Sometimes we are tested not to show our weaknesses but to discover our strengths. Author unknown

Trouble is always a faith test for me that I loose a lot it seems.   Here is more trouble just like I expected.  See why trust a higher power that has brought so much of this?   Because just more of the same is on the way….  Talked to my sponsor today about steps 1-3.

My sponsor read this from chapter 5 in the Big Book:

(a)That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

(b)That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

(c)That God could and would if He were sought.

 

A, B and C cooresponding ?sp to steps one, two and three.

What stuck out to me is the positive nature of C.  Higher power person wants to relieve me of this burden and actually did since part of me believes that and it is past tense right now.  That flies on the face of my false belief that says, more shit is in store, don’t even bother because more shit is in store.   See I am not really sure what my understanding of a higher power is because I quit trying to understand.  So putting my life in the care of the god of my understanding doesn’t really help a whole lot.  But BW seems to talk about a higher power who wants good for us not bad.  I like that.

Also, I consider that that belief does not just come from going through hell, but was instilled and supported by parents and a spouse who were narcissistic.  No matter what happened in the past that may support that belief, I was the narcs supply meaning all of their negative shit about themselves was projected onto me.  That is really where that belief comes from I think even more than the past.  And if it is a false belief a lie that was told to me reflecting another person’s view of themselves, then it really is not about me at all.  So if I think shit is in store, that is the narcissistic lie I am believing even more than the bad shit that has happened.  Make sense?  Well it does to me 🙂

The truth is I deserve a shot at a good life, one that is meaningful to me and my own form of happiness just like that next person and should expect it just like the next person.  All the clients who ever came to see me wanted to be happier in some form or another, and I said in so many words, of course you do.  What is keeping you from that?  Ok, lets go to work…  that is natural for us humans to want and maybe it was put there by a higher power who wants us to be happy and maybe even is him/herself happy, despite all the pain that fills the world, there is more than pain, there is joy even and especially for the poorest of the poor it comes to my mind.

What is the chief end of humanity says the confession?  To glorify god and ENJOY him forever.   Enjoyment, joy is the chief end of humanity our raison d’etre, according to the confession.  Not misery, not pain, not endless suffering.

So the quote I started with says to me, discovering my strength is discovering the truth about me, my higher power, and what is true about the vast majority or maybe even everyone.  We all want to be happy.  My trouble is an opportunity to see that good not bad can and should be what is expected.

I thought too about the postive nature of the third step prayer where it says remove our difficulties that by doing that others can see that this stuff really really works, my paraphrase.   Not even help me endure them but remove them.  Just like you took away the oppression of addiction take away these other things that are tying me down too.

Then there are the 9th step promises.  “If were are painstaking about this phase of our development we will be amazed before we are halfway through.  We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.  We will not regret that past nor wish to shut the door on it.  We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.  No matter how far down the scale we have gone we will see how our experience can benefit others.  That feeling of uselessness and self pity will dissappear…….Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.  Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. ”  Nothing negative about any of that and when this stuff starts happening, we realize that god is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.  God wants all that good stuff to happen in our lives.

Anyway, this was big for me to think about.  Grateful to have a good sponsor who helped get me thinking in the right direction.  That’s all I got for now.

Maybe one day I will edit before I post…maybe not….lolllllllll

Shalom ya’ll

Salvador

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sometimes you need a pill

I hve struggled with several mental health issues over the years.  It hasn’t been easy.  Depression was labeled, treatment resistant, for a long time.  None of the medicines had any effect.  Well should I say positive.   Some made it worse and the side effects of some made it worse as well.  It didn’t help living with a narc either.   Anger that I was spending money trying to get help was her reaction instead of care.  After leaving her and continuing to try to get help something starting helping for that.

One time in the hospital a Psychiatrist said to me, “Salvador, your solution is spiritual.”  I said, “yes but sometimes the neurological has to work better in order for the spiritual too.”   Turns out we were both right.  I think my faith was getting me through and I had a measure of it then but things were getting in the way.

