What is denial? How did you deal with that?

I just read a beautiful post at A Hangover Free’s blog. A men sends in a letter to a newspaper about his 26 year old alcoholic daughter. He, his wife and daughter live in one house and the daughters addiction linked behaviour is getting out of hand. A person who seems to be very familiar with addiction, denial and the (family) dynamics around this replies to the man’s letter. Please read here.

The whole situation made me think about my own drinking and how strong the denial about the problem was.

I still have no clue what-so-ever as to what words people could have used to make me see my drinking was a problem. Until I myself began to see it as a problem I just denied everything. Well, I have literally known from the first drink that I would get addicted but with that thought the denial already set in. I wanted to drink. Well, maybe I did not want to drink but I DEFINITELY did NOT want to be me. I wanted to ‘not experience being me’ in a very destructive way and I immediately felt that alcohol was the ‘right’ tool for that.

At my first, second or possibly third drink something ‘split’ away from me. Something I did not want to have true. It moved away from me and sided with all the other separate stuff I had unloaded on this, well, non-existent ‘me’ who walked beside me. Actually, come to think of it, this whole pack of unprocessed, denied memories and energies actually has a place next to my body; it walks at 4-5 o’clock behind me. And then there is this hurt part which I am aware-ish off which I have lifted up in the heavens. That comes with me at 1-2 o’clock at arms length above me. Do you also have these ‘not tangible’ ’emotional’ ‘storage rooms’ around you?

This is the first real day of my holidays. I have difficulty grasping the concept of it. The other day I was telling my neighbour that I would bring extra food (left overs from lunch) home from work because ‘That is so handy in the holidays, so I don’t have to cook.” Today I called the office for them to check upon a machine because there has been a little child running around my dreams for 3 days nagging me about the thing secretly not functioning. Sigh…. I did not ask for confirmation. I really need to let go. That, and only that has been my goal of the last days; relaxing in what I do. Eat chocolate like crazy? Take off the blame. What would a woman who loved herself do now? She would not eat chocolate. Can I not eat chocolate? No. I can not. But I can not hate myself for it. That is when rest settles in. In that rest I can experience the ‘restless energy’ which makes me grab the chocolate again, it actually feels like a frightened girl child trying to sooth itself rather mechanically. :-(. Wonder where she came from. Funny thing, me sitting here wondering if that is me. In a post about denial. I think to know it is me. Ha. But that is the brain only. There is no recognition in senses, in feelings. And before you (i!) know this whole experience slips away from me into, what? another compartmentalization. Life is a funny something.

My theory is that anything we do is based in the idea that it is good for us. So I prefer(ed?) denial over truth because I was somehow convinced that it would bring me less harm. Less shame, less guilt, less pain than knowing what my drinking was doing to me and my surroundings. Untill that balance is broken I find (I guess anybody finds) it difficult to change my behaviour. Unless we (i!) become conscious of what we (i!) do and how we (i!) react we (i!) apply coping mechanism after coping mechanism on everything we (i!) can not come to grips with. Then there is another natural rule: we like things easy and automatic, which is why things do not easily become conscious.

And a third rule might be that we live in a society which has unconsciousness as God. From anything to everything, we like it unconscious; we eat food made by unconscious people who do not care about the consequences of their actions upon animals, crops, water and fields and future. Look around in a supermarket and 95% if not more of what is available does not qualify as food; calorie bombs with chemicals and no nutritional value. It is detrimental to our health and we would be better, healthier and happier without because is does not add to us, worst; it ruins us.

We wear cloths of which the materials have been grown in fields with people who get diseases and miscarriages because of the pesticide big companies use on the cotton crops. Their water supplies are depleted and their land is wasted, never to be used for food again. We live in cities where the noise and distraction levels are so high it is difficult to even hear our own thoughts or sleep at night because of the light pollution. We are chained to anything which is digital, non-human, non-natural. We overfeed ourself with digital, visual and sound impulses till late after bedtime and call this life. We wake up moaning and demanding coffee to counteract the restless sleep that happened.

We bore out the second it gets quiet. Our standards for living are so ‘high’ that we need 2 jobs in a family to support the house, the 2 cars, the holidays, the clothing, the everything. Children get tucked away in schools, pre-school care, after school care, summer camps and whatever classes we see fit for them to take to ‘let them develop’.  But few of them actually get their 2 hours of physical play in open, unpolluted air which are a minimum for healthy physical, social and emotional development. We are pacified from birth to seniority by pacifiers, ADHD medicine, television, game computers, phones, internet, booze, drugs, all kinds of medication for mental illnesses up to our dying age.

