Rigorous Honesty

Well if we’re being honest…honestly? Fuck this. I’m so angry, so full of rage like pot ready to boil over at any moment. It’s a switch in medications or lack of chocolate. Or I’m having a really hard time being rigorously honest with myself. I don’t know if I love myself. That much. Maye a little. Recovery has helped certainly. But I’m over the pink clouds and unicorns. I will have 8 months the end of this month. That is an accomplishment I should be proud of, I feel, but pride and self and ego is NOT allowed. I’m mad at AA. I’m mad at the world. Just anger that eats me alive daily. No matter how many sit-ups I do. No matter how much I try to will myself into the moment and appreciate it. I pray. I am grateful… I was advised by my “sponsor” (and I’m using that term loosely now for a total lack of involvement, on both our parts) to re-do the steps. “I think we just need to get you back into the steps, like maybe rewrite step 4.” Goddammit. Really? How many times do I need to do a moral inventory to start feeling better about myself and my life? Granted, I take much for granted but because of sobriety I try very hard not to. I beg with myself, “Self, please shut the fuck up. You are worthy. You is smart, you is beautiful you is important…(The Help).” It doesn’t sink in. Why am I so goddam angry at someone/everyone all the time? Oh, the someone is ME. Right. I want to be “happy” …bla bla happy joyous and free. Suck it. For real suck a big one. I don’t feel joyous and free at all. I feel trapped. I feel lonely. I feel different from every other person on this planet most of the time. And I’m sick of it. It’s making me so sick.

Ok here’s the letter I’ve been wanting to write to my in-laws and family for a while. It’s the kinda letter you want to burn immediately after writing. It’s just to get it out. All the things I want to say to their faces but will NEVER because it would decimate relationships. This is what I need to know about you people. You “others” who don’t understand addiction or mental illness. Or my struggle.

I want to ask you, do you not see how hard I am trying? Do you see how hard I am working? How can you go about your daily life, checking emails, talking on the phone, going to work, shopping, driving in your cars, buying new shoes, handbags and making doctor or dentist appointments and not SEE me? It makes me very mad. It hurts my feelings. I would love to hear you say over the phone or in person, “You’re doing a really good thing. A great thing. And I can tell it isn’t easy.” But here goes the Program bullshit. That’s my ego that needs stroking right? No. I am worthy of a loved ones empathy, my pain and struggle deserves some acknowledgment. But maybe you don’t know how. Or you don’t have it to offer or give me. Empathy that is. Many people just like you don’t know what that is or how to show it. For so long I fantasized we were all alike, you and I. But unfortunately (or fortunately) we aren’t. We are so different like light years apart in terms of our politics, philosophy, cares and worries, and experience. That is life. I should accept it. But I’m not in the accepting mood. I’ve gone almost 8 months without a drop of alcohol. Nothing in my blood to NUMB me to your apathy, to your reckless indifference. No substance removing the sting of every day life. I guess I’m resentful. I know I am. I’m resentful you don’t get my disease or want to understand it. Thus, understanding me. I get that it’s not your job. Your job is cleaning your side of the street. But you know? When I’m over here street sweeping like a motherfucker…I need to at least feel you on the other side seeing me sweat. But I don’t. And here comes the chest-burning anger inside. And the pain. God, the pain. My sick brain tells me I don’t deserve your sympathy or concern. I don’t even deserve my own. But I want it, desperately. Why am I sober again? Oh yes, because I’ve realized I’m powerless and only a Higher Power can restore me to sanity. Where is this sanity that is restored? I feel totally highjacked of all mental clarity or sanity. It’s not a walk in the park to appear sane and “together.” I have lots of unanswered questions for family that will most likely remain unanswered. I have to accept that. But these months have been the best and worst of my life. It’d be nice and comforting to have their support in ways I can see and feel. Again my sponsor tells me, just accept their version of love. You know, people can’t give what’s not in their inventory. My goddam expectations. What’s so wrong with expecting your loved ones to call and say, “I’m proud of you”? “You go girl” The only person to really tell me this, and let me feel it, has been my sweet sister. The one I wrote a blog about the first weeks of of sobriety. And my husband of course. But he doesn’t really know how I need to hear it and feel it. Those complex love languages and all that subjectivity between us makes it hard. Plus, he’s had to be the straight arrow to my drunk flying saucer for far too many years to really express empathy over my recovery process. At least this early into it? Is 8 months still early? It feels terribly long.

I just ate some peanut butter. Because we have not chocolate. And I just came back to this post. Wow! I’m really angry. A friend of my husband’s used to ask him, “What’s her anger level today?” It was this long- running joke since a trip we all went on together where I was less than pleasant. The Anger Level was anywhere from 0-10, and obviously most of the time when the question is thrown out, I’m well beyond a 10 and up in the stratosphere with Ms. Hannigan, KILL KILL KILL! I intellectually (ah, here it is again, that ego) know that anger does more harm to me than to anyone. I have all the quotes memorized by Mark Twain, the Buddha and whoever else had something clever to say about anger’s ability to destroy its host. I had a psychologist give me a 400 question assessment to find out I-and I quote- “live in the valley of anger.” So good. I’ve got Psalm 23 to walk me through that valley. Each day. But what makes me sad, mad and all kinds of mixed up crazy is for how long am I to walk through this valley? I’ve got a life to live, fuck! So I will pray and meditate. I will do more of that. But part of me is worried I may never be without anger, may never be truly happy. I think that’s tolerable, do-able, until AA or sponsors or stupid people say, “Be happy!” and ruins my idea that I could be at peace, and not happy. Have serenity, but with anger flare-ups. Because “progress not perfection” right? And to me, perfection is happiness all day. And that is just total nonsense.

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One thought on “Rigorous Honesty

  1. Please read “Radical Acceptance” or I will send you my copy. And read the section in “This is How” again that speaks about the other things you can be, and probably already are, other than happy. And read the pat about anger and what to do with it! I love you and you is beautiful and smart and special!

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