Meeting Personal Needs and #Self-Love

Needs aren’t wants.  This looks like common sense, but many people think they need things they really only want.  And then there are some people who don’t believe they need anything except the basics – air, water, food …

Everyone has personal needs.

I want one billion dollars, social justice, and a motorcycle – but I’ll survive without these things.

I need to live in a quiet environment.   My definition of quiet means remote and in nature.  Someone else’s definition might be that they don’t allow kids under 16 in their rental share in the city.

Would it kill me to live in a rental share in the city with noise pollution?  No.  But I’d pay dearly for it (because it’d feel like the stress would kill me).  This is a need that I did not know existed until six months ago.  I used to think it was a want.

When our needs aren’t met, we suffer.  It is our responsibility- not someone else’s – to ensure that our needs are met.  Whether we communicate them to another person or take care of them ourselves – this is the behavior of self-love.

Self-love is an action (in contrast to selfishness, which is a behavior).  When we (take) care (of) for ourselves we feel less angst, more happiness, freedom, and a more fluid and effortless life.

self-care

 

 

 

Juice #Fasting – Day 1 Of 8

The toaster is no longer on the kitchen counter.  The food items in the refrigerator are going into the trash.  I finished off the most important stuff – M&Ms, tortilla chips, most of the expensive bread … beans, potatoes, sausage, eggs, and Italian soda.

TillamookThe cheese stays.

I keep telling myself to expect sweeping hunger pains and mood swings.  I may even be talking myself into a bad mood just thinking about what’s to come.

I used to go days without eating when I drank, but I was never hungry so it didn’t matter.  I really enjoy tasty food – especially crunchy stuff – so I imagine this isn’t going to be very much fun by early evening.

Coffee will remain on the menu as the one vice I’m not giving up.  It’s just too important.  The only thing I’ll be chewing for the next eight days is gum.  And I’m still undecided on whether or not to blow $300.00 on a juicer.

Any suggestions – anyone?

One thing I may have missed the mark on is how little – if anything – I’ll be saving at the grocery store.  Organic fruits and vegetables are expensive and it’s going to take a lot of them to make 6 – 8 servings of juice a day.  I normally spend around $75.00 a week for food items.

 

 

Without A Boat

In my mind’s eye, I descend on the part of my personality that creates unnecessary issues.  I sneak up on it – toss a net over it – tie it up – haul it off to an island with plenty of M&Ms and Pure Leaf wild blackberry tea – and set it free.

Without a boat.

no boat

Is it just me or do others argue with themselves over things they don’t want to do, too?  It’s starting to get really old.  I’m trying to learn how to ignore that part of myself and just DO things anyway.  Maybe what needs to happen is once I decide to do something, I need to do it immediately before the voice in my head starts to bitch about not wanting to do it.

At first, I thought to give the voice a chance to express itself, but now I wonder if it’s just disagreeable naturally.

Just a short rant.  A little self-coaching going on.  Still trying to figure myself out.

Here’s another one:

I had an awkward run-in yesterday with the son of the woman who owns the property I live on.  He’s 28 – a year older than my oldest kid.  I could hear people out in the yard, including a young kid and a dog.  I could hear them because I had the front door to my studio open.  Until the owner’s son closed my front door.  I heard him do it.  I walked downstairs, opened the door – didn’t see him, and went back upstairs.  Two minutes later he closed it again.  I trotted back downstairs and opened my door again.  All the way.  His friends were across the yard – but he was nowhere in sight.

And I was getting pissed off.

He hadn’t knocked or even bothered to call my name and ask if he could close my front door.  He just kept doing it.

So I went back upstairs and not a minute later, he closed my door again.  Without a word.  I was so peeved I could hear my heartbeat in my ears.  I opened the door and caught him halfway across the yard.  He said he thought the wind kept blowing the door open, says he’s got a kid and a dog outside – and would I mind closing my door.

FUCK YES, I MIND.  DUDE.  DO NOT CLOSE MY DOOR.

But that isn’t what I said.  What I said was “I’d really appreciate it if you’d ask instead of just closing my door.  I want it open.”

So he apologized.

Guess what he did next.  He put a screen across the front of my open doorway to prevent the dog and kid from coming upstairs into my studio.  Now – I get it that maybe he thought he was doing himself and me a favor.  But the problem was that he never once communicated with me.  He just did these things.

And I all but went nuts.

Maybe this is me being moody & PMS-ey.  And I’m being offered lessons about how to manage uncomfortable feelings during WEIRD situations.  Life on life’s terms.  People run into weird situations with others all the time, and I wonder how someone else would have handled the same situation.  I imagine plenty of people would have been fine with the guy closing the front door – but his glaring assumptions and behavior were boundary issues for me.

WOW!  Learning what is and what isn’t the right thing to say/do – for me – is a lot to take in.

I’m a wee bit proud of my self-control last night.  I didn’t drink and I didn’t go off on the guy – and I honestly thought about both.  Back in the day, I would have.  Instead, I left with the dog and went to the beach for an hour.  But changing my environment was a lot easier than turning off what he’d done in my head.  Unfortunately, I was unable to talk myself out of replaying the events, which  I took to the beach and that made it impossible to enjoy.

