I see us all as a gathering of people or possibly spirits and souls. We are a massed gathering of both coherent and incoherent minds who are caught in the inevitable path of things that will eventually come true.
We will age, live and we will see a child who grows into adulthood. We will note people who we saw for the first time. We will note people who find a partner or a lover or a friend to discover the universe together.
There will be friends and acquaintances, lovers, family and, of course, there will be the inevitable enemies, adversaries and moments of adversity.
There will be high highs and low lows and there will be moments that are indefinable and indescribable by words. I say there will be moments that happen in which we see ourselves and I mean we will truly see ourselves, which is why I used to avoid mirrors.
I couldn’t stand the reflection. . .
I say this wholeheartedly and with passion because who I was is part of who I am now. In fact, I am a result of my past thinking, choices and footsteps. However, I am a rarity in the sense that I could have gone in a different direction and hence, I would be nothing. As your narrator in this story, my voice would have been completely different if I went the other way.
As it is, there are countless barriers and obstacles in life. The last thing we need is our own limitations or battles with fragility.
There is the combination of doubt and insecurity. There are the needs to be wanted, invited and appreciated. Of course, there’s always the need to be included but there’s also another need which is to never be picked last or to be picked because there was no other choice.
Somewhere between the joy and pain of life is the often defined purgatory. This is where the lamenting monologues in our head take place or where the misinformed grand scheme of life taints our focus. This is where the sad concepts and lugubrious beliefs are, so mournful, gloomy, sullen and dismal; this is where thoughts contort vision but this can also be serendipitous to a moment of comfort in our usual conclusions.
We can heal, you know.
We can improve too.
I have a coin in my hand, which it would be dishonest of me to celebrate today. No, Friday would be more appropriate. However, today is a day leading up to an event that became unavoidable.
It amazes me how we fail to see our own involvement in our outcomes. Some people relate this to our degrees of sanity or the lack thereof.
Some would say that where I was at this time was a result of my choices that gave way to straw man arguments, which are not clear or concise; but instead, straw man arguments are diluted points that sway from the topic and deflect from the truth or the argument itself.
For example, there is a saying which goes “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers.” This is a great example of a straw man’s platform.
I was so young. I was caught in the cross fires of my own misgivings and misunderstandings; but more, I was locked into a pattern of blockages, barriers and obstacles and opposition.
More than anything, I was losing to the race in my own mind which impacted my abilities to compete where it counted. But more, I was constantly in competition with myself and losing to my internal debates, let alone to my relationships with the rest of the world.
Now, there are basic things we need in life. We need sleep. We need comfort. We need moments of joy. We need to be nurtured and cared for and, of course, when life fails and purgatory becomes uncomfortable, we need to find accountability. We need an answer to solve the unsolvable riddles or answer the unanswerable questions in our head.
This is why the emotional mind is not always our friend. Or, keeping this personal and specific. emotional planning, thinking and reasoning was not helpful to me. Essentially, my thoughts began to both pile and collapse. In other words, my thinking began to degrade itself. There was no strategy or plan. There were no methods or tactics. No, there was only an emotional response.
My personal decline came from within and my sentiments, my emotions, my feelings and my opinions became swayed by my lack of clarity.
Here’s what no one says and here’s the most obvious fact of life which is it’s uncomfortable to be uncomfortable. No, really. This is simple but it’s true. Since all we want is comfort or peace and if all we want is ease or to be pacified, to be able to rest, sleep or at minimum; to have our thoughts go away; or eventually, our discomforts blur the boundaries of an otherwise unacceptable behavior.
By the way, this is why people argue. This is where their comfort is questioned and their opinions are challenged or their assumptions are debated and argued. No one wants this.
We all have the need to be right, which means we have an equal need to not be wrong. We lose to a comparison of judgment and associate our lives within the irrational parameters that are beset between right or wrong and good or bad.
The obstacles of the mind have an incredible ability to lead us in ways that challenge our better self. The ego is real. The ideas of being uncomfortable (or wrong) or to be seen as imperfect or unacceptable can lead us to misdirected ideas. Thus, our mind comes up with its own straw man arguments. We lose our focus. We blame and we point and we accuse and we bitch. Meanwhile, the war room in our mind opens up to switch the character missiles to the “on” position.
There is so much more to us below our surface levels of thinking. There are pains that date back to our youth. There are concepts of rejection and misdirected anger. There are files and falsified evidence and misconstrued data; all of which is filed away in the mind. This is where the fall begins. This is where self-destruction starts to crumble our facade.
We lose to our thoughts and feelings. Or, as I like to say it: We lose to our thinking like water loses to a drain.
It was right around this time 31 years ago that I found myself in the mix of hopelessness, depression, anger and in need of comfort. I was irrational and uncomfortable. I was swept away by the outgoing tides of my emotional ideas and, in the end, I swore there were no hopeful outcomes.
I was desperate; therefore, I chose an old battle of uncomfortable comforts to resolve the discomforts, which took my control. I slipped and went back to an old way of thinking.
I gave way and lost to the inherent laziness that comes with doubt and insecurity which lies to us and says, “What’s the point?”
I allowed my momentum to stop and then my growth stopped. I forgot about the importance of self-care and personal maintenance. I was raw to the touch yet I was numb to the beautiful things around me. Therefore, my mind was gripped by rejective thinking. I was wrong . . .
See what I mean?
I was wrong about everything. Everything I did was wrong; therefore, everything I did led me to believe that I was wrong as a person. Once again, there was something so painfully different about me, which is why I chose an old mindset. I chose the only way I knew how to instantly gratify myself and the idea worked for about 24 hours.
I went on a binge, so-to-speak, and when the binge ended, I was faced with more of the same. More shame. More doubt. More regret. More blame, fault and, of course, more guilt.
We find ourselves in the vortex of a whirlpool of our own incompetence and as we lose to the drain, we find that we are out of choices and disposed as a consequence of our actions.
When we lose sight of ourselves or fail to adhere to the ideas of self-care, we lose to our thinking.
I am not the same person I was. Thirty-one years later, I address this and openly discuss where my mind was.
Friday marks 31 years of clean sobriety time.
It took me 31 years to say this and the only reason why I can say this is because throughout my highs and lows or bouts in purgatory, I understood that the square root to my equation is always me.
Sometimes we have to fail in order to succeed. Or, sometimes, we have to go below the level of surface thinking to understand why we failed (or quit) in the first place.
Know what I mean?