“Laugh at yourself before anyone else can.” Elisa Maxwell.
Laughter is important. Let me say it again. Laughter is important. It reduces stress and some pain, and it makes you feel better in the moment. We have to laugh, or we’ll go nuts, I think.
Laughter at yourself is even more important. I could be full of some self-righteous crap that will not go out any other way than laughing it out when I realized I messed up and it makes me a non-perfect creature. Somehow realizing not being perfect can be quite healing. Well, maybe, every once in a while.
(the image was copied from The Far Side through Facebook)
Looking at the world one cannot help but wonder, said somebody famous. Sometimes that wonder is positively amazing. Some other times it is less great, for it is more of a realization of progressively lacking understanding of life as one gets older. “I can’t understand this world,” as the war hero in Burnt by the Sun movie said, “it’s some kind of trains with geese.”
The world tends to scare me much lately, way more than before. Maybe because I learn more of it now, and because of what I know, I fail to understand why things have to be so complicated to make things easier.
What do we do to get through the fear of things we know are going to eat us alive? We put down the straw mattress to cushion the fall. Everyone has to do their part to save some disappointment from the chaos of imperfect world that is probably not going to change for the better. I go every day thinking I’m on a mission, whatever it is. That keeps some apathy at bay and brings in some vigor to the pace. That way the trains and geese don’t bother me. I just know that I have to do my part and clean my side of the street, no matter who the president is or what other virus is out.
Halloween is over, and it is a new year (if you, like me, believe in the ancient European tradition that after Samhain fires it was the new year). Lets hope it will be the year that makes more sense.
Quitting drinking or using – easy. You stop taking the substances and that’s it. You can quit twenty times a day.
Staying sober, now that’s a trick and a half.
AA says how to do it is HOW does it. Honesty (with self), Open-mindedness, and Willingness. I always want to add to it Positivity. As the other three, positivity is to be learned, not simply acquired.
All of us, I assume, don’t want to let distress of the great world mess our own world and how we prefer to have things done. Not many people know how do deal with usual stress when they are healthy. Anxiety and ever lingering worries happen to all. Now, when you are on path of recovery from substances, you are hardly healthy. And anxiety grows as you learn to abstain and live without harmful stuff that you used to rely on to keep in better spirits and overcome obstacles, while to trying to behave in a socially acceptable way.
Quitting and recovering on ones own is not a good idea, as I’ve learned with my own skin. I tried. It didn’t work nicely at all. Besides not having anyone to talk to about what I was going through, I also allowed myself to do the role of calling myself on my own bullshit. Big mistake. Add to it that I didn’t really know what I was dealing with and had no working plan. Mission failed at start.
Those days, my mind was a haunted house.
(the image above is cute, not weird, but you get the idea) Old memories and ghosts of life that didn’t go too well, it seemed, those kept coming often, if not all the time. Resentments kept crawling in legions out of the shadowed corners when I least expected them. I was lucky my physical health wasn’t much compromised, yet still I was treading on a black ice. I didn’t see the danger of swimming alone, so to say, not seeing but only imagining the course.
After plenty of attempts of swimming alone, I had to ask for help. I’ve quit drinking, yes, but I stayed not drinking without resentments of not drinking. I managed to stay and keep positive, because I’ve allowed myself to be honest with myself, not reject ideas without looking at them first, and oh, was I ever willing to keep going forward. It worked and still works. There is still stress, still tricks, because I consider life itself as a one big riddle with a perpetual bag of tricks tucked in its armpit. Those won’t run out, as far as I can see. But now I’ve got a plan, and not imaginary. I know what works and I do that, and I don’t swim alone anymore.
Time is of the essence when it comes to health. Oftentimes we don’t think of health. Not until it hits us. Injury, illness, shortness of breath, choking on food, witnessing someone having those experiences.
Addiction often is not seen as illness. Addiction to substance use is more of stigma than disorder. Although stigma is strong, we can have hope that if we look at substance use addiction as a disorder, then we can hope that establishing order as possible.
Addiction is not seen as a health issue, no. It is not a flu and it is no cancer, the major population would say, you just need to get your crap together. Well, actually it is cancer. Only on this case it is the person putting harmful substances in their body on a voluntary basis because they cannot stop… because that cancer has eaten into their mind so deeply.
While we are pummeling at stigma and try to figure out illness vs enabling, time is still of the essence to acquire skills to heal. As they say, soonest began, soonest done. Hopefully, with less side effects.
Ah, yes. It is easier said than done, isn’t it? I know. I had my dance with substances for over ten years. I wouldn’t let go all that time because as it was fun to discover, the “substances” were fun to keep. As Stephen King said “Cool ideas were not necessarily good ideas,” in his Elevation novel, if I remember correctly.
or this makes sense too
Besides, those ideas and the actions that came from them served me a function.
As for letting them go, it was kind of a grieving death experiences. My mind attitudes changed. My dependency not just on physical effect but on my new place on society was under stress. That is all healing, but I didn’t feel or think that way all the time. And that is the process of rehabilitation just as well.
