it’s not about having it together, you know.

Last Sunday, I went to church.

Yes, really. It was monumental for me, because church isn’t a place I’ve had a strong desire for in the past couple of years. But Saturday night, a strong desire came over me to go to church. So I texted a friend and asked if I could attend their church with them in the morning. I chose carefully; the church they attend is part of the United Church of Christ and as such, openly accepts homosexual couples. I couldn’t go to a church willingly that was less tolerant. But this wasn’t the only reason I chose to go.

It turns out that my Higher Power/God seems to have a brilliant mind. Flashes of Sunday’s sermon have been replaying in my head all week. It was Sunday’s sermon, too, that began my session with my therapist yesterday. It had thrown me for such a loop that I had to tell my therapist about it. Furthermore, it directly related with just what I’ve been processing. Disaster. Ha.

Most of my session yesterday revolved around a few themes. My inherent worth. My anger at God whom I don’t know how to define and seems so terrifyingly unsafe and somewhat capricious. That obvious connection to my anger at my dad. And interlaced with all that, the idea that I can’t fall apart, everything falls on me, and sometimes even my recovery just feels like another reason I have to be spiritual and not rage at “some people” like I want to. This is kind of a big deal because one huge reason I have addiction problems in the first place is because I am so damn resentful that “the rules” prevent me from falling apart. My addiction was a big way to say “fuck you ALL” and just fall apart anyway. To prove to everyone that I am not as strong as they, and I, would like to believe.

I slowly started unraveling sitting in the office. Slowly. This is still a new therapist to me and it takes a long time for me to be that emotionally open with anyone. But I unraveled, and unraveled, and unraveled… until I got back to Colorado Springs and sat down on the porch of the same friend whom I went to church with on Sunday. They weren’t home, but their porch was so safe that I just stopped holding it together. Finally.

I sat in the silence, the sheer silence that the pastor talked about on Sunday, with what I can only assume was God. And I was angry at It. And life. And so deeply sad about the life that I have led. This sadness, that often rests on me, that I’ve been pushing away for such a long while.

The pastor said too that maybe the Bible is more about dialogue with God. In those moments I took that to heart, because it helped me understand somehow. And I told God, whoever That is, that I was angry at It because I wanted so badly for It to be safe, but it never was. And I hated that about It. That’s all I’ve ever wanted and I still don’t want it.

And my friends got home and I just let them know – I’m falling apart. I need to fall apart. Because if I keep holding it together like I have all my life, I’m gonna get stuck in this same rut. I’m going to go back to my addictions because I will be so angry.

So. I went to church on Sunday and heard that after the earthquake, the wind, and the fire, there was a sheer silence. And I thought that maybe God was silent along with the rest of creation because no words can cover that amount of pain.

Right now in my life, there’s a sheer silence. Maybe because no words can possibly cover that amount of pain. And as much as I hate God/The Divine for being so unsafe… It is sitting in sheer silence too. That silence, somehow, is letting me fall apart.

It’s not about having it together, anyway.

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seamstress work

This was a quiet one,
she thought as she was sewing up,
all the rips and tears
that had pierced her skin.

a quiet battle.
a quiet, inner agony
breaking apart her psyche
from inside out

brain matter becoming
a sharp blade.

imperfections were little knives
thrown at a board
hitting squarely on marks
blood spurted out, fresh wounds
on top of old scar tissue.

But she sat in silence
sewing them up
without a word of judgment
trying to offer
wordless compassion
instead of wordless threats.

50 Shades of… Green.

It’s 11:29 pm. I have been sitting and staring at my computer screen for 3 hours or so. Not losing myself in Facebook (ok…well…a little). Not checking email, or WordPress, or writing. Nope. Instead, I’ve been obsessively trying to figure out how to spend my money well.

A dear friend and I went on a shopping trip today. It was great to get out and do something like that, just get my mind off of things for awhile. But now, I feel a little ill – or some might say – green. I did buy some things I needed, sure. But while I laughed about our overly full cart sitting in front of the fitting room, inwardly, I felt like a junkie, and it made me anxious.

The day eked by and by the end, the high was wearing off. My purchases weren’t even extensive, to be honest. At the last minute I knew I couldn’t conscience buying the two pretty dresses I was looking at. I am a college student living off loans and waiting for a new job to start next week. So I settled on a few needed items, with my impulse buys being a candle, an over-the-shower-head caddy, and 2 pairs of $20 nude heels (SAHHHH cute!!!).

