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It has come to my attention lately that what I am actually addicted to is anything that will help me exit my feelings.  I will over do, misuse, check out with anything and anyone that will help me change the way I feel.  This is not new information...but it is landing differently lately.

I think I have always known that I do everything alcoholically.  That is just how I am.  I do it all, and I do it with one intention:  to change the way I feel.

I am not sure where this comes from, I mean, I have my ideas.  But if I go way the fuck back, I can remember being a kid and not liking being sad, or down, or upset, or scared, or hurt, or lost, or lonely. (I mean no one "likes" feeling that way but I believed that I could and would and should change it). And I can remember making conscious decisions to exit myself by any means necessary.  I realized the other day that my main form of exiting comes through thinking.  It is my first and primary addiction.  And while we all have to think, I think way too much, so much so that I often have a hard time falling asleep.  My conscious mind is over whatever it is but that subconscious part is not.  And I will exist in this twilight sleep, or be awakened from actual sleep, due to what lies beneath.

I cannot count the number of times I have been sleeping contentedly, to find myself suddenly awake at 2 am.   What woke me up? My brain, worrying so much about something that was roiling beneath the exterior that it woke me up. (And it is always 2 am - like what the actual fuck??). Then once the thoughts descend, it is all over for me. No more sleep, and now I am moved into this highly agitated state that will last however long it lasts.  I have tools today, but the most effective tool, is to disassociate, call someone although the number of people I can call at 2 am is not many.  Watching TV helps, reading sometimes, I find that I usually need some very direct interaction like talking or watching to engage that part of my mind that feels like it is totally out to fucking get me.

And I realize this is what fuels all of my addictive behavior.  This need, desire, compulsion to exit myself. To get away from my thoughts and behaviors.  Which really only produces more behaviors.  Like a lot of them.  Repeatedly.

So lately I have begun to ask myself if