- Mental Health»
Pink Cloud Rantings, Relapse Was Coming, Silly Recovery
Elated Thoughts From The Middle of Temporary-Recovery-Land
This past month or so has been absolutely amazing. I keep saying I’ve been placed in a position of neutrality, and that’s one of the best words I know to describe it. Of course, most importantly I feel that way regarding my addiction and thoughts of it, but peace and neutrality have also been granted in other areas. I think this state, this mindset that I’ve been let into, introduced to, is the culmination of the work and effort I’ve put into living well and being my higher self, which has been brought to fruition by the obsession being lifted from me. The gratitude that I have throughout the day for this, the relief I have never had, stays with me and makes everything else trite in comparison. All things seem possible, seem almost easy compared to battling addiction. If I have been given a reprieve from that, which I have, than everything else becomes like a gift. I see each possibility as a result of the freedom I found, or have been given, in that area. The meditation, the health efforts, the work in the program, the trying to be a better person, the trying to develop mindfulness and compassion, it’s all coming together with the keystone of freedom. I find myself melding into a state of comfort in my own skin unknown to me prior to this stage of my life.
The lack of doubt I have at this point, the surety without cockiness that something is in my corner and will back me up and be there for me, that something is looking out for me and granting me this, makes everything so much easier. I’ve been ok to goof off, ok to look good and have people see me TRYING to do things I’ve never done. Trying to do anything new in front of people has been something I’ve struggled with. The other day I did my hair in a mini mohawk and wore a chain around my neck, put on some nice clothes, and shockingly, felt comfortable in public even so! More confident as opposed to less! It’s a lack of self consciousness. It isn’t a pride issue, it’s not a look at me I’m badass issue. It’s an everything is ok and I’m going to be myself and not worry about it issue. That’s the key I think, rather than thinking about others: thinking (worrying, rather) about yourself and your fears less. Some say humility is thinking about yourself less, not thinking less of yourself, and that rings deeply true for me. Humility right now is taking shape in my life as an acceptance of things being the way they are because of grace, not effort on my part. I’m being a part of life, riding the wave, playing the game as a character and not the designer.
I sang with my girlfriend for an hour the other day. It wasn’t about me, it was about getting her comfortable with herself. At first I was working on it, but after realizing I could do it, I wanted her to have the same comfort and freedom and thought of her and focused on encouraging her in a loving and light-hearted way. This whole experience with her, this whole past weekend, has been an exercise and experience in being completely comfortable with myself. Even when negative vibes have sent me into a bit of a daze, the thoughts are not purely of my contributions to the negativity. Some are, but most of them are regarding the situation in terms of others. And the best part is how quickly I get back to peace! It’s quite amazing. I’ve never been this close to self-actualization. At therapy Dr. Bridgewater doesn’t know how to respond half of the time now because there’s nothing to reassure me about. She tells me that it’s ok, and I know it’s ok, it’s more than that, it’s great! And I’m not ashamed to say it. I’m not afraid that it will disappear if mentioned, or that it’s a temporary thing. I feel it in my soul, this peace and the realness of it. Most of my life I’ve spent making everything ok when the basics weren’t ok. Even if life was good, there was always an element that was unpleasant, and I would justify it with rationalizations and blaming others.
Now I can accept those issues and move on, and the issues are shrinking! When I chill out, my neurotic side lessens and weakens, and my spiritual nature grows and strengthens without much effort. It isn’t about effort or momentum this time, it’s about acceptance and surrender and peace and flow. The people in my life, especially from the program and those interested in meditation and being better people in general, are meaning more and more to me. Being positive is hard when surrounded by negativity! I think part of your responsibility when you come back from the mouth of the cave is to go and try to dissipate negative energy from situations and lives. To do this, you need time and positive energy on a regular basis to recharge your batteries. The power of two positive people is deeper and stronger than that of a single positive person. When you see a positive relationship, a positive back and forth between two people, it’s proof, you can see it working and the pleasantness of it. When it’s only one person, all you can see is that you like or dislike this person, and you judge whether the person is genuine or not based on your encounter with them and your current feelings. When you see the person in a situation outside of yourself, you have to perceive and can’t deny the flow and the smoothness of their relations. It’s easy to justify disliking a person by yourself, but when you bear witness to others getting along with them, you can either get innerly defensive or realize that maybe they aren’t the issue after all. Awareness is a key element in that process, that observation. The more aware someone is, the more they see, and the less self-conscious they are, the more aware they are. The more someone accepts, the less self consciousness, the less self consciousness, the more gratitude and love and awareness. They all feed off of each other, these traits, and the combination of growing in each of them and bolstering all of them is what is needed to reach higher levels of self-actualization. In my opinion, of course.
After talking with a guy about AA I’ve done some thinking, and, I give all credit to God for the relief of my obsession. AA is good, and heads you in the right direction, plants a seed. Meetings and sponsorship and all of the other things that go along with AA membership are great in and of themselves, but the ultimate point is to get you to have the obsession relieved so you stay sober. Actually I’m not even sure if that’s the point, the point might be just making you a better person because of the gratitude of something outside of yourself saving your life. What’s amazing to me is, all the effort I’ve put into AA, and I’ve put in quite a bit over at least four years of meetings, interspersed in six years of battling worsening addiction, never relieved the obsession. I don’t believe in the daily reprieve, I don’t think. I’ve had that before, or, rather, not thought about it much because I was distracted or emotional. The thing that I find amazing now is the utter absence of the “tapes” that used to play whenever they were triggered by thinking or seeing or hearing something remotely related to crack. I would think of dealers, drug deals, times smoking, effects of smoking, thoughts I had had while using. Now those thoughts are distant, almost unreachable. They don’t come up. I even slightly tried to think of them for a second to see if I could, and it was hard, and I stopped because I had no desire to bring them up to the front of my mind. I relate it to the book I read on meditation, which talked about being aware of thoughts before they even materialize in your mind.
