Secrets, secrets

In the series: how is addiction still affecting your life? Episode 12: When I started blogging there I deleted the part where you as a reader can see where I leave comments for other people. I did that because I was ashamed that I was / am online so much.

After reading Goodbye Vodka’s post of today I realised that, with that, I do exactly the same as I did when drinking: not picking up the phone and no Facebook after 2 beers. Hiding because I am ashamed. So I’ve put it back as an experiment. I feel now that I can not make promises here because I do not trust myself in this and I don’t want to have to force me into something I can’t hold on to.

Or is that stupid? Don’t know yet. I need to temper my online time, and I am doing that. Hey! I actually wrote a letter of application this morning! But now I sound like this kid that is trying to make sure he does not have a problem.

Well. Let’s see. And jeeeeeez, this feels awkward and vulnerable.

To be heard

Today was the ‘free your voice’ class. I ended up crying during one of the exercises. No, not sobbing and loosing it, just eyes leaking. I am fine with that, guessing the group was as well. It is very intense after all. It is a very safe group too anyhow.

The group teams up in teams of 2 and 1 sings to the other while the teacher plays the piano as background music. This is not a singing lesson so there is no song to sing, there are no lines, no melodies, nothing, the singer just sings, chants, whatever comes. The idea is to stay with the note(s) that is/are there and let come what wants to come out. Yes, vague, vague, give it a try if you have objections about the actual use of it – you will see. :-D.

The excercise starts while the singer has the eyes closed. After a while, when the singer has found her (yes, all hers) singing legs she opens her eyes. I tried to open my eyes. I could not. And I cried. About being heard. The excercise was that the other person would listen and she listened so beautifully and vulnerably that I just sang and cried. I could feel her be with me and listening without expecting support me in my singing. So I sang.

And… I realised that I don’t trust people to listen. From there on I speak out loudly, a lot of times just put my opinion out there, not taking others into consideration since ‘they don’t listen anyhow and if they could they don’t hear, if they hear they don’t comprehend.’ Sorry, 10.000 times sorry. This is how it is. I wish it was not. I am guessing growing up with a father who has Aspergers and a mother who is always tired because she is ill results in the feeling of not being heard and understood. Add to that a lack of social skills and there you are. 😦

In real life I think I tend to hide in plain sight. So many people think I am very strong and self-confident because to them I seem to act like that. By now I think it is because I sort of block them out because I imagine that they do not hear me and do not care.

I feel that the openness of my blog has to do with this too. Even the likes and the beautiful comments and the 200 hits per day of the last weeks, even with I still don’t believe people actually hear me. I feel unheard. With that I do not mean that I want to have the intention not to speak with you or hear you either, it is ‘just’ that being heard is not a concept to me. Being heard is something that happens at the therapist and even then: from where it is, most of the time things need changing and it cannot be or stay.

I realise now that I did not listen to me either. Drinking had a lot to do with covering up my internal voice and on top of that stilling the pain that I got from that. This blog is an exercise in learning to listen. I see that now. Feeling my way back into life in a different way every day but it is happening. Again and again. πŸ™‚

During the evening I became more comfortable less uncomfortable with my new found notion and let myself go with the flow, be carried by the others more than to dissociate myself within my own thoughts and fears. Trust. NEW. Like. πŸ™‚

We finished with singing a simple line together and I suddenly had it in me to make up second voices. I remembered that’s how my dad and I used to sing together during doing the dishes or evening walks. He would sing or whistle a song and I would make up second voices and then we’ld trail off and make our own song. Times were good then.

So I’m getting there, even if it is not singing normally with the crowd but with making up second voices. Well, it is where I was today and I learned a lot.

Happy that I quite because I would not have had this experience and insight. πŸ™‚

Substitute addiction / time to get a move on

It’s my 2 months sober anniversary! πŸ™‚ And after reading Belle’s post this morning I remembered why I never signed up for a 100 challenge day; I thought I needed to get sober for forever. Yes, ‘looking for help’ was not in my dictionary. But I am going to ask help. If all is well I am meeting somebody next Tuesday – not a professional –Β  that I hope is going to help me with my eating pattern and daily life.