Nothing seemed to help for ADHD or anxiety either.   More recently I have renewed the attempt to get help with those two.  After loosing a job because of getting behind in paperwork I needed to do something.  The hallmark sign of GAD, generalized anxiety disorder, is worry.   Not garden variety worry.  I may have to kill myself because this is about to happen worry.  No matter what my brain will find something to worry about.  So I went to my doctor and tried two medicines I have tried before for those problems.  In the last few days there seems to be some change.  It may be too early to know for sure.  What I said to the doctor was true for me.  Anxiety was robbing of some of the serenity of my faith.  Writing this post is a good sign.  Not sure I would have done it before.  What if someone knows me?  What if my boss reads it?   What if, what if what if.  Fuck what if.   What if all those terrible things don’t happen.   What if that is closer to the truth than all that worry.  What if I can believe that better right now because I take a pill that works.  Editing this post before I send it is a good sign too  🙂  So I’m grateful this day for pills.

Salvador

what happened?

I can’t go there I don’t think.   That was the reward for my devotion?   I can’t think that way.  My mind wants to understand, to hear the reason.  Two families neither of them normal no chance to be a normal kid or to be a normal husband and father in a normal family, wtf?  I can’t let myself go there I don’t think.

I have to let it go and be grateful for the present.  I am recovering.  I am in recovery.  Not drinking, less self reliant, my head quieter than it used to be, the fatigue less crushing.  Not wanting to die.   Believing I will have a chance at a normal love relationship.  Knowing that before,  I had eyes to see into people and now those eyes are sharper.  Believing that that is not a gift given in vain.  Knowing that others have been blessed by that and that more will in the future.  Feeling the privilege of having those eyes.   Having a faith that is no fucking joke no fucking joke at all,  but grounded in day to day reality.   That reality needs to be feared less now than ever as it is perfectly ok with me that I am not enough and don’t have to be and never needed to be and never will be.  Believing that I am a imperfect, dependent creature living in a world with a lot of other imperfect, dependent creatures.   Having a confidence without self as the source, something I have always wanted.

Maybe I can stop asking what has happened.   People have been saying, forget the past.  And I have been thinking, you don’t understand.  Well my hp says stuff I don’t want to hear sometimes.  Speaking through this very imperfect man that I know.   So maybe he can use me too in all my imperfection.  Recovery, taking control of one’s life and the direction in which you want that life to go.   Not sure how much control I am taking but good things are happening and that means necessarily that I am moving on getting on with the show, getting better, healing, progressing, all those good words and that because of my past and my wounds I will have something really good to give, hopefully will be more empowered to help others recover.  And that’s it for me that is it.  Helping is its own reward and I will be happy with more of that, happy indeed :).

good stuff

Don’t know about you but I am not always able to interpret my heart.  Like why has it been so weighed down?   Been sick, yada yada yada but I am pretty sure now it has to do with the revelation not too long ago that my ex is narcissistic.   So therefore I have lived with narcissists my whole life.   Read a book on the subject recently and cried really hard.   That may have been my conformation can’t remember actually.   But it is really good to know if you know what I mean.   With a good counselor, this weight has an end date and I know what it is and what to do about.  I rarely have that kind of clarity.   Hope this guy knows what he’s doing, gaslighting cognitive dissonace this guy needs to know what those things are.  I will ask of course.   Saw him once and he did pretty good.   Asked a lot of questions to start getting the lay of my land like I would have done.  But I need to trust someone too and I have more of a problem with that than I thought.   Need to trust the beautiful universe too that healing is imminent for me as my spirit says that it is.   What an amazing feeling!   Really amazing.    As a therapist I  would help people heal and think when is it going to be my turn.  Knock on wood, I think my turn as arrived.   What will I be like afterwards, not sure but it will be good I am sure of that.   And to remind myself that this process has already started, taking care of myself along the way, letting people care about me, being ok that I really care about others and not pathologizing that, hearing someone criticize one of my current relationships and then being able to say to myself, it is a really good relationship and no matter how long it lasts I will be a better person for it and hopefully she will too, thanks to understanding cognitive dissonance, starting to hear the inner critic and being able to start to say to him, you are full of shit and really believing that and not letting him keep me confused, knowing that these strong reactions do not mean I am screwed up but are very very normal after the hell I have been through and that any normal person would have reacted the way I did to constant devaluing, giving myself a break regarding the things I have done to check out for a while just to cope with….whatever that was.    So onward and upward:)