Within one generation from visiting people by walking over to them and using the backdoor to step into the house without knocking we have gone to being offended when somebody actually calls – instead of ‘apps’. Our relations are digital, we share all of our life in pictures, blogs and emoticons online but a phone call is an intrusion of ‘privacy’ – not so much because they are actually intimately involved with anything at any time but because we are so overfed that it is an effort to really connect to a person at any given moment.

We live far away from what has been natural for thousands of years. When we get ill, which we do, have no doubts about that, we go see a doctor and get ‘medicine’ which are as synthetic as our lives and we are surprised we don’t get better. Or worst: we develop other illness as unfortunate ‘side effects’ or we get addicted to them.

/ Ok, Thoreau mode off.

And still; you know this. I know all of this and do I change? Nope. Well, yes, a tiny little bit. I minimized meat intake to once a week, not buying any, just eating 2 bites of chicken at work because it is in the lunch. I still eat cheese like crazy. I still wear cotton clothes, 2nd hand most of it. I live in a city. It drives me crazy. I will become ill of it, if I not already am. If this, this spilling my heart out on the internet is not already very much a symptom of the disconnected world I experience AND contribute to. Denial is everywhere. And I do not even know how to change. Baby steps Feeling, baby steps.

Oh, by the way, I do know how to change: by giving up all addictive behaviour I have. But I don’t. I guess I do not like consciousness because above is the floodgate of dislike, of hate, of experiencing displacement and powerlessness which opens up whenever I really start thinking about life.

Then, when I take a step back it looks like an addict all-or-nothing trait. Like talking the world upon my shoulders but not even being able to take care of my chocolate intake. Something with a serenity prayer ;-). What I write when in Thoreau mode is not untrue, it is just, well, I can only change what I have influence on and it is of no natural use to me to worry about things I can not change.

How did I get off track? Hmmm… Well, denial is/was so strong because my addictive part is (was!) absolutely convinced that it would be disastrous to not drink. Only when I found myself in the darkest of nights and where the disadvantages grew I could not muster the strength anymore to keep up the walls of denial and truth came seeping in. Which is only a logic result to how the Universe is organised. If I do not set boundaries to destruction, the outside world will do it for me, eventually.

quote-in-nature-there-are-neither-rewards-nor-punishment-there-are-consequences-robert-green-ingersoll-283891

goodjudgmentcomesfromexperience

I had no clue as to how to stop destructing myself and then somebody in a car drove me off my bike while I rode it on a pedestrian crossing. His anger towards me enormous and he was an enormous guy, even for a Dutchy. But I only saw him and what he did as a reflection of my own destruction. And that is what shook me: “My self-destructive habits have taken me over and others are acting upon it.”

Obviously he had NO right at all to actually yell at me for him not seeing me (yes, that is what he did). Or drive me off my bike at a pedestrian crossing. Or not even see me there. I mean? Well, that aside. But I am thinking this whole experience was not about that. It was about the Universe making me ready to give in. Or me caring so badly for me that it was not unnatural to be hit by a destructive force from the outside. Weaklings in a group get picked out and are preyed upon. I went to the GP to check on the arm which had a wound. Or I was ready to take this as a lesson from the Universe. What ever way… it happened. And in hindsight is was good. 🙂

What was good about the GP’s behaviour is that she did not push me energetically. She did not try to persuade me. She offered a soothing proposal and then withdrew, respectfully waiting for me to reply. She told me: “On your terms and in your time.” and she meant it. (sort of ish, but enough for me to buy it) And because of her not pushing I did not have to build a wall of denial. Does that make sense?

I had told her the week before that I drank too much and that it had become a problem. She asked me why I had not changed things. I said I could not.
“Why not seek help?”
“That makes it real and that is embarrassing, I am so ashamed.”
“So because you are ashamed about your problem you do not seek help to change it?”
“Eh, yes.”

That’s when the penny dropped. Ghegheghe, this discrepancy is the first time I could looked at how denial about drinking worked for me. I guess I was ready to change and because she spoke without judgement I could listen.

To me denial is not about ‘not knowing’, I was constantly aware-ish of my drinking issues but I well, yeah, denied it; I made sure it did not come to the front of the brain. And when it did, like when it was undeniable because I did something stupid I covered it up with guilt (feeling guilty is a nice way to not to have to change anything – since you are feeling guilty already… ) and drank a little more just to not feel bad. Looking back there was a lot of power in that denial. And ha, funny in a not funny way; a lot of energy was locked into it too. It takes a LOT of energy to deny stuff.

During the writing of this post I did some online research. Came up with a vid of Teal Swan which I think is very informative and I think right in the sense of ‘correct’ or ‘she understands it the way I understand it.  As before: she is acquired taste and she is controversial but I like what I have seen of her so far. And yes, I do watch with care because (sorry Teal) something about her mimics does not always ring true. What she says does though, to me. I love her lists of steps. Never do any of it but it makes the process clear.  Hope you enjoy.

