying to understand the pressures that could lead to such self destructive behaviors.

The big thing that is missing, is self acceptance. As I read blog after blog, no matter the subject matter, there is a consistent theme of people who do not accept themselves. Fear that their appearance is not good enough, belief that they are unlovable, pain that they do not see themselves as capable of curing- whether it be emotional or physical pain.... and even worse I see so many people using one substance or another to try and feel better.

I guess that the big difference for me is that I learned to accept myself. I have also abused substances, but I abused them for the immediate gratification of whatever effect they caused and not to numb any type of emotional pain. When I abused meth, it was because I was recovering from a physical dependency on prescribed pain medicine and I liked the energy and alertness it gave me. My addictions were more of a physical and chemical relationship and when the risks outweighed the benefits, I quit. It was so easy because I did not have emotional dependencies on the substances.

It seems like such an aha for me to realize this for myself, but also as it applies to anyone else who is suffering. The key to overcoming an addiction or self destructive behavior or disorder is self acceptance.

Ironically, I did not master this until I had gastric bypass surgery because I was miserable in my 360 lb body, lost 200 lbs, had a body lift and got boobs, and realized that I could change my packaging all I wanted, but all it really changed is how other people saw me. What this taught me, was that what really mattered all along is how I saw me. How could I have ever thought that someone else's opinion of me trumped mine? How could I have ever thought that any one individual life was more important than another. You need to matter to you. You can be the best you and honor the good in you through self acceptance.

Where does this leave me today? That is the question I am asking myself. I haven't quite found my place in society, but I secured my place in the Universe from the start. I am not sure I want a place in society. I don't look too highly on fancy houses or cars. I only get out of my pajamas if I have to! None of my possessions define me and to be quite honest, most things in my house are purely functional, nothing impressive.

I took back control of negative and positive energy in my life when I realized nobody deserved to cause me pain, and that I have a right to decide what and who I want in my life. So yes, I have amazing emotional control over my life. I do not have any of the typical things that people usually associate with happiness, but I have myself and I happen to like me, so I am happy.

In any given situation in my life there is always one constant, me. If I don't like me then there is always going to be negativity in everything that I do. If the negativity got to be so constant and overwhelming, I can see why I would use other outlets to try and bring positive in or get the negative out... such as needing a codependent relationship, a substance, etc.

Some people have religious beliefs and they believe that the only constants are themselves, God, and Satan. I don't like that equation because it gives away too much. I like having control over how much negative is in my life and I don't like writing off certain behaviors as godly or evil. I believe everyone is capable of making their life something that they love. I just don't know how to help someone else to believe in themselves.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I've been lying to you...

... actually I just wasn't telling the whole truth. Over the last couple of months I haven't even thought of writing. Why? The events of my life have been too chaotic and have taken up all of my energy.

I am on a new path of self discovery, but it is only after I confess something, that I can feel that this new path can begin here. So here it is.... since before I even began this blog, I was an alcoholic, and so much of what has been written here was done so in complete drunkenness.

There I finally said it!

When I started writing here I was in denial. I thought I was just socially drinking and having a good old time. I was so proud of myself for beating meth that I justified a 2+ year long alcoholic celebration.

I don't know how many times I thought about mentioning it, but I was afraid it would take away my credibility. I was really enjoying being a supportive voice to other addicts and their parents. I had not accepted that drinking to the point of blacking out everyday was a problem.

My guilt really started to accumulate when I started to see a pattern of out of control spending on alcohol and not enough money for necessities. I knew that I could easily turn to many of my online friends for support, but the truth was, I just wasn't ready to quit. I didn't know what to replace it with.

So here I am, slowly taking steps forward on life's uncertain path. My life did not spiral out of control the way that it did with meth, but I realized I was taking a wrong turn and headed slowly back in the wrong direction.

It feels good to have many consecutive sober days, to be without the daily need of alcohol, and to remember going to bed at night.

Sometimes I would write here on this blog, while I was blacked out, and it would be like a little surprise to get up in the morning and see if my blacked out mind matched up with my sober one.

It is never too late to start taking steps in the right direction.