I do cheat a little on the trusting ‘not a professional’ because she is a vicars wife and she wants to be a professional in her specialisation and I am the guinea pig. πŸ™‚ But I hope she can help me get on with the practical part of life because I still rather read blogs and blog but that will not bring bread to the table….

So… Reading blogs this morning (while I should actually be doing admin) I came to the post from Greg W who reblogged a post about substitute addiction from which I copied this part:

He writes that the addict in recovery β€œmay maintain potentially magical thinking that the Higher Power will fix him or her without engaging in corrective action…and may try to use rituals of connection to a Higher Power as means to escape from painful feelings.”

Some of you might know that I am not religious but I do really like the spiritual-like insights and experiences that I have ever so now and then. I do not only like the Ahaa Erlebnis but also the relatively easy way it gets me to understand stuff. And even though I sometimes have to dig deep and face a lot of shit, it feels like I don’t really have to work for it. Which is I guess, true-ish. For me it is easier to feel my way through stuff and blog about it then, I don’t know… how do you solve issues? I actually don’t know what the other option is. Well maybe this explains it: it is easier for me to ride a craving and experience what it is trying to tell me, where it comes from and where it wants to take me than actually fighting it.

I know I can’t do the fighting. I would be afraid that I would lose I guess. Alcohol is strong. Do I lack willpower? Yes! No! Don’t know… My willpower has just been trained to say ‘I want to drink!’ And that statement feels very willpowery and convincing and real and true. I only realise that my willpower is fooling me when I get to the last check which is: ‘Does is make me drink?’ Yes -> not good, beware. Can I fight it? I don’t think so. And I do not want to try to fight it because I think I will lose. That scares me. Addiction runs deep.

So I need to find something that does work from my sober tool box. Most of the time that is bringing my thoughts, fears, feelings to the light. Which is ok. It has worked so far. Happy that I quit. But I’ve had so many beautiful insights in my addiction that by now I feel that if I don’t get enlightened at least once a day that I am not really alive. New addiction? Yes, it feels like it because I feel I have become dependent on it. And also no because it has transformational qualities in it. True addictions don’t do transformations do they? It feels like those experiences change my mindset, my cells, my DNA, my view on life and I need that.

To which my inner voice says: ‘Stop shitting yourself, you are addicted to life changing experience, you get bored if you do not experience stuff. And when you get bored your addict starts to speak up and you get to the danger zone. In alcohol you found freedom of the physical boundaries and you forgot what you call ‘the misery that binds you to the earth’. You now crave the explosion of inner freedom that is in the Ahaa experiences.’

😦 True. Or πŸ™‚ True!!! So what now? So that is a wonderful insight and because I am experiencing this totally happy feeling about this conversations with me I can not imagine why I need to do anything about it. πŸ˜€ Gheghegheghe.

And I wrote the below paragraphs before I got the above conversation with myself, now I just can’t see what I was worried about. I actually am high on experience. Wicked! πŸ˜€ While 10 Minutes ago that I was worried and probably should be but I can’t feel it now:

Happy that I quit, not happy with that I am not doing the stuff I need to do. Yesterday I had such a big insight in how I face things that the insight itself gave me a splitting headache and I went back to bed and slept for hours. And I was doing exactly NOT what I should be doing. Which is the same I do now. Again and again and again and again. There is another part where I do not want to be clear. Hiding behind stuff, blog.

Enough thinking, here’s an anniversary song. For all of you that are out there and that are, or ar not on the happy train. Join in, sing along. πŸ™‚

Now that I am reading back what I wrote I realise the intention of not doing stuff and berating me about it. I always seem to need something to keep myself down. (I am thinking ‘attached to the world’?) God forbid I should be genuinely happy and content with myself. Can’t have that now can we?

Yes, we can!! πŸ˜€

Say who was not doing what she needed to do???

Additional physical and mental changes

I did a post on physical and mental changes before, and thought it would be a good thing to add everything in there when time proceeds, but I feel it becomes a mess. So here’s another post on the subject. End of this week I am 2 months sober.