There have got to be people out there who know how to leave things where they end.

Where are you and how did you learn to do it?

via Daily Prompt: Descend

I Called It The Event Horizon

I wrote a book – a memoir.  I called it Saturation because, during my 3rd treatment center stay, I had to visit with a counselor who also had a part-time job outside the center as a medium.  That’s right – she was a psychic.  During my first visit with her – about a week into the program, she asked me what I thought about the alcohol poisoning I’d done to my body.  I was well past physical withdrawal so I knew there were no traces of alcohol in my system, but I also knew that wasn’t what she meant.  I told her I didn’t feel very well, which was true – residential treatment is depressing – no matter how nice the facilities are.  But that isn’t what she meant either.

“You are completely saturated.”  She said.  It sounded so much more powerful under the influence of her Irish accent.

I knew exactly what she meant.  My tolerance for alcohol was extraordinary.  In my book, I describe the mental and psychological sensations of withdrawal and compare them to what I imagined my mind being warped and stretched slowly over an Event Horizon might feel like.  The precipice of insanity where the fall endures time – and the rush can be felt mingling with the fear in one’s mind – that’s the mental anguish of withdrawal.  Often times I wondered how I would survive if I had to live forever in that mental torment.  There’s no better description of hell and I get it when I read or heard about someone going nuts as they got clean or sober.

To speak about the mind/brain and body as though they’re apart from for a moment; they’re extremely unhappy campers when it comes to having to recover from substance addiction.  They know how to scream without taking breaths or breaks.

The terror and anguish are almost beyond words and they are the main reason I continued to drink.  There were only three ways I ever got through withdrawal – unconsciously, medicated, or drunk.

via Daily Prompt: Precipice

Emergence

Coming into sobriety isn’t about emerging from a maze – it’s about coming through a haze.  A thick haze.

A haze of murk.

When I look back on the madness that is alcoholism, I see an internal life tossed about like debris in a hurricane.  The clarity required to navigate a maze back then didn’t exist.  Think Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

No Bueno.

There aren’t too many good reasons to take trips down memory lane anymore.  The future is too bright.

bright future

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Maze

The Pink Cloud

The pink cloud is a term for a temporary sensation some people experience when they first get sober.  I experienced it. I had an overwhelming sense of euphoria and a sincere commitment to sobriety.  The idea of relapse was a resounding, hands-down “It’ll never happen” no.  I was not only on the wagon, I was steering it – hitting at least two AA meetings a day.   To say that I was “Pumped UP” accurately reflected my enthusiasm.

pinkcloud

As I remember it, I woke up really happy one morning – ready to take on you and the world.  I felt joyous and free – clear headed and ambitious.  But I didn’t feel dim.  And boy, was I dim.  I know now – 12 years later – long after the cloud puffed itself out – that its manifestation was the (logical) result of my saturated emotions airing out and coming back to life.

As in metaphor so in life, the pink cloud evaporated and storms returned – as they always do.  And when the first one hit, I felt as though I’d crashed to earth from the heavens.

So I drank.

Life has been a series of difficult lessons.  I am not the kind of person who follows advice.  I might ask for it, but that’s only because I want to compare my idea to it. I’m still going to do things my way and my way has usually equated to the hard way.  However, as a result, I now have first-hand experience with all that stuff and first-hand experience is valuable.  Some of the advice given to me might have saved me a lot of grief.  Some of it – not so much.

Either way – advice is always about someone else’s path.  Something to think on before running off with ideas that belong to other people.

If you’re wondering whether or not you’re on a pink cloud, I suggest that you do your best to observe your reactions to life.  That includes your reactions to yourself.  I suggest that you pause to consider your choices and options before making decisions. Because here’s what I know about clouds

They aren’t permanent.

So if you are up there – bouncing and flitting around – understand that at some point, you’re going to fall through.

via Daily Prompt: Pink

The Evolution of Happiness

Addiction is the pursuit of death.  Painful death.  What are the odds of having one of those anyway – – without the help of an addiction?  No one wants that!  I bet 9 out of 10 people would choose to die in their sleep – just pass in the night gently.  Peacefully.  Sweetly.  Of course, there’s always the crazy foo’ who loves the idea of martyrdom or dying in an avalanche on the way down Everest.  But sane people don’t chase death.  Sane people pursue visions of successful, happy lives.

I consider myself sane today.  Yes, I know that crazy people don’t know they’re crazy, but I feel quite convinced that crazy town in but a speck in the rear-view mirror of my life.  I know that my pursuits are of sound mind – things like physical fitness, healthy friendships, a career in the field of recovery coaching, understanding the mind of God, and my last amazing boyfriend (Oh, woohoo! Hi there!  :)) – these are all sane things that normal people go after.

Right?

EIN

What I most enjoy about sanity and the pursuit of success and happiness is that it isn’t feeling like work and therefore, it doesn’t feel like I’m pursuing anything because nothing is elusive.  I have everything I need even though I haven’t reached all of my goals – yet.  Every day provides the relief that is not alcohol poisoning and this alone is a rush.  Each day, I continue heading in the direction I’ve chosen. It’s a journey.  Impatience happens, but outside of that – I look around me and concede that everything is alright.

Daily Prompt: Pursue