I haven’t written my journal for 18 days and that’s because on Friday 29th April I decided to drink two bottles of wine.
Like all good alcoholics, I promised myself that I would just have one or two glasses, but once the first glass had gone down, the rest was an inevitability.
I wish I had some excuse for why I did it, but if I’m brutality honest with myself, I just saw an opportunity and I took it. I thought I could celebrate responsibly. I now realise that I didn’t need to prove myself wrong… again. Needless to say I spent the next 72 hung over hours feeling like utter shite.
A week last Friday (6th May) I traded my beautiful dream car in for something else and whilst my new car is very nice, it did leave me with a clear sense of loss and grief. More on this in a mo.
Last Wednesday (11th May) I did my first Step 1 for SAA. It’s a smaller meeting, with only about 8 people, so it was a good meeting to give it a first run. I’d been feeling really anxious for the few days leading up to it, but once I’d completed it I felt really pleased that I had had the courage to go though with it. I’m going to give my Step 1 again at next weeks Monday night SAA meeting, which is a little bit daunting as there were 34 people in attendance this evening.
The last few days have been really challenging. In fact I would go so far as to say that they have probably been the most challenging few days of my life. I’m not saying that they have been the most depressive or the most suicidal days I’ve ever had, because they haven’t been. I not even sure I would class my mood as being depressed, I feel it’s been more one of almost non existent self-esteem and anxiety.
After the excitement of trading my car in for something different had passed, which literally took about 24 hours, I became overwhelmingly aware that I had a deep emotional egoic attachment to my old car. It was my dream car. I had wanted that particular car since I was about 19 years old and it was perfect. I had convinced myself that I would keep it forever, but the reality of it was that it needed a fair amount of money spending on it and I just don’t have that sort of money lying about any more. So, I traded it in.
At first I didn’t understand what I was feeling and then as I spoke to a few people I realised I was grieving for the loss of my car or rather the emotional, mental attachment I had made in my mind. I realised that I had never really allowed myself to feel grief before, as I have always been way too closed off to feel most emotions. I realised that the grief I was feeling for my car was also triggering grief for my business.
These are things that I am going to have to come to terms with at some point. Maybe I’m feeling that now. Maybe I’ll continue to feel that for a while longer. I’ve never allowed myself to feel grief, as I have always rushed onto the next thing without processing the loss of what has gone before.
Whilst I like to think that I have ‘mastered’ non-attachment and the ability to live in the moment… the honest truth is that I’m still learning. Excluding people, my car was the one last ‘thing’ that I had an emotional attachment too, so maybe now was the time that I needed to let that go too. I now have nothing that I couldn’t simply walk away from and that is a scary realisation, because it means that I have nothing external to me to esteem myself with. My esteem MUST now come from within.
The only thing that I’m doing with my time at the moment is meditating and exercising. I’m spending about an hour in the gym each day and I’m meditating between 20 minutes and 80 minutes each day. I would like to meditate for longer, maybe working up to 4 hours initially.
Yesterday I fasted for the entire day and only consumed water and 2 cups of plain red bush tea. It was a challenging day to be sure and I woke up this morning equally lacking any sense of self-esteem. However, this evening I’ve started to see the light again.
My goal at the moment is to be 100% completely at peace with me, myself and I and this means being able to esteem myself without any external stimulus. To simply be content with my own Being, without the need for distraction or interaction. To simply be present with myself and my reality.
This is actually really easy when things are good and my mood is positive, but when my mood is negative and things are not good, this is very difficult.
Whilst I’m only now just starting to work the 12 Steps of SAA, I’m am fully aware that my root issue is my co-dependency. In a nut shell, co-dependency is the inability to esteem oneself, thus I have always looked to find esteem from others, be that people or inanimate objects such as technology, cars or other worldly possessions.
So as I’ve had to sit with the pain and shame of my drunken episode a couple of weeks ago, then the grief at the loss of my car and then the trauma of my Step One, I have been acting out sexually but also fantasising and wanting to be in a co-dependent relationships. Essentially my co-dependency has been rising to the surface more and more, and unlike alcohol and sexual thoughts, feelings and behaviours, I have no idea how to deal with 0% self-esteem. I’ve been doing the only thing that I can do, which is basically nothing and just being as present with this uncomfortableness as I can tolerate. I’m learning, slowly, but it’s hard work and really traumatic and painful at times.
On the plus side, I really am started to understand that meditation, during these most traumatic times, is the best thing I can possibly do. Not only does it allow me to witness the pain, it allows me to literally become the pain and in becoming the very thing that I fear, I get to know myself and I get to know more about fear.
It feels like very early days, and at the moment I don’t have any kind of plan or rhyme or reason as to what is going on or what the outcome will be. What I do know is that all things are transitory and change is inevitable. As terrifyingly lonely and isolating as alcoholism, sex addiction and co-dependency can feel at times, these feelings do not last.
This morning I was getting ready to once again admit defeat and go back on medication. However, after meditating this morning for 20 minutes and then for another hour this afternoon, plus attending a meeting this evening, everything feels like it’s happening for a reason and that feeling is the self-validation of my efforts that helps create self-esteem.
My perfectionist brain wants everything to be ‘just so’ and my addict brain wants that state of perfection NOW, because it’s used to getting instant gratification. What I need is to slowly examine myself and the process of recovery, so that this time round I don’t miss anything and therefore enhance the changes of my recovery being permanent, because I don’t intent on being ill forever.
There is a cure for mental illness and that cure is enlightenment, but life tends to be that of sudden awakenings and gradual cultivation. I must remain patient as I continue to make progress.