Tag Archives: don’t give up

Bringing it back like Robbin Loxly

Writers block and self-doubt have been the death of my posting this past week.  At first, the excuse was, “there’s no time,” then it turned to, “this entry is a public portrayal of my stupidity,” and finally, “whatever progress I have made should be deleted into Word Processing oblivion.” Frustration and self-centered fear effectively put an end to a passion I just reunited with—writing.

As a professional quitter with newfound awareness I can see that this slow progression of neglect is the telltale sign of resignation.  This shouldn’t be the end-all just because I’m worried about what readers think or don’t think.  My final consensus is that giving up now equal’s old behavior.  Giving up would squash my brief hope of helping others and only perpetuate my raging pity party.  If I tell myself I can’t move forward then I won’t; the confidence I’ve gained will be euthanized with the abandonment of this blog.  So, my consensus…I’m going to start writing with whatever steam of consciousness floats from my mind through my fingers to the keyboard.  I might not even reread before posting. Here we go. (Mario voice).

Woke up at 6am with alacrity and jumped into the routine, (I can’t believe I have a routine). I asked my HP for a path to delight the world with kindness, compassion, and grace, ate two bowls of cereal, grabbed an apple to-go, and got to Miss Anonymous’s house at 7:20 on the dot.  “Miss Anonymous” being the 10-year old who I see off to school each weekday.

This girl must wind up each night and literally spring out of bed in the morning because before I’ve even parked my truck she is out of the house, running/hopping barefoot to my window and yells,  “BOO!” right as I’m stepping out; like maybe this time I missed the massive mound of blonde bedhead hair jetting out the door, or failed to notice her neon pink pajama pants, and she has a chance of catching me off guard this time.

Acting surprised anyway we both charge inside like the running of the bulls.  After eggs for breakfast flipped and fried to perfection, (I’ve learned so much), PJ’s and bare feet were swapped for sneakers and school clothes; we went outside to play basketball.  We play HORSE or PIG depending on how much time we spend memorizing flashcards for math or making a mess out of the kitchen.  Either way the game typically results in a lot of laughing and chasing my dog who is chasing the basketball. Neither of us is exactly amazing.

This morning as she lined up to shoot she said in a defeatist tone, “I’m not going to make this,” and she didn’t.  Picking up the ball before my dog could, I bounced it to her.

“Well not with that attitude.  This time tell yourself you can before you take the shot.” I offered encouragingly.

Shooting me a dubious but fine-I’ll-do-it look, she positioned herself and said, “I’m going to make this.”  Swoosh. Nothin’ but net.  Her whole 60lb frame pivoted toward me with a countenance skewed in complete surprise.  “Ohmygosh” she said all in one word, grabbed the basketball, and said this time with more confidence, “I’m going to make this.”  The ball effortlessly fell right through the hoop.  Three times, four times, by the sixth swoosh, admittedly even I was taken aback. Needless to say, she slayed me in HORSE.  There were OHHH’s and macho-man-muscle flexes from both of us until it was time to head to school.

“One more!”  She said totally out of breath and amped, “I’m going to make this!”  The ball hit the backboard and bounced to the side.

“You’re all revved up,” I said, “take a deep breath and try again.”

Actually taking my advice, (weird), she closed her eyes, took a deep breath, opened them, and said with such conviction I almost wanted to laugh, “I’m going to make this.”  Woosh, no biggie, all it took was a quick regroup. It was a victorious drive to school.  We high fived, she ran out and I drove to work thinking, there’s a real lesson in here somewhere.

The message is unmistakable and cliché but one that I am so quick to forget: the power of a positive attitude. My thoughts run so quickly in the wrong direction that thinking positively falls completely out of reach.  There are hundreds if not thousands of quotes offered by those who have practiced this way of life.  What I told Miss. Anonymous this morning is what I need to tell myself.  Like writing this post!! Wow, full circle.  At the beginning of this entry I acknowledged the negativity that plagued my mind, which blocked moving forward; I think I was almost moving backwards.  All it took was sitting down, letting a little light of optimism in, and it’s back. Swoosh…Crap.  This totally sounds like a long winded advertisement for Nike.

