Life is a highway.
We hear it all the time.
We follow the signs and choose what direction we are heading. We are the only one in control of the wheel. Others can suggest which signs to follow but we are in charge of the road we take. WE are responsible for the turns we choose and where we arrive. Because of this- we must pay attention to what is ahead and be completely aware of our surroundings.
I use to blame others for the places I woke up in, especially after drinking benders. I would sober up and be completely lost having no idea where I was or the direction I was heading. I would blame the passengers in my car for giving me poor directions. I would ridicule whoever placed the signs upside down, or change the street lights, or closed the cities down that “Has every opportunity that I could ever imagine!” It was everyone’s fault that I wasn’t where I wanted to be. Even those who were trying to point me in the right direction “Has no idea what they’re talking about.” I was conflicted and making turns leading to dead ends.
Then I ended up at a rest stop. Realizing I needed some redirection, I had to get my shit together.
I filled up on some fuel.
Grabbed the fucking road map and figured out where hell I was.
Once I realized that this highway is mine I started following the signs I wanted to. The ones that took me where I wanted to go. The exits that lead to experiences and opportunities that were good for me. Only let passengers in that gave a damn and wanted to go where I wanted to go. Arriving right where I wanted to be.
Life is a highway.
There are mountains and valleys.
Stop sings and street lights.
Take a break when you need too.
Make the U turn when it’s necessary.
Let down the windows to give you fresh air and remember who you are and where you want to be.
Whether it’s the right direction or not, you’re going somewhere.
Make this your journey.
I can’t remember what drove me to start writing. I was never considered the smart kid in school with a large vocabulary winning the spelling bee, or getting a full ride scholarship because I excelled in sports and smarts. I was mediocre at best. I was the band geek with the punk friends trying to learn as many languages as possible. Including the English language. Throughout my college career my professors would tell me things like, ” you’re a bit all over the place, focus your thoughts on one idea” and “I don’t think I understand what point you’re trying to make.” Proof that even in my early 30’s I still struggle with the use of the English language. Between the tragic mix of minor dyslexia, poor hearing, a speech impediment and more thoughts than I can maintain, I found a rush of release through paper and pen.
And I write.
In journals. In books. In my day planner. On napkins at restaurants. On the puke baggie in airplanes. Cardboard. Mirrors. Note books. Birthday cards. Texts. Canvas. Sand. Rock. Dirt. Anywhere I can leave a mark.
While going through recovery I find that writing is my most faithful form of processing, release and encouragement. I write because my pen understands me. I have many loved ones in my daily life that I try to get to understand me like my pen does… It doesn’t work! The human mind and life is authentically complex and the brain and mouth can’t communicate what the real self is truly attempting to say. This morning I was taken back to a writing class I had in college where we studied Six Word Stories. (If you have not heard of this, look some up, they’re incredibly entertaining and insightful!) In this session we tried to say as much as we could with as little as possible by using six words.
Watch out, Scott. They’re almost here.
Cracked eggs ends the chicken coop.
Rain drowned the harvest. Everyone starved.
Fighting pollution: we threw out plastic.
Someone had their hand in that.
It’s not my business. It’s yours.
I have been told that the first year of recovery is the most difficult because of all the changes that need to be made. In my post last week I talked about that and how the article I read had helped me incredibly well to understand much more about MY recovery process. (You can read that article at stopdrinkingalcohol.com/10-steps-quit-drinking-alcohol/) After finding the relief that this whole recovery thing is simply for me, and MY best version self, it allows the complexity to subside. It allows my loved ones to understand what I may never be able to say. The English language doesn’t need to be spoken. You can communicate through a life that is lived well.
Take it easy. Keep it Simple.
