I wrote the last post about words. It expanded to Aj and Z. This might end up with them in it. *editorial, they are not hands on and only get some chance to review if I think I might be pushing the boundaries of what Z and I agreed I could say about her but, they are always in my mind when I write* This one is about me.
8 years and 11 months ago today, I didn’t die. I wanted to. My fondest wish was to not wake up. That didn’t happen… I really dislike “professional ex-addicts”. Some people wear it like a badge of honor. I don’t. It IS a part of me, addiction I mean, but, it isn’t who I am. There isn’t a day that goes by that my past doesn’t cross my mind. I guard against it becoming my present and future but, I no longer live in that place, most days.
I can not casually drink. I can not drink, period. That path leads to meth and destruction.
The problem I still have is that I believed the lies. They weren’t the ones I was told by others. They were the ones I told myself. I believed I was unlovable. I believed I was worthless. I believed I deserved what I had done to myself. I became comfortable with them. I no longer believed in Heaven but could find Hell. It lived in me and I was used to it.
That’s the problem with lies. You listen long enough and they sound like truth. The lie was that I couldn’t have my dreams. The truth is different.
The details of 20 odd years of addiction don’t matter. The details of getting sober are a different story for a different time.
I don’t begrudge the past for what it is. It shaped who I am. There are some parts of me that existed then. I was always honest, I mean I wasn’t stealing to support my habits. Lying is a different matter. Addicts lie to everyone, most of all, themselves. I was a hard worker and a good co-worker…when I decided to come to work. I could laugh at myself, still do. I read everything.
I have a ton of “baggage”, though. I’ve been cold and hungry, as a result, we have a freezer full of food and a pantry full of dry goods and canned food. I’ve been stony broke, so, I still don’t like spending money on myself. Doesn’t stop me from being generous, though. I have had my world come crashing down so many times, I keep looking for it to happen again.
It did teach me that there are things in me that I will not put up with, like making excuses. It also gave me perspective. Just because something isn’t right for me doesn’t make it wrong for someone else.* editorial, I’m trying to find a way to say what I mean without using the words “accept”, “allow”, or “tolerate”. I’ll catch up with this thought later*
If you ever want to see someone that has gratitude for what he has, I’m it. I never expected to be married. I never thought I’d be “ordinary”. I didn’t think I was worth being loved. Those 3 things were all I ever wanted. Still are. Every time I go to sleep, I thank God for them. That includes naps. I even thank Him when I’m not going to sleep. I am entirely grateful for what I have. Being normal is a gift beyond price to me.
Still, I have my moments. My wife is the reason I don’t relapse. I warned her from the start. *editorial, she didn’t know me during the Bad Old Days* If I have as many as ONE drink, she needs to leave me. Everything else WILL come. I’m not willing to pay that price.
Sometimes Aj has to kick my ass when I start to feel worthless. Yeah, it still happens. Aj is my best friend. She’s not very objective when it comes to me but, she’s on my side and I do listen to her…even whenI don’t want to. That’s what best friends are for.
Z cuts me back down when I joke about “non-alcoholic Tequila”. She drinks, I don’t. She’d drive down here and whup me if she thought I was going to. Z also prays for me, just because she’s Z. I do the same for her for the same reason, because she’s Z.
I’ve written for, and will again, Aj and Z. They are who and what they are because that’s the way they were made.
Faith, in my opinion, is not a choice. It is how someone is wired.
Being gay is NOT a choice. It is the way they are created.
Being an addict, on the other hand, is a repeated set of self-destructive actions. I chose, over and over, to put poison into my body and mind. I repeated that action daily. I told myself that it was fun. Yeah, sure, sleep deprived paranoia is fun. Hangovers are fun. Getting arrested is fun. Spending time in the county jail is fun. Hating yourself is fun. See what I mean about believing the lies?
The truth is, we all have value. Even a broken down addict has qualities worth saving. We can change if we want and the pain of going on the way we are is great enough. I have worth. I’ve learned that. I have proof. I have some people in my world that I love and love me in return. I do like myself. I have my dignity back. I am married to a woman that means more to me than my next breath. I’ve learned kindness, both to myself and others. I no longer judge myself so harshly.
Remember these words “accept”, “allow”, and “tolerate” from up there. Those words don’t apply here. A Pagan and a Lesbian have embraced a broken down and rebuilt ex-addict. They taught me. They still do. It isn’t my place to do any less.
Do you ever wonder, really wonder why I’m so passionate about standing up for Aj and Z. Did it ever cross your mind to ask why I mix LBGT Rights and Religious Freedom? Part of changing the way I see me was because of them. Some of my learning to trust is that those two Ladies have given me their’s. I have learned about love and being loved from them, too. I HAVE to stand up for them. They stand beside me. They aren’t given a choice in the way they are made or what’s being done to them. I made my choices and they love me anyway. If someone of the three of us deserves, in fact, has earned, derision, it isn’t them, it’s me. All I did was stop being a criminal and yet, I get praise. That praise is as undeserved as their scorn.
In the last post, I talked about words. I wrote about how we use words to define ourselves and others. Sometimes we need to look at how those words shape our self-image. We need to consider what labels we apply when we look in the mirror. We need to reject the lies we tell ourselves and find the value inside. I learned. I’m still learning. When we do that, we can reach outside ourselves and help others. I’ll never “accept”, “allow”, or “tolerate” Aj and Z. I have too much worth for that. I’ll embrace, love, and rejoice in them being themselves, for the people they are. They do the same for me.
I was an addict. I am no longer that person. Perhaps that guy did die Jan 6, 2006. Now, I’m a husband, friend, and advocate. I am worth being loved. Those words are truth.
If someone, anyone, even yourself, tells you the lie that you have no worth, do not believe them. Don’t allow those words to shape you. Humans have value. If I can believe that, anyone can.