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Accept, Change, Carry On

“If nothing changes then nothing changes.”

What an obnoxiously on-point and impactful quote.  The first time I heard this my reaction was, “thank you Captain Obvious.”  Then I paused.  Change is everything. Ugh, I still want to say “duh.”  After giving time time in this program I have learned that my mind, body, and soul need complete reconstruction, and that’s putting it lightly.

My mind is a tear-down. Every notion I had about myself needs to do a 180.  Where I used to say I’m stupid, I have to say I’m smart.  Where I say I’m ugly, I have to say I love myself.  When I say I want a boob job, I have to tell my insecure thoughts to take a hike, because I’m beautiful the way God made me.

When life used to bitch slap the bejeesus out of me (still does) and the only solution I could find was at the bottom of a bottle, now I must pick up the phone, pray, ask for something greater than me to remove the obsession, and write a gratitude list because being ungrateful is old behavior. When I used to feel discomfort in my own skin so extreme that I had nowhere to go except mental and physical isolation, I must now bare-knuckle the unease until it passes.

The way I view people must change.  Passing judgment was a way of life and it took many forms; belittling someone in my head, talking shit on a person who has done nothing to provoke my personal space.  I know now that when I am judging someone else I am judging myself. When I judge others I am envious and I must derogate the person who has more than me; whether it be money, happiness, or security.  Jealousy was too hard to admit.  It was better to make myself feel bigger so my ego wasn’t in jeopardy.  The ego had to go, too.

They say the same alcoholic will drink again and sometimes I feel like the same person who walked through the doors 227 days ago. I’ll ask myself what the hell I’ve been doing this for and why the fuck I’m still here. Then I look back at my journal entries (which I wrote in TextEdit because I had no Word Document, so ignore the typos), and the steps I’ve taken cannot be gainsaid.

On March 9, 2013 when I had just a little over 30 days I wrote about my share from that morning:

  i spoke and said I was glad that he said that because the topic was “elation.” i said that when i feel elated i hold on to it for dear life.  holy shit, i’m happy and it’s not from drinking, and that is what i want.  i said i see triggers everywhere. i can’t listen to the radio anymore, it’s a trigger. commercials, songs, all triggers. north korea is a trigger. and not because i think they’re actually going to nuke us, just because i can’t stand it when someone doesn’t like me.  but here i am completely unlikeable. i’m such a bratty walking pity party.  i said i was walking around last night, seeing the train go back and fourth to NYC. i was thinking about how awesomely ironic it would be if i were to be hit and killed by a drunk driver.  not normal thoughts.  i said i can pretty much look at a pile of dirt right now and see a line that needs to be chopped up. i said i know it’s only been 30- something days but i feel like i’m regressing. i said all i feel is anger.  when i see someone celebrating i don’t think, oh i want to celebrate with you, i think, i hate you.  and i want to be drinking.  i said i have nothing to drown my depression and i have nothing to mask my insecurities and the whole world is trying to get me to drink. except for AA. i said i remembered one guy in a darien meeting who said, i just want to get over myself. i said that is exactly how i feel. it resonated at the time but i didn’t understand it till now. the world is not all about me.  it really is not.”

This was my most recent entry, on August 31, 2013:

“Sometimes I question my alcoholic legitimacy.  If I am an alcoholic, then why haven’t I relapsed yet?  Then I think, why would I ever leave this? Sobriety is the best thing that’s ever been mine.  It’s been the most important decision of my life.”

Amen, past self.

Ignoring reality was easy before I knew I was an alcoholic because I had one phrase conveniently engrained whenever I needed it: “deny, deny, deny.”  That has changed. (There’s that word again).  Now my mantra is: accept, change, carry on. 

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