 

I am happy that I quit. Today this thought came to me: Sadness is loss which is not accepted. I am not sad about not drinking, I am happy that I said goodbye because it was a choice I made and I had and took the time to say goodbye.

Wishing you a nice (sober?) evening/day.

Ooh, in order to not Netflix I did a single player board game which I had laying about for ages. I was surprised to find that I had NO difficulty with it at all till I game to level 25. I can remember that 5 years back I found every single game a challenge! NEW!!! I had not realised that drinking had such an impact on my cognitive skills. (Yeah, denial, denial…)

xx, Feeling

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On intimacy and sex

Ha, I was curious as to why I was so enthusiastic about Esther Nicholson from the tapping conference yesterday. And… then I checked out the OTHER interview. Dealing with me going in denial here – but I DID listen to Alina Frank and Craig Weiner on Learning to Love: Healing the Legacy of Trauma to Create Physical and Emotional Intimacy.

It was difficult to hear. I go into freezing at the moment people speak about freezing. Thoughts of things that happened have been I don’t know, driven to the background more and more. They were very present before I quit drinking and the anger stayed on for a few months and then, I don’t know, my direction of thought and feeling changed and it was not important anymore for me at these times.

During my last 6 months I have made some discoveries about childhood and youth, will, issues. I discovered that I had this sense of foreboding in, as far as I can remember, every situation that I ever got harassed. As far as I can remember ‘harassment’ never came ‘out of the blue’ – not at age 18, not at age 4. But that doesn’t make it easier  to deal with because now I go from thinking I am stupid and bad because this happened to me to actually feeling responsible. And I KNOW that is not the whole truth but I did not take action on my intuition and that is something that has gotten me in trouble at all sorts of levels in all sorts of situations.

I also discovered that I have this energetic door that I slam into the face of any man I meet. And that this triggers aggression. I don’t want to go into that too deep now. Need my wits upon me. Wondering if I’m self-sabotaging my (hopefully) new job with falling back into well, unsolved issues. I learned in the last month that I am pretty ok with being overweight and having grey hair because it ‘keeps me safe’ from admirers. Yes, time for some feel good film on Netflix and sleep. No dwelling on the past. Sign some contracts first, focus on a new job.

I will put in one extra paragraph on sex. If you know me in real life you might want to skip this one…. I have experienced almost a total lack of sex-drive since I quit drinking and fantasies that would normally stimulate me now look awful and inappropriate. (Yes this paragraph is about single-sex in case you wondered 😉 ) Also having sexual fantasies about actual people is something that I suddenly feel is very inappropriate ‘through-the-air-energy’ wise. Yeah, sounds funny, I know, but it is one of those psychological/physical changes that I find, well, strange – before I quit I would not have guessed that this would be part of it. It’s good, I guess, but a little funny to feel like I redefine sexuality at age 45. Having said so, I am guessing that nasty sexual experiences are a very big part of my drinking history so maybe it is actually the first thing I should have expected to change. Hmmm…. Shall I put ‘sex’ in the tags? I’ll dress it up a little. 🙂 The thought of sober sex is something that scares me and on the other side feels interesting. But I don’t have to worry about it because I lack a guy. And… seeing what is changing in me currently I am more and more convinced that it is indeed not wise to even think of starting a relation in the first year of recovery.

For those who know me in RL you can continue reading here:

I am happy that I quit although I could do with some serious tea. :-/

I need: to keep my wits about me and not self-sabotage.

I want: the whole world to explode (sorry) where I am the only one who survives (sorry, again). I guess I need to take care of me. It’s amazing how quickly memories of events that I have experienced as destructive turn into big destructive feelings towards well, everything and everybody (triple sorry). Everything was fine yesterday. I need to Netflix, bathe, sleep.

Have a nice evening / day / morning! I promise you I will not blow up the world :-D. Just Netflix, bath, sleep. And sorry for you from the NSA having to read this blog now because somebody anonymously typed about blowing up the world: these are not code words. Just expressions of destructive feelings. 🙂 Trust me. 😀

xx, Feeling

Skin

Tired. Gone to bed too late the last days. Today was beautiful weather so I went to the sauna to cash in my last cheap ticket. And maybe this post should be called ´phyisical changes´ aswel. Normally I can sit in the sauna for up to half an hour and get out, not because I am hot but more because I lack oxygen. Today I was in a sauna ritual and had to leave early otherwise I would have fainted. It took me about half an hour to get back on my feet again and feel ´normal´. I was thinking today, maybe my parents should not have given me a name that actually means ‘alien’. Maybe I would not worry about being normal so much. :-/