Shalom,

ya’ll

I had this dream

I had this dream last night.  I was at the grocery store and I had got some rewards I was going to cash in.  So I went up to the counter and the lady said here’s how to get your rewards and you are gorgeous btw.   I walked away smiling.   The other day I saw an eagle fly right over my head while I was thinking about getting counseling and getting free from how I have been abused by narcissists.

Today I was in a meeting where we were talking about family members and this guy shared how he has gotten free from the desire to drink and it has been over four years since he had a drink.

What is all this?    The other day I was reading about narcissistic abuse and went on facebook and read something about prayer and asked my hp to take away the depression fatigue and right after I cried really really hard and felt some release.

Yesterday I had a terrible work experience but today I am ok.   I will just go to work tomorrow and I don’t think that I will be worried about it although I have a hard time with people right now.

I honestly believe that what is so beautiful about me right now is that my hp is setting me free.   Maybe I will start feeling like he is my home his love through his presence and other people in my life.    I felt the care for others in that meeting today.  People just saying where they were and other people respecting what they had to say.

So it looks like freedom is on the way.   Freedom from worry and feeling like it is all up to me.  It can’t be all up to me.  I am really hoping that when I really feel better and have more energy I won’t go back to it is all up to me to get jobs and money and all that shit.   I don’t think there is any peace in that.   I think I get the peace I do get from my hp and if I go back to it is all up to me it won’t work.

Grateful today for this now and not yet freedom.   Freedom to love and be loved.   I think that is what it boils down to for me.   There is no real love in narcissism not real love.  But I have known real love from hp and from others going all the way back to my childhood.   I thought I didn’t know what it felt like but I think I do.  I know the feeling of another’s presence that is hard to describe.   Too wonderful to describe yet ordinary and subtle at the same time, to have times when everything is ok and when it doesn’t feel like it is I would like to start thinking that he will come back and it will feel like that again.

Shalom,

ya’ll

here’s what helps me

I listen.   Its like in the book Moby Dick.  The harpooner is the one who is listening.   While all the others are going crazy getting the ship in the exact right place, the harpooner is still, waiting for the perfect shot.

It is sometimes listening to words but most of the time not, just attending to a presence that is sometimes felt and sometimes not.  But I can enter into the calm of this room while I am writing or enter into the stillness of the outdoors especially when there is no sound or wind in the trees or if one of the trees is still.

Sometimes when it is felt I get a real break from all the questions, worries and concerns, what is wrong with me?  Does she like me or think I am a moron?   When I am there I know who I belong to and who belongs to me, who I possess and who possesses me.   It is the sense of someone’s presence but not another person’s presence I have felt before, like the presence of an alien or something.  Words for it are abiding, listening, contemplation, peace, joy, love, wonderful.  There may be a million words for it and sometimes there aren’t any words for it.  I think the best words are like:  beautiful, adorable, the object of my deepest and strongest desire, love language and intimacy are the best words because I am with my lover and he is with me although I can feel my intensity more than his, his seems more settled or something, ever subtle but real none the less.

Trouble and distress make it hard to listen.  I wish that were not the case but it is.  It is hard to settle down in trouble and fear, but it always comes back.  And even in the trouble and the fear the sun is shining behind the bleak dark clouds.  If anything I am able to endure it and sometimes the fears are not realized.   There is always stillness after the storm.

