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Monday, May 9, 2011

The Faker Lived to Lie

Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in..the sun shine in...

I'm not one of those sun worshiper types and honestly I prefer a nice hot, overcast day to a bright and sunny one. But that song sticks in my head every morning lately where we have had a bright and sunny dawn.

I suppose that's OK...there is still a big part of me that is more used to operating in the shadowy parts of the day and often would rather have it dark outside. Now though, I'm more inclined to live in the light. I wonder if there is a connection there to my spiritual condition...hmmm, 'ya think!? Yep I'd say that and I no longer have anything to hide. Life is wide open now, my life is my life. I'm the same person no matter what the situation may be.

That of course is a drastic departure from the chameleon like posturing of my past where I was always pretending to be something I wasn't and deep inside I knew it. I was a poser...a FAKE. I can't tell you what an amazing feeling it is to just be Thom, warts and all. That doesn't mean I always like myself but I do accept that I am what I am.
I had to re-learn how to be honest, I was so conditioned to lie. I'd tell lies when I really didn't have any reason to, the truth was perfectly fine yet i still had to exaggerate the story. I suppose to build myself up...I didn't like ME very much back in those days. I also lived a lie, again I wasn't OK with who I was, it was better to pretend to be something I wasn't. then maybe I would feel accepted. I never did...

So when I sobered up, I had no idea who I really was. I didn't even know where to begin...I had told so many lies, tall tales and stories about myself that I no longer knew the truth myself. What a mess! The only thing that I could do was stay sober one day at a time and tell the truth. I started by with simply being honest. Everything that I am today was build on that simple foundation, started with one single solitary brick of honesty. And then I built from there, it seemed an impossible task at first.

It has continued to be a tricky road to recovery because I wasn't only dealing with my alcoholism/addiction but co-dependency issues and of course the sexual assault stuff. When I was in the hospital after my suicide attempt, they of course focused on the mental health aspect of my issues. I came out of there with the fairly common diagnosis of Bi-Polar/ Depression. But deep down I sensed that the real issue, the core of my particular situation was the addiction. It made sense that a person living in the throes of addiction/alcoholism would seem depressed and my behavior was certainly consistent with that of a bi-polar diagnosis.

So I stayed focused on recovery from an addiction stand point and in my particular situation, it was the correct call. It was by no means a sure bet and there were times that I really wondered if I was completely insane and I was hiding behind the alcoholism thing. As if being a DRUNK was less embarrassing then being NUTS! But these are tricky waters because I could have been suffering from mental illness, it certainly was a possibility, I had tried to kill myself....But for me, getting and staying sober lead me to the proper place and I was able, once in recovery to begin the healing process not only from the wreckage created by my addiction but I was also ready to start the healing process from rape as well.

But those early days of recovery were hands still get sweaty just thinking about it. My whole being was screaming to drink or use was the only way I knew how to cope with life and it's issues. That is why I stress to a person new to recovery to surround themselves with fellow people in recovery. There are numerous support groups, therapists, 12 step groups...go somewhere, anywhere to get some help and do not try to do this on your own. Isolation is a killer of addict/alcoholics while they are using and in recovery. Why? Because the only input we are receiving is from our own head..and let's face it, we are nuts at that time and have no business trying to figure this out on our own! Not to mention that it was our best efforts that got us into this mess in the first place. If we could solve the problem ourselves we would have done so long ago...

None of this is easy...first you have to be honest with yourself, something I did not know how to do. I had lived in a fantasy land for so many years that I had become an expert at telling myself what I WANTED to hear, It was certainly not the truth or anything close to resembling it. If you can't be will fail in recovery. It's a if you are suffering, if you're hurting and suspect that you may have a problem with booze and/or drugs or any other issue such as co-dependency or abuse go to someone who will tell you the truth. A therapist, drug counselor, go to an AA or NA meeting just to check it out. Don't just trust'll tell yourself what you want to hear. You may only have one opportunity to recover, don't blow it because of false pride, arrogance or ignorance....TRY IT!

Friends and family members are often too close to the situation, they are too emotional yet if that is what you're comfortable doing, do it. Ask them for help. Do something...often times with addicts in particular, doing nothing is a death sentence. If you are asking me what I would suggest to someone who suspects that they may have a problem with alcohol/drugs I would say go to a local AA or NA meeting. They are everywhere and easy to find. Seek out the place where millions of people have gone to find a solution to their alcohol problem. That''s my suggestion...

But I implore you, if you do have a concern not to ignore it. What have you got to lose? An hour or two of your time? The risk of embarrassment? Please! If you are a heavy drinker like I was, more then likely you have already made an ass out of yourself on more then one occasion already and I assure you everyone already knows you have a problem. It is safe to assume that you are the last to know! No therapist, health care professional or 12 Step Group Member is going to laugh at you if you're trying to seek answers or get help.

So now I launch myself into a new day. Ready as I'll ever be I suppose. And if you happen to see my along the way today, more then likely i'll be singing a certain, familiar little tune:

Let the Sunshine, Let The Sunshine In, The Sun..Shine In. Oh Let The Sun Shine, Let the ....