(the image was copied from somewhere within the depths of Facebook. thank you.)
I watched this in Mr. Mercedes series (Season 2, episode one) last night. Bill Hodges speaking at a funeral of his long-time friend and police partner who died from a heart attack: “He hasn’t talked of his weaknesses and his heart problems. He was all police. At this job we are trained to not show weakness. So, we don’t talk about it. If we did, maybe some of us were still alive.”
There is a strong connection in the idea of that segment to something I saw once on the mental health unit I worked on:
“What was the bravest thing you’ve asked for?”
There is even stronger connection in that idea to what I’ve recently been reading about grief and loss. One of the main ideas in the book (Grief Recovery Handbook by J.W. James and R. Friedman) is that people in the western society are constantly misinformed about grieving and letting go of loss they’ve experienced. Major myths that humans learn over and over through generations is that you grieve alone, and if it doesn’t help, you replace pain with something else and you don’t cry around others. Asking for help, therefore, is not welcomed. People progress through life carrying their pain, not knowing how to deal with it, collecting more pain and loss on their path, leading a life of a kettle that is constantly on fire while there is no way to let steam out.
I’ve met a lot of them kettle people when I worked in the recovery houses and overnight shelters. They wouldn’t talk of their issues that brought them that low, because they were taught not to bother others, not to show their weaknesses, not to cry in front of others, not to deal with emotions. Imagine their kettles going into overdrive and beyond!
In a society where you are taught not to ask for help, showing vulnerability seems to be considered a crime. In a reality full of subjective ideas, myths, and prejudices, asking for help is indeed the bravest thing a person can do. In the same glorious reality, to follow up with finding out more what’s behind those cold eyes and world of hurt can probably earn you your own crest and a Viking funeral.
I think epigraph quote should be under the title, and in the blog post that’s how it would be (and is), but not in the Word document that I have started writing this post. It took me quite some thinking about it, and it would take me less than ten seconds to change it, but I haven’t. I went on thinking of it. Should I change it? Should I leave it the way it is? Will the time changing it be significantly smaller as compared to my continuing thinking about changing it?
I think a lot. I like it, until it kicks me in the butt which does happen from time to time. I pay no mind and keep on with it. I have no expectations that it would get better, for most of the time I have no care. If I did have the expectations that it would get better, I would be crazy, because it is insane to expect different results from practicing the same behavior.
I used to be that insane when it came to things compulsive, involving drinking alcohol and acting OCD. Thanks to drinking, I was prone to depression. I wanted to find a safe manner of drinking after many a time of finding a proof that my body wasn’t interested in adjusting to that idea or behavior. It has worked for others, I’ve witnessed, but not with me. I’ve tried different everything that involved drinking as I continued drinking, and that was insane.
After I finally have quit intoxicating myself for good, I’ve noticed plenty of positive factors showing up, including massive decrease in depressive attitude and in OCD behavior. I was less crazy, but to keep myself in check regarding sobriety, abstinence, and the behavior that would keep those in check I had to think of it. I wrote about it, I talked about it, I talked to myself about it, and thinking never ended.
Thinking excessively is not crazy. Talking to yourself is not crazy, because scientists came with “self talk” term for it and they recommend it to deal with solving tasks.
So how crazy am I? I think I better be this crazy that I am now than being insane as I was in my past life with substance abuse limiting my oxygen.
The universe hears me. It keeps all the space and energy in itself, provides nourishment, change and death rites, and it finds time to hear me. I don’t know how it’s understanding of me works. I just believe that I’m a part of a massive, and close, and distant, and thoroughly deep system that works in and out, and far out. Within all that, myriads of connections exist between the organisms and things that some may consider soulless. In the midst of that, I connect to others, those so many that I’m not even aware of.
When I call for inspiration, or guidance, or healing, I don’t know what or where it comes from. I just feel its presence, its entrance, or its absence. It could come from people I know, or those I don’t, or never will know. If I feel the input, I give thanks, and carry on with what’s needed to be done, unless I allow myself to procrastinate, waiting for something else, a foot kicking my ass.
That ass-kicking foot is the universe’s will for something I haven’t asked for, yet clearly required. It’s just as important to receive that intervention as the one that I have consciously requested. Sometimes it is a mighty kick alright, and I’d get my crap together and get on with accomplishing what I originally intended to, or was not aware of originally, and now have realized I needed to.
And then sometimes it is a soft breeze coming out of nowhere, or so I’d originally think. It brings the news “Did you know?” through the words, spoken or written, of someone else. It also can take a form of a thought “What if?”, giving birth to itself within me.
Those things I ask for, the answers and gifts of them are important and I’m grateful for them. Yet those that come out-of-nowhere, those are more precious, because I can feel the care of the universe in their wind blow. I can feel that I’m being inspired, and it is quite possible that those weren’t intended just for me alone, but for someone or something else, for we are all interconnected, and one can influence another through whatever they do. That influence can be positive as well as negative, and we better keep that in mind, I think.