That’s what’s happening, in a sense, except I don’t stop them from materializing. They get stopped, but not by me. It didn’t happen because I busted my ass doing anything, it just happened. The big book talks about, if I remember correctly, not realizing when it happens, but thinking one day that the obsession to drink is gone. I had that thought, but at first it was “wow, I haven’t thought about crack in a while!” Today, it is the utmost assurance that God or something like him has removed the desire and obsession and demon of addiction from my mind. There is no more “I haven’t,” there is only “it has been.” The pride, the taking credit, the selfishness of it all, has been removed. This attributing my life being saved to something outside of my power and control has lifted the burden of being responsible for everything! It has given me faith in the idea that good can reign supreme and that good things do happen when you persist and fully want and work towards something. This is a dream. An absolute dream. I couldn’t have told you I dreamt it, because I never knew this was possible.
I had heard of it being removed, and all I could relate that to was it being lessened. The idea of it being expunged from existence, and a person being placed in a position of neutrality, without the chains of addictive thoughts being attached to everything in their life. This was something I couldn’t grasp or believe. So, the end result is a sort of gratitude, but more than that, a certainty. A certainty that things are good, that life is good, that whatever removed my obsession is good, and a loving, caring, all-powerful essence or whatever it is is good too! Think of a shaken can of soda. Even if you don’t shake it anymore, it may settle, but the ability to be shaken up and agitated and on the verge of exploding will be there. That is, until it’s opened. At the time the pressure is released, it joins the world again, and I would say again, as soda. Before it was pressurized, it was a mixture of various liquids and solids and components, and after procession, purchase, and release, it is now soda, to be enjoyed by whomever buys it or gets given it. Aren’t we like this? I think so. Our souls could be, and probably are, processed, bottled in human bodies, shaken and shaken and shaken, and then opened.
People refer to opening your mind. Absolutely! When your mind, or the soda bottle, is opened, all the pressure of a closed mind or a closed bottle is relieved. The shaken up-ness of your mind, which is composed of the stressors in your life and the lives of those around you, formerly putting pressure on you and filling your life with pressure and agitation and a feeling of “I’ve got to keep going and get this done and fix things” that becomes the defining character of your life and, basically, all human civilization. When we start to think of ourselves as complete in and of ourselves, we shut ourselves off to energy, to flow, to the world. Our mind becomes what causes happiness, what causes joy, what causes emotion. Seeing things doesn’t affect us other than what it causes us to remember, and we react to memories and associations as if they were present and powerful. This is how crack used to operate in my mind. Everything brought back a memory, and it only depended on my mood and the timing whether it was a positive or negative association and instance.
The difference now, to me, is that that pressure, that feeling of “I have to fight this off, or else” is no longer a factor in my life. It’s even penetrating other areas of pressure and trouble. I feel like no amount of shaking up is going to pressurize me, because I’m sensing and soaking up positive energy and letting it flow back out, and starting to filter out all the negative vibes that cause pressure. It’s as if the flood gates have been released. As if the bubble has been popped, and suddenly I can actually experience life. Before it was only judging things and hoping that you had a good string of things to judge so that you felt happy. Now it’s experiencing energy and trying to, not hoping to, make your world and your situation a positive thing for the love of positive things, not the love and worship of fleeting happiness. Happiness, endorphins, whatever, are drugs. The state that we want to be in, and are miserable and listless without, is happiness. At least it is until we break the idea that there are such things as states, permanent for the moment. Life is fluid and ever-changing, and so are minds. However, life doesn’t destroy, or manipulate, or cry, or whine. Life simply happens.
Like the obsession being lifted happened to me. It just happened. Minds are finite, because we are finite. Energy is infinite, cannot be destroyed, and will continue to be around us whether we are moody or happy or pissy or tired. When you tap into energy, when you stop trying to generate your own, you become less tired, less unpredictable in your own eyes. Your actions and the actions of those around you become sensible and practical. People start to become human like you, and not the other guy. The other guy was something to be judged and feared and distrusted until they proved themselves, and there is never proof of anything because humanity is not tied to certain traits. We change as the world changes. As our world changes. Now, you start to feel as if you know what people are dealing with. When you feel distress, or see, or hear, but ultimately feel, you seek out the cause, relate, and try to alleviate if at all possible.
The truth is a tricky thing, but you learn about manipulating the past, facts, and explanations for the ultimate good. This causes the breaking of chains of the mind from the soul, and is not unethical. If anything, it is the most compassionate thing that could be done. There is no more justification needed, because everything is justified and sensible, and fluid so that you can adjust to it without it running into you. Just as you can jump in front of a bullet, or better yet, push someone out of the way of a moving car, or simply yell at them and make them aware of the car in time to dodge it, you can help others avoid the temptations of the mind! The one way is the most usual, which is the simple letting people know that there is a better way, that they might not want to stress so much and they might be able to not do that if they did certain things and strove towards certain ideals. The other is actually participating, manipulating events so that someone starts to believe that someone other than himself is making good things happen to him. These people that do that are creating belief in goodness and love. Non-attachment, no chains tied to your gifts, no expectations of the results. Simply adaptation, that’s all there is. Adaptation, and caring, compassionate action. Which isn’t even so much action anymore. Action takes effort. Expressing love takes only words, money, a touch, which seem effortless when you are ready. Action implies things that flowing does not. Recently, at least in some moments, I flow rather than act. I do what the next right thing is, maybe, but I don’t question whether it’s right or not, I just do it. I feel my way through situations and conversations.