Imagine a world-where people preferred to confess their own sins, instead of those of others.
If I tell what is true for me, how will I be judged? Aren’t we suppose to be forever sucking it up? Aren’t we suppose to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and do the next right thing? YES. The answer is yes. But can’t it be possible that sucking it up and pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps could be telling our truth. Rather than acting out, getting drunk, hiding our feelings, hiding our past and acting like it all never happened.
After having been in recovery for many years, twenty-one, I have known many people to kill themselves. I wonder how great their pain must have been. I have felt suicidal, but I have never attempted to kill myself. I want to live. I want to continue to have the long periods of good days that I now experience. I want to enjoy my life. And I will.
I know that I will always be plagued by the past. It will always haunt me. How could it be any other way. But it doesn’t have to destroy me. It can get better. I am sure of it. These are the attitudes that he didn’t have. Or maybe he did have. But he sought his freedom in money, whiskey, women and power. He died at fifty four. He looked seventy.
Some would have said that he was a successful and self made man. Unfortunately, I will never be able to share that viewpoint. I am suppose to stick to my story. I can remember the last beating that he gave me. I was sixteen. A friend was there to witness it. I stood there and stared off and tried to not look at my friend. The belt was not a surprise and I was numb to pain. I don’t think I even flinched. I think that is where my story truly begins.Where does one go from there. My life started out shattered and numb.
At sixteen I already was dependent on alcohol. Maybe not physically but certainly psychologically. I had a love affair with drugs and a habit of running away from all of my problems. And every problem that I had was unsolvable and insurmountable. I would try. I would put my best foot forward. I would ask questions and inevitably be confused and confounded by life. People would tell me to do my best and that would be good enough. Nothing would hang me up intellectually, more, than the thought of what is my best.I had Catholic rules and Catholic guilt emblazoned on my brain like a ranch brand. I had family loyalty. All of the don’t do, don’t say, don’t tell. I had secrets of which I had practiced burials. I was shot-out from the beginning.
I have just finished reading Tom Catton’s book, The Mindful Addict. Once I began to read, I only stopped, for what I absolutely had to.
His story of the dark side, and seeking God, reminds me of my own story and the beginning of change in my life.
Abandon yourself to God and great events will come to pass.
Seeking direction, Flobird (Tom’s spiritual mentor) went to the Bible: It said, If you can’t leave houses, children, and wives to follow me, you’re not worthy of me.
Flobird was awesome in her work for God. She allowed herself to be a channel of His love.
Flobird had what I want.
No matter what situation I find myself in, or what problem I think that I have to solve; if I just let go and let God, my life turns out better than I ever could have planned.
Throughout the course of my day, if my thoughts are on helping others, I am going to be happy.
It never fails.
God never fails.
If you’re interested in reading Tom’s book you can purchase it at Amazon.com….
February 17th, 2013. As the days go by, I drift.
I wonder how did I get here? But I know how. It was the tide. That’s how life works; like the rhythms of the sea.
Were you ever taught what to do if you’re stranded in the water? You’re advised to FLOAT. Otherwise, you will expend your energy and you will soon begin to sink.
I’ve had times in my life, when I thought I was sailing along and everything was grand. Then out of nowhere, I encountered a gail force wind; or, I felt a hand push me overboard and I found myself having to swim to shore, AGAIN.
My life is not what I thought it would be. I’m older. Older than I use to be.
So today, I’m going to float.
I’m not going to fight the current of my family, or the undertow of Costa Rica.
Secondhand Surfer both the blog and the page are my raft. And we’re going to bob into a aesthetic existence.
Fueled by the breath of the Holy Spirit.
I don’t want to drown.
As a master, I am at peace within myself and with the world outside of me.
You qualify as a master ~ when you live with an active substance abuser ~ and you can maintain peace and serenity, in your life.
I woke up this morning with much rattling in my head. Dr. Phil‘s in there. I watched part of a show about teenage girls with bad attitudes. One interview with a girl named Amanda stopped me in my tracks. I normally never watch Dr. Phil. She was angry, violent and out of control. hmm..sounded familiar….what impressed me was the way Dr. Phil perceived her situation. Of course, she was angry. Of course, she was volatile and ready to swing. Where was he when I needed him.
I so related to that girl. I use to get in trouble for the way I looked at people.
Anyway, it went on that she went off to a horse ranch called Aspen Turn-About Ranch. She was open to getting help.
I was asked to share about my old life. I care enough about the person that made this request, to do so.
I have journaled for many years. This particular page, Chemicals was written in May, 2011, on a day of reflection.
Chemicals in me. Chemicals in others. The ones I took. The ones they are on. The ones that become upset in our bodies due to our emotions.
From time to time, I still have the image of the LA bathroom flash in my mind. I can remember how I wanted to capture the moment. I wanted people to know about the intensity of that bathroom; as if it wasn’t me that was there. And everyone needed to know. I would be the liaison of information. I wanted pictures. I wanted to paint. I wanted people to know.
It was probably a 3 by 5 space. Entering into that bathroom to shoot heroin with people who I didn’t know. People I had never even seen before. How crazy is that? How desperate is that? What was I thinking? It seems like there was a bare bulb that hung over my head. I know there was. I would feel that feeling and feel the rush in my head. And I wanted everyone to know what it was like to be a junkie. I wanted them to know that it was not what they thought. I was just a regular person.
There was nothing regular about me.
Living in East Los Angeles has to be one of the more crazy things that I have ever done in my life. It was colorful, fast and explosive. We moved to Echo Park, my husband, myself and my daughter, along with our dog named Fido, in July, 1985. We found an apartment for three hundred dollars, which was an outrageous price for a tiny downstairs room. The landlady’s son lived on the top floor and we soon learned that he was on methadone and had been in prison for killing his father.
It was the summer of the Night Stalker. My husband and I, both got jobs right away and my daughter went to Elysian Elementary. He would go down to Echo Park and fish in the lake. My husband is an avid fisherman, no matter where he lives. There were dead rats floating on the surface of the water. A dead body was dragged out of the lake the day after he had caught a few fish from the bank. Only someone in the euphoric state of heroin can accept this as an average daily occurrence. We didn’t eat the fish.
We bought two cars from a Mexican man down the road. One was a 62 Impala and one was a 63 Ford Fairlane. We ended up losing the Impala in Vegas, but kept the Ford and drove it all the way home back to Florida. What a great car. We pulled a trailer carrying our treasured washer and dryer that we had acquired from the side of the road in Hollywood Hills. They have the best trash there.
We were there from July to September, but it seemed a lot longer than that. Everyday was action packed.Over the course of those three months, which seemed like three years, I became a light weight junkie and knew I had to flee. We had gone to LA, running from a Mexican coke connection. I was always running. He wasn’t after us, like we owed him anything. We had become guinea pigs for quality control and I had lost it. With a Mexican drug dealer pumping your veins full of coke on a daily basis, you can become toxic pretty quick. My poor kid. In both Texas and California we lived in Mexican communities and we experienced the other side of prejudice. It was hard.
When we ran from California, we returned to the Island, where we discovered, we had escaped the influx of crack. I was filled with gratitude for my good luck. B E and K had come to town, filling all of our old friends pockets, just long enough to turn it over to the crack dealer. I always felt like I escaped the tragedies and hardships that so many others stepped in to. I escaped them by being “out of town”. I escaped them by being smarter than the average; independent person that I was.
It was all in my mind and in my perspective. My outlooks saved me and they were killing me at the same time. I was just a short time from death. A death that I would survive. Lucky me.