Friday, October 11, 2013

Letting The Other Voices Speak

Last night I couldn't find the can opener.  I had looked in every utensil drawer, the dishwasher and tunneled to the bottom of the dirty dishes in the sink.  The cap'n has been gone for two weeks and the dirty dishes are out numbering the clean ones 3-1.  I finally opened every drawer in my tiny kitchen and found the can opener nestled among the dish towels.  Then I finished fixing my drink
and put the bowl of ice that I keep in the freezer on the floor in front of Mr. Stanley's dish.

Early dementia setting in? Quite possible.  Drinking again?  Hell, no!!!

It's these voices in my head that won't shut up and let me concentrate.

You see, I have this running monologue going on in my head whether I'm drunk or sober.  I guess everyone does.  You do, don't you? It's not just me that can't quit listening to my own self speak, is it?

These last few weeks, up here all alone in my cabin, it's the characters in my book that occupy my head.  Yeah, I'm still writing a book, but at least it's the same book and not another abandoned pile of scribbled notes to add to the piles of fledgling manuscripts I have stuffed in every drawer and cranny around here.

It is so refreshing to have other voices occupying my brain space these days, voices that have new things to say.  Good things to say.

For too long, an embarrassment of years, I had the same voices saying the same things, over and over and over and.....

"God, why did I do this again?" "Never again." Okay, just one."  Okay, just one more."  What the fuck, who cares?"....

I'll stop there, but I was just getting started on the  deafening monologue that played out day after day.  Most of you know that song by heart and can sing along.

Then, for awhile, there was a siege of different voices saying, "You can't do this."  "Just have one." "You can handle it this time." "You don't really want to live a life without booze, do you?" "What kind of life is that?" "Boring!"  "You don't want to turn into one of those people, do you?" "Come on, just have one."  "No one will ever know."  Blahdee, Blahdee, Blah, Blah.....

Then other voices started speaking up, they'd been there all along and now that the booze manifested voices were dying a slow, albeit lingering, death, this was their chance to say what they'd been waiting to say.

They said things like.  "Wow, look at that sunrise. Thank you, God." "You're strong enough to do this."  "You're amazing." "Look at you!"  "I'm so proud of you."  "OMG! I love those shoes."  "I think next fall I'll visit France." (I'm really going to do this one.) "Life's too short."  "I want to do it all." "I can do this." "You could be the next Danielle Steele." (Cringe.)

The new voices speak of possibilities and promise, chances to be taken and things to be discovered.

Finally there is room in my head for them. 

That's why I'm now able to hear the hero of my story, Blade, explain to the heroine, Sassy,  that he's sorry that he slept with her twin sister, Ilean, the one who'd lost a leg in a tragic mud wrestling accident years earlier. 

"I thought it was you," Blade swore on the family trailer park, but he had to admit, he could tell there was something missing.


  1. Oh dear, if there are a group of people who hear I have come to the conclusion that they will never go away and the only thing I can do is either indulge in them, or sweep them away. I can tell the ego-driven, negative thoughts "thanks for sharing", then move on. The best voice is that little one that speaks quietly, yet firmly, and is telling me what I really need to do. that's the common sense. Intuition. Conscious contact. The Big Dude. However you want to think it...and it never steers me wrong.

    Great post - and I want to read that book :)


    1. Yep, that voice that we tried to drown out with drink, it doesn't go away, it's just sitting there with its arms folded biding its time. Like a backseat driver that's holding the map.

      First copy of " Rusty Love" is going out to you with a special dedication. lol

  2. Self-deprecating thoughts plagued me from my college days until just over a year ago when I got a handle on my drinking. Like you, the negative thoughts were replaced by positive ones, and I was able to do things that I never thought possible. Like cycle 115 miles in 2 days to raise money for MS research. Like sing solos in a Mozart mass when my voice is a bit old for such nonsense. Like waking up at 5 am looking forward to the day instead of berating myself for what I did yesterday.

    I suppose these things happen to lots of folks who get control of their drinking, but it sure is nice when it happens to you!

    Great post. Love the pic. Can't wait to read all about the further adventures of Blade & Co. Especially Ilean. She sounds special LOL!

    Stay stronger,


  3. I-lean, get it? I know one thing that happens more often is laughter and you're right it is nice. I didn't realize how much I missed it.

    Solos and biking, not on my bucket list but we both have one thing in common that is now scratched off. Getting control back of our lives. Congratulations to both of us!

    1. Lol, Kary, I read it as rhyming with 'Lilian'!! Here's where you say "Gosh, it's not funny if I have to explain it!"

  4. My good voices are still trying to find their voice (or is it their volume) but they are much more prevalent than they were before.

    And now excuse me while I go get a tissue to wipe my eyes BECAUSE YOU HAVE ME LAUGHING SO HARD IM CRYING! I-lean! Too much!

  5. My voices have been rather focused, driven, really,, in the past few years. But,

    BUT, "those" voices are there and, yes, they'll surface anytime H.A.L.T. takes over. So, vigilance is always imperative.

    Voices. ughhh,,, huh!!

  6. I'm printing this out for my daughter to read. Thank you for sharing.

  7. I love your blog - your attitude - your courage. I'm sharing about your blog on my facebook page She Recovers. Hugs to you! ~Dawn~

    1. Thank for putting a link to my blog on your fb page, Dawn. Hey, I was browsing your upcoming retreats in Akumal and Isla Mujeres which are both in my winter backyard. I'll have to consider the one in Akumal in April. BTW, I'm raffling off an stay in Isla Mujeres for my Chelem Toy Drive next month. Enjoy.

  8. Hi. Just found your blog. Love it. I'm a 59 year old woman with some medical issues that caused me to be prescribed opiates. I'm sad to say I was happy to be diagnosed and get the prescriptions. Because I was clean for many years and it was those voices that drove me crazy. The pills shut them up. But now I'm an addict, and I'm numb in every way. I hate it both ways. I don't know what to think or do.

  9. I'm glad you found my blog. I can understand the allure the opiates held for you, and a medical reason to take them to boot, I, too, have sometimes considered replacing one addiction with another. But I think for some of us, whatever the substance, we are going to abuse it. I think the emotional support for quitting any addiction is basically the same, but the physiological support is different, and though I'm a nurse, I don't know squat about getting off of opiates. There is a great facebook page and website called Sober Nation, you can find their website by hitting the highlighted addiction treatment centers up there in my intro or you can just type in Sober Nation on search on fb. I think you'll find a lot of resources over there for your addiction. But you come right back here for the emotional support, that I can do.