 

 

 

 

 

fear doesn’t have the last word

fear doesn’t have the last word

all of the bad things can give you a case of PTSD

fearful and catastrophic about the future

but the darkness doesn’t have the last word

not for me, not for me

because the darkness will turn to light

the smoldering wick won’t get snuffed out

the rough times and places will smooth out

the wasteland will blossom and flourish with life

and growth and goodness

that’s my last word, hope

hope is my last word

13 “Make level paths for your feet,”[b] so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. the author of Hebrews

every valley will be filled and every mountain and hill brought low.  the prophet Isaiah
It’s a promise that the way will get smoother will level out one day. I have for the most part despised these kinds of promises. Who can say to me the good is to come for me? Can they predict my future? And who am I to expect good things? Am I better than those who suffer greatly and whose future is suffering and pain? Who am I to say that I will escape when they have to endure? I am no better than them….And I do believe that.

At the same time things have gotten better and I believe that there is a principle that says if you live a good life and walk the straight and narrow you will avoid some of the pitfalls that others fall in. In AA we are bold enough to say to someone things will get better for you if you stop drinking, go to meetings and work the steps. Also, for me there seems to be a pain and suffering in youth that one can only grow out of. No, I am not saying accept your lot and whatever happens as I am no one’s victim……… I was talking to someone lately who said that her mental health has gotten better as she has gotten older. What an absolute joy, at least inside anyway,  to agree with her. I didn’t think to say, I know what you mean at the time, but I do.

I had to fire another sponsor. I just can’t abide with someone who tells me all these things, mostly negative, about me without getting to know me first….whatever……but I entertain no ideas of going back to drinking. Lately I have heard and can embrace the good things that people say about me, about my potential, about what I have to offer, etc. I don’t think it is puffing me up just increasing my joy and the hope I have about the future and the good kind of confidence I have in myself that wasn’t there before. So if you are young, lol, do the best you can, walk the straight and narrow as best you can and hopefully age will bless you the way it seems to be blessing me. I can not say for sure because i don’t know.  But if it pleases you and I do believe that it would, it has me anyway…( that is the French way of saying please) get a higher power who is bigger than you, one you can love and trust because sooner or later, if you are lucky anyway you will need one.  I believe that all of us have lives bigger than we can handle pushing us toward a higher power……..that is if we are lucky we do…..

shalom yall.

a beautiful man who wrote a beautiful hymn and lived a beautiful life

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs
And works his sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purpose will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
the bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain:
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.
Written by William Cowper in the 18th century friend of John Newton who wrote Amazing Grace.  Cowper was racked with depression much of his adult life and attempted suicide on several occasions.   What to make of that……a mystery to me just a mystery.    And that seems to help me accept that a loving, gracious, merciful and compassionate higher power does exist.   AW Tozier says that mercy is god feeling what we feel in all its darkness and despair and good times as well.  Making all of it sacramental maybe….   Went to a meeting tonight and was reminded of a someone who became my friend.  When we met I was going through withdrawal from alcohol.  In that meeting that day I knew he knew what I was going through.  How can there be a loving god when….x, y or z.  I don’t know I really don’t but there are times when I feel the presence of love the love of someone I cannot see whom my heart has a deep affection for.  CS Lewis asks a good question, can you love someone who does not exist?   There is no darkness without light.    We are capable of self sacrificial love, compassion, care for others, joy in seeing others do well and succeed, forgiveness, joy trust in the goodness of life and others. I am grateful anyway for good times since like Cowper I have felt the darkness, gloom, doom and despair.      One day the world will be set to rights I believe and some how by loving and forgiving and all that stuff we experience the first fruits of all of that goodness to come.  The future goodness is crashing in to now just as all of the pain and joy of now is bringing the future goodness into being.   And as pain brings new life now.   So our pain is not in vain is not as meaningless and  as nihilistic as it may feel and appear it all has meaning.    For on that day we will give birth to a world set to rights and all of these birth pains will be forgotten for the joy we will know.   That is my hope.  a hope I believe will not dissapoint a promise made to the world that will be kept I believe with all my heart.