PHYSICAL 6 weeks:

My hands do not shake anymore and my A4 paper test is clean. (Pick up a piece of paper, hold it in one hand and see if the point shakes or trembles)

My skin has become even softer, I have lost 5 kilo’s but also gained 2 because I changed my diet to eating 4 times a day while I did not change the portions. Yes, smart…. And with the softening of my body that used to be so tense that even the skin was tense, in my new relaxation my boobs sag :-(. Well, so be it.

My muscle’s seem to build quickly as they used to before I started drinking heavily.

I crave protein but that’s ok I guess. And sometimes the sugar cravings are really bad. Last week I binged on 3 cookies which is very abnormal behaviour for me. Not sure how to continue on this.

My sense of smell seems to be getting better. I never knew that could be impaired with drinking.

I am less in need of drinking tea all the time.

I am still worried about my scalloped tongue and continuous diarrhea. (yeah, sorry for mentioning). Going to see my GP on that because a scalloped tongue is a sign of not picking up nutrients. diarrhea might cause that.

MENTAL

I am able to focus better. How did I notice? When I go to the toilet I can sit peeing for ages because I was obviously too fascinated to go sooner.

Also I don’t get thrown about the room so much anymore by my feelings. I am guessing that ranting here actually helps to let them out. And I am less scared that they take me places where I can’t hold on to my sanity or sobriety. I actually enjoy looking at the darker parts of my inner realm now. Like the post of yesterday. Still thinking that the cure is always there where I don’t want to go. It’s a little bit difficult to navigate but so far it has brought me good stuff to be aware of where I don’t ‘want to go’ or ‘what I am scared of’ or ‘what I try to ignore’.

Sleep is getting worse again. Not sure why. Could be the sugar, or not. Don’t know. I fall asleep ok and then wake up 5 or 6 times. I do fall asleep again within a minute but still. I just want to sleep.

Still procrastination. Still having difficulty being on time for appointments.

I am not worried about my memory so much anymore, I played memory with a friend and lost once and won once. I noticed that most of the cards only took 1 or 2 tries in finding its partner. If you like memory too, try the twins memory game. It is really sweet. And difficult! And there is a second set so you can extend after a while.

Starting to feel that I can and need to get out into the world again in order to make money. I feared that trust would never return. So I’m quickly going to the sauna to sabotage this work feeling. Yes, true. No matter the crazy, that like yesterday, still has it’s place in my life, I am starting to feel like I used to before drinking. The word would be ‘able’ in stead of ‘unable’.

Also I am starting to feel that I am not dependent on blogging anymore to keep me sane and on track. I can step away, like last week, for a few days and live through that. It is just a feeling of possibility, not practising it yet. No need.

I discovered what people seem to call ‘the fanatic in the attic’ in me. Trying to sort out how that works. It is going to be a thing because that has always been the case. It has to do with feeling secure.

On feeling secure in my sobriety. I think I’m doing fine. Apart from not working but by now I do have the idea that I am able to do that. That has been missing before. But I also know that it is an addiction and past performance does not guarantee future results. So I need to keep on feeling my way back into life. Did a big step yesterday. Yes, that would be the crazy post on being human.

FUNNY

I spontaneously started making my bed in the morning. Duh?! And I clean it more often than I ever did.

All of a sudden I have lost my apatite for tomatoes, bell peppers, peppers and egg plants, which are vegetables that I craved when drinking. Very strange.

Don’t you come near my white tower!

Twerski again. Not sure how to read this book. The crux is obviously not in the just reading it but in the doing stuff with it, discovering errors in thinking and internalizing a new, healthy approach. That is what I want. Well, that is what I was looking for.

And then I read it and I go berserk. First paragraph of the Foreword. Berserk!!! Not even written by Twerski. Feel attacked, feel like professionals in their white tower trying to make money of addicts.* I continue and very much dislike his tone and the way he has this smirk about how smart he is and how he knows it all. Projected, obviously but I don’t even have the quiet in my hands and head to pick up the book and look for an offending sentence – which in itself is a stupid thing to do but if I found one it would prove me right and that would be Very Good because if I am right I am superior!!! . Yeah!!!

