Don’t shoot me for breaking this up into two sections- I’m going with my gut on this one!
We had an interesting topic come up during our meeting last night. The enemy. Cunning, baffling and powerful.
I decided that this subject would be a great opener for the final chapter.
Why DO we believe negative things about ourselves, and where DO those thoughts come from in the first place? Why do we self-sabotage and attempt to destroy ourselves, either in an instant… or through painfully slow methods… like our addictions?
A revelation came to me after writing the following in Part Two
“You know… perception is funny. As I’m writing this, it makes me wonder. Where on earth did I get the idea that being cool meant doing those things, anyway? Is that a preconceived notion I had, or did someone tell me that?”
Seriously! Where DID I get the idea that alcohol, drugs and failing school were cool?!?
Which brings me to the final chapter…
Life Goes Full Circle
Exactly one year ago today, on January 6th of 2016, my eyes were finally opened to God’s existence, and His divine intervention in my life. That’s a story in itself, and I think I’ll cover more of that in another series! I’ll call it Beautiful God Shots.
After I came to believe, I spent a lot of time writing and learning about God. I made it through 6 months of sobriety before I broke both of my ankles, and the relapses were set in motion. All of that is in my other story: Unteach Me.
It wasn’t the broken ankles that did it, though. Loneliness and bad romance(s) were my triggers, and the two took turns knocking me down. Loneliness, romance (heartache) and the bottle… and repeat. Like a broken record!
Gil suggested that I step away from the men for a while, not to mention the fact that you’re supposed to abstain from any new relationships during the first year of sobriety. What I found difficult about THAT was that love was ALL that I knew, or cared about.
Whenever I talk about being grateful for my PASSION for writing and photography… THAT is one more reason. I needed to replace my unhealthy addiction of chasing love (the wrong kind), for the sake of my sanity and my recovery, and now I’ve finally found perfect and healthy substitutes! See, alcohol wasn’t exactly the problem– it’s was a symptom.
Anyway, let me go back in time before I elaborate on the love issue.
After the BAD relapse (and hospitalization) in March 2016, I started writing again. It seems crazy that my story takes me all the way back to adolescence, In the Beginning, but there’s good reason for that.
That’s when I became aware of (and obsessed about) death, that’s when I started dabbling in the drinking, AND… that’s when I felt like such a misfit; a terribly awkward outsider amongst the majority of my peers. The thing that I’ve now learned- is that I didn’t just FEEL like that…
I believed it!
And even more eye-opening is the fact that not ONE living soul on earth ever told me I didn’t fit. It came from somewhere else. From someone unseen. That damn enemy!
When I wrote the FIRST draft of the last chapter of Unteach Me, I kicked my inner child to the curb. SHE was the reason that my life went south. SHE was the crazy weirdo. THAT is what I believed. With every fiber of my being! At the innocent age of just thirteen, the evil and calculated deception had started- and I believed the lies that were being whispered in my ear. Gosh, writing this almost makes me cry!
I had the awful chapter completed… demanding that my inner child take a hike, so that I could get on with my life.
A woman in my recovery group talked about her inner child. She said that she nurtured her. She had a childhood picture of herself- taken before she drank- and she talked to her as a mother would talk to her daughter. It was a healing process for her.
That’s when I sent the draft of my final chapter straight to the cutting room floor, decided to rewrite it, and titled it A Child of God.
I had been praying, and digging into my past, and I know for a fact that God was orchestrating things that day. I was searching for a term to describe my emotions during adolescence, and I was led to the word angst. That is also when I stumbled on numerous articles on teenage angst. And that was when I made my first discovery. A rather BIG one!
I wasn’t WEIRD! Teenage angst is what I had experienced, and it’s quite common. So… that’s how embracing my inner child came about. I realized that believing I was a weirdo was the root of my problems, and I’d never addressed the issue in all my years!
I finally found out where I’d gone wrong, and I was now ready to allow that inner child to heal, grow, and be free! In me!
That was in March or April of 2016 and that’s when everything started going up, up, UP.
And… to add to this, I just googled angst again and found this at urbandictionary.com:
Angst, often confused with anxiety, is a transcendent emotion in that it combines the unbearable anguish of life with the hopes of overcoming this seemingly impossible situation. Without the important element of hope, then the emotion is anxiety, not angst. Angst denotes the constant struggle one has with the burdens of life that weighs on the dispossessed and not knowing when the salvation will appear.
I’ll be back with the rest later. I want to stay under 1000 words- and I need to write about love. Heavy stuff.
Peace and Love!!