I want to share this part of an article that I read this morning without trying to preach or brag. Most people know that the last 6 years I have battled with my control of alcohol and this past spring I have decided that I needed to find help and be serious about getting it. I have an amazing support group of family and friends that have helped me through this and have seen me continually get well. The biggest this I have struggled with (and I apologize for all the time) the last 4 months is how awkward, uncomfortable, irritable and anxious i get when I’m in situations where there is alcohol present. I have recently realized why this occurs: •I am constantly placed in a category where I am a victim of alcohol • I am constantly told I cannot be around alcohol NO MATTER WHAT • I am told to remember how awful and guilty alcohol made me feel (which ALWAYS makes me feel awful and guilty in the present moment) • If I don’t do X, Y AND Z then I’m not serious about being sober • And the list goes on but you get the point. There are times that living under so much guilt and guidelines that I would wonder if it was even worth it to be sober!! Well I stumbled on this article that had several points that I needed to hear. It made me realize that I do have what it takes to get over the past and let it go. I do have the ability to have fun, be my crazy self, relax, laugh and have a good time with everyone else while being sober. I am NOT a victim that needs to feel guilty about my past or feel restricted about where I go and with who. I need to only be fair to myself, honest with my recovery and do what is best for me and those around me. People still love me and want me to be around and be my best version of ME and I don’t need to take it out on others or put myself down over it. I just want to be happy and healthy and I’m figuring out how to do that in a way that is best for ME! Just wanted to share this section that I really liked!! TheWreckless.com #theWreckless #empowered #encouraged #happy #healthy #4monthsstrong #wildandfree #soberandme
This weekend I was taught a lesson from being sober first hand. When you go and have a social life and enjoy things that you would have while enjoying your drug of choice- you see everything in a different light. People act different around you. People treat you different. You see them different. Getting use to seeing life in the old perspective of how you use to before you used, is not easy. The challenging part is it throws you into the emotional roller coaster and now you have to actually deal with those emotions instead of ignore them and mask over the chaos going on inside. Instead of grabbing the bottle and “getting over it”, I become an emotional wreck for about an hour because the thing I want to do most- I can’t.
I’ve heard that the first year of being sober and getting clean is the hardest part because you are dealing with life on life’s terms. It’s not on your terms any longer. You can’t ignore it. You can run and hide. Right now I’m learning that as difficult as it is for me, it’s also difficult for those around me. Not only do I have to deal with my emotional roller coaster but they have to deal with me when I’m embarrassed, lonely, hangry, tired, pissed and annoyed. Most of the time I hate it. I’m learning more about who I am and wanting others around me to understand what I don’t even understand. It’s a tug-a-war of trial and error and it’s exhausting. I consistently remind myself that the war has to be fought one battle at a time. After that- you figure out what works and what doesn’t. You have to give yourself time and patience to figure out what is good for you.
You are your own expert.
Take time to explore, learn and discover who you want to be.
It is impossible to detach yourselves from the people that you love tremendously who are living reckless lives. You can try to help them as much as they need it but they will not stop as long as they are getting away with their life style. They can hurt you and tear your family apart without taking into consideration what the consequences could be. Learning how to detach yourself from that type of character is one of the most difficult things we go through in recovery. I am having a difficult time learning how to detach from people who are toxic and my life. It’s more difficult when you see them constantly because they are your family members or close friend or in your work area or you go to school with them. And learning to detach is not very easy when you have been so attached to somebody for so long. Seen them live a reckless life and put not only themselves but other people in danger, such as their child or spouse or sibling, is very heartbreaking. How do you truly Love somebody if you sit back and watch them constantly put their lives in danger? How is it that you detach but still try to show them and help them that there is a way out?
Detox from your choice of drug
And when you’re clean detox from the rest
Detach from those that use
Detach from those that make you want to abuse
Separate from the meaningless people
The ones that don’t understand that you want something more than what they have
They can’t replace the good in you
That was lost when you were sick
They want you to stay in the low life with them
So they’re not alone
They don’t see your worth
Because they have never known theirs
Get well for the sake of others
Get well for the sake of you
You never know when your health is going to be needed
To save someone else from their use