I am guessing the almost fainting has to do with the changes I noticed in my skin. My skin normally is thick and dense and only at my hands you can pick up ´skin´ the rest of my body feels like cheeks do or thicker. Everywhere. I think it has to do with my aggression towards the outer world or my wish to lock others out. There is one advantage to this skin type because no matter how fat I get, I still keep shape. Well, now it has changed and my skin has become more like other people’s skin. Which results in my breast dropping 4cm by now. 😦 I think the skin density change also has an effect on my blood pressure that has lowered. Whatever. I almost fainted because suddenly the heat could get to me. That´s new. :-). The guy that helped me said: ‘Take it easy, you want things too quickly’. And I thought: ‘Why, now really why do I keep hearing that from everybody lately?!’ If somebody else would say that I would say they are in denial :-). Not me…!! I am never in denial. :-D. Ghegheghe. My father used to say things like that. But he meant it.

Also my hands have changed: I can put my hands in prayer position and for the first time in eons I the fingers and palms actually touch. Never knew that could happen. I guess I am retaining less water between the knuckles. All these changes still going on. Cool :-).

On the elderly blond god. Heard from the lady at the desk that he got fired last week. A word flashed by in my brain at that moment, it said ‘cocaine’. No matter if he has / is, if this is what my brain picks up or makes up I should take care not to mix. Ha! As a real alcohol addict of course I think that cocaine is soooooo very dangerous. Well, I think it it. Cocaine causes funny power issues, he had a few of those. Why do I only see that afterwards? Probably because I am attracted to men with power issues.  It’s too early to pursue romantic love anyway. Still haven’t found my sober legs fully. They are there, and I walk, but I have only walked the clear grounds, done the easy bits. Which is good. I think it is a good decision to practise unstable legs on easy grounds. But still.

Today is dias de las muertos. The veil will be very thin. Maybe my mom comes along to say hi in my dreams. Don’t know. Miss her like crazy, want to tell her that I finally got sober but in my mind she is still berating me for being addicted. And even worst for squandering her inheritance on a project that did not work because I never put my back into it fully because I drank. Not sure if I am projecting that or if its ‘true’ – as far as dead people can have opinions on earthly matters. Sometimes it feels like all the hurt of her leaving has to be processed again. Could very well be because my drinking really got serious after she died.

Being sober. Being sober is not the issue. The issue is the shit that turns up that makes me want to drink. 😉 No, I don’t want to drink. I read this line the other day: ‘There is not one problem that can not be made worst by alcohol.’ Or something along those lines. I am guessing that is very, very true. I’ve got enough issues. Don’t need alcohol to add to that.

I am happy that I quit. Happy that you have made it to here in just one other post that jumps from subject to subject. I would like to thank you for reading my post and showing interest in my road, for commenting and liking and also for blogging your experiences. All if it is wonderful and I would not be here, sober, now if you would not have been here. Thank you. 🙂

Happy hugs from Holland, Feeling.

The trunk of the tree where the magic happens

New books are in. Bummer, just when I wanted to start doing things….. 😀

I got:

Seven weeks to sobriety – the proven program to fight alcoholism through nutrition. From Joan Larson. Hoping to find an answer to why I don’t have cravings while most other bloggers that I know do have these. Also they promise to repair the brain part that causes addiction. I am very, very curious. I think there might be some truth in a physical cause of addiction because e.g. the book of Nakken describes my addiction correctly word for word. I am wondering, how can this process be the same in everybody if there is not a physical cause (too)? Very curious.

And I do wonder, if I believe what she says, would I start drinking again and just eat healthy? No, but I’d love to try the recipe with a drinker that does not think he should stop. That would not be blind of course but still. Or, if possible, try it in an elderly home and see the effects. Or reverse the recipe, sell it to bars and get rich.

The postman also brought: Food of the Gods – the search for the original tree of knowledge, a radical history of plants, drugs and human evolution’ by Terence McKenna. It is about altered states of consciousness and our fascination for it. Also it speaks of a tree of knowledge -that I must Google-  and I once had a dream of a immensely large tree that was my life, my history, my family and I flew around it and through it and really wanted to be close to the trunk but I could not because there were 50 or more empty liquor bottles laying at the ground around the stem. They were keeping me from reaching the trunk of the tree where the family, the tribe, the magic, transformation, love, wisdom, understanding, peace, ‘the universe and all’ was.

Somebody I know said: it tells you that you need to quit drinking if you want to get there. I did believe that, but I did not want to. I explained it away in my head saying ‘I don’t drink liquor, I only drink beer, these bottles are not my bottles so the message is not for me.’ This must have been about 15 to 13 years ago. Should I draw up the tag ‘denial’? I could have done that before but I was in denial about the denial.