Sunday, October 4, 2015
The Possible Me
Okay, I admit it, when others post videos on their blogs or on the message boards I prowl, I usually skip right over them. But do yourself a favor, and watch this one. The name of it is Who We Are When We Are Not Addicted: The Possible Human, and it answered so many questions I had in my struggle to reach sobriety and so many questions I have right now.
I think the thing that hit me to the core is when Dr. Mate said that he is a firm supporter of twelve step programs, but he is uncomfortable when someone stands up and says, "Hi, my name is -----and I'm an alcoholic" because that is not who that person is.
I identify myself as many things. I am a woman. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a nurse. And I am an alcoholic. But that is not really who I am. Those are roles that I play or have played and they have contributed to who I am. But they have not made me into those things.
When I was drinking, I can remember, time and time again, holding my head in my hands and saying, "This is not who I am. This is not me." It wasn't. And I didn't want what I was doing to myself to deform who I was. But I kept drinking and it did deform or reform who I am.
Who am I?
I can tell you who I think I am right now, but that still is not me at my essence.
I am someone who is good. I am someone who wants to make life better, for me, for others, for nature, for God. But I am still someone who relies too much on others opinions of me and it suppresses the real me. I am still someone who is attached too much to approval and reward even when I'm doing what I think is good and right.
I found this video today while doing my daily exercise in avoidance of doing what I think I should be doing. I'd gone to youtube to find the playlist that is supposed to make me feel positive and energetic, the one I listen to when I try to write. I happened to see a Russell Brand video of when he is talking to some legislative body about why he is against the decriminalization of drugs and that held my attention for a bit. Then I happened to see the link to this video and followed it. Usually, when I see any video that is an hour long, I pass right by it, but I was in serious avoidance mode.
I'm glad I did. It validated so many of the things that I have found to be true in sobriety. That it does no good to reason with your addicted brain, that you have to tap into that inner you, the one that you know is there and screaming, "This isn't me!" That alcohol and addiction is just another veil we put up between us and the world. That we don't want to grow up and deal with the world.
That the biggest loss in our life comes not from our parents not loving us enough or abusing us but the fact that we suppressed our inner selves, those selves that they did not love, so they would love us.
My parents loved me. I've never blamed them for my drinking. I blame the fact that I was a shy, awkward, smart kid that grew to be a shy, awkward, smart adolescent and we all know that our society does not honor this. We are expected to be outgoing and vibrant and witty. For awhile I did a pretty good job at acting like I was all those things, but it was an act. Then I found booze. Instant exuberance elixir.
And I stayed stuck right there at awkward and ungainly in my mind's eye, unless I was drinking, until I got sober.
Then the real me took a deep breath and stepped out onto the stage. I was terrified that no one would like me. That I wouldn't like myself. And you know what? There are things I don't like about myself. But I can't explain the ease of life and the rightness of it, now that I am living it as myself.
I wish I was at the Possible Me. Someone who saw herself as someone that has something to offer that no one else has. And that something is beautiful and shining just as it is. That it is just as good as what anyone else has to offer. That it does not need someone else's approval or admiration to make it shine.
That something is me!
This video gave me a lot of courage to become the possible me and the insight that if I don't allow myself to be the possible me, in the fullest most unbridled sense possible, I am depriving the world.
I'm obviously not there yet, because I really think I should go back and delete the last five words of the last sentence.
But I'm not going to. So there.