I came home later and looked at my bank account, and then started working on a budget. Yes – started; and yes, should have started earlier. To complicate matters, I had an unexpected purchase last week traveling home from B.C. when I missed my flight. Thankfully it only set me back about $250 total instead of the hundreds that it could have. But it was still $250 that went onto my credit card. Now, in my defense I am somewhat smart. I have an emergency savings account. So I do have money to cover this expense. I’m nervous, nervous, nervous though because I had to dip into the account earlier this month to pay my rent. Which is actually a NON -issue because I just paid that money BACK when I got loans! But somehow in my head, it’s still an issue. Really, because MONEY is not just the elephant in the room… It’s like the entirety of Noah’s Ark.

Money is causing seasickness. My face is green from riding that Noah’s Ark through my crazy mind. To top it all off, I recently had another EMDR session.

EMDR is fantastic. It’s by far the best therapy I’ve ever done. But this week my therapist left me with these words:

“From now until you see me again, I want you to focus on taking care of yourself.”

I can’t even explain to you the amount of panic I have over that. I feel completely inept. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Do I buy myself the new clothes I need now? Should I get the yoga membership I’ve had my eye on? How much food should I buy until I get my next paycheck? What about the new running shoes I want?

Obviously, taking care of myself in my mind is completely tied to money. That’s exactly where I go with that thought. Not to meditation, or taking 5 minutes to sit with my coffee in the morning, or practicing deep breathing, or feeling my feelings. Nope. Money. Somehow taking care of myself means buying myself pretty things, taking myself out to lunch, and 2 pairs of nude heels that I’m debating whether to return or not. Although, my purchases CAN be tied to spirituality – like that yoga membership I mentioned – or self care – like the running shoes I mentioned. But literally, I’ve sat here for the past 3 hours trying to figure out which of my purchases to keep and which to return, until I feel like I’m drowning.

My life is not unmanageable at all. (Imagine the eye roll I’m giving here)

At the bottom of it all, I just want to take care of myself. But damn it I just don’t know how. The little neglected girl inside wants the new clothes she didn’t get as a child, or the pretty new things. I chase her cravings until I get here; sitting in a living room on a Saturday night driving myself crazy. Just wanting to do what’s best for myself but having no f—ing idea what that is. Of course I want someone else to take care of me! Trying to decide all this stuff is SO over my head. Why me?

And why did my therapist have to give me THAT ultimatum?

I feel sick.

Looking at this I see that I feel like I need to take responsibility for everything all on my own and I won’t have any help. Obviously, once again, I’m forgetting that I have a Higher Power. This is a Step 2 problem (as we like to say in my recovery program). I know that’s the key.

I could just backspace and erase this entire post right now, with that realization. But I’m not going to – because it’s been honest, and real, and gut wrenching, and ultimately, AFRAID. So I get the feeling that somehow, maybe you get this feeling too… the utter end of yourself. The 50 Shades of Green you turn when you realize you have to take care of yourself, and for that moment you forget about your HP. The moment you forget that you can come to believe a Higher Power can restore you to sanity, and that you’re not alone in making these decisions.

I’m gonna post this because I have to believe I’m not the only one who’s forgotten that truth.

Down the Rabbit Hole

“Alice! Alice!”

She could hear the voices above ground, from her past life, but they were fading fast. Their frantic tone sliced panic into her heart, but her pinwheeling hands found no traction in the dirt.

Only a few moments before she had been walking along the forest path, happily clambering to a destination precisely planned out. The root spoiled everything. Reaching out its gnarled hand, it grabbed her pretty foot clothed in white frilly socks and black Mary Janes, and tumbled her to the ground. Or past the ground, if you will, for here she was now head over heels, falling down a hole deeply burrowed into the earth.

She was dizzy, then nauseous, then delighted and afraid. The feelings spun through her like her body turning through this hole. She was a confusing kaleidoscope that the whole underground world was now looking through. Red diamonds, blue squares, green crystals held up to the light and turning, turning, turning.

But it was strange… because she noticed that since falling through the floor of grass and ending up underground… she could finally breathe.

Lessons on Vacation

I am on vacation, but wanted to write a couple of quick snippets of thought I’ve had this week:

1. I’ve realized, partially from being around my bestie and her husband, how disconnected I was in my marriage. There were definitely issues that went beyond that which caused an end to it, but my disconnection made everything worse. I feel so much more connected to life now as a result of my past year in recovery. I’m so grateful! It really is a miracle.

2. Sometimes, learning to belong is better than drifting where the wind takes you. To be elaborated on within the next couple of months.

3. I get a lot more goofy when I actually get a chance to relax!!! 🙂 Case in point: Elvis is my boyyyyfrannnn!! 

4. Sugar DEFINITELY affects my mood and I need to pay more attention. Could be the source of some of my up and down depressive periods.

 

I hope you all are having a great week! Be sure to comment and let me know how it’s been for you. 🙂 Would love to hear from you!