It is quite well, not fully informative yet, but at least quite surprising how I sit here having a fight to this extent with a book and a man I don’t know. πŸ™‚ Shiiiiiit.

Just googled him, that settles my anger. He is this beautiful man with a white beard and in none of the photo’s he looks to say ‘I am Mr smarty pants’. I just see peace and quiet. Now I can read. Guess I have to start over again. πŸ˜‰

 

*And I did a, not so much Freudian slip, but a slip of some sort with this sentence. This was the first version of it: ‘Feel attacked, feel like professionals trying to make money of addicts in their white towers.’ Ghegheghe. πŸ˜€ Don’t you come near my white tower!!!

Happy-ish that I quit. Not proud of my aggression. And disappointed, thought that everything was going easy-peasy, works out that I actually have to do stuff. Again! Pfffff…… πŸ˜‰

Addicted to deep experience

Yesterday I felt normal. Today I think I am bored. I had forgotten about this thing, to me it feels like an addiction thing where boredom and being normal is absolutely unbearable.

I am not bored. No I am not bored, I am stalling so thoroughly that I close myself up for every feeling just to make sure that guilt does not enter myΒ premises. There are things I need to do, like The Plan and extra stuff. I know (?) that The Plan is The Step to the Next Level. Hmmm, thinking error: it should not be Next Level, it should be organic, all around, carried from within, not walking stairs in nothingness to a Next Level. So this implies that I am waiting for The Next Level to happen while actually it is not about the next level, it is about the transformation I undergo while doing The Work of following The Plan.

So today I am stalling because there are things I need to do that I do not want to do AND I certainly don’t want to feel how bad I feel about that.

Just did an exercise in feeling how it would be to not have that feeling of guilt lurking at my doors. There’s a hint: walls disappear and I tumble forward into nothingness. Down the rabbit hole into timeless nothingness. No direction. It is like floating on my own through the Universe, without the stars and planets. It is that feeling where you are in nature and look at a starry sky and the moon. This overwhelmingly big awareness of being. Where you realise the magnificence of it all and feel both intense loneliness and intensely connected.

And now internalize the feeling of connectedness, do not direct it at the universe or a higher power, keep it within and around you. Keep breathing.

Take out the stars and the moon, the earth and everything and everybody on it but stay with the feeling that was within and around. And breathe…..

So that’s where I go if I don’t put up walls of dislike and apprehension. I think I’d better sit with it. Watch the grass grow. Otherwise I keep on running and hindering myself by throwing up unnecessary walls.

Time to do stuff.

Tadaaaa!!!! I feel normal. Yes! Yes!

Girls, guys! I feel normal today! πŸ™‚

Not kidding. I feel absolutely normal, like I have not felt in more that 30 years. How normal? I will explain that with a tiny story. A few weeks ago I rang my sister-in-law but got her 11 year old son on the line.

‘Hi, this is Feeling, how are you?’

‘Am fine?’

‘Every time I speak with you it feels like you are surprised that I ask how you are. Are you?’

‘Yes….’

‘Why?

‘Dunno…… Why should I not be fine?’

‘Yes, true!’

I hope you can you remember the time that you felt like this? Or maybe I should start with saying that I hope you have felt / do feel like this; there where ‘being fine’ is so natural that you are surprised that people ask. I hope you have, I hope you do. For me that is at least 30 years ago, I guess it is pre-drinking time. It is also pre assaults time, and pre mother-gets-cancer time and pre parents-fight-night-and-day, pre school-drop-out time. But it was there. And I felt like that today. πŸ™‚ Good.

No booze, no sugar. I feel normal. I hope it is that simple. We’ll see. But if you don’t mind I am not going to test it. πŸ™‚

Happy-ish that I quit. It actually feels normal. Why would I drink? It feels like smoking: other people do it but I don’t. The sugar is more difficult, even though I never got more that a quarter of a teaspoon of that per day. Poison! Well, specifically to me. It also is more difficult to avoid and less accepted than not drinking alcohol. Aaahr, who cares. I feel normal! Ha!!

It really beats feeling like the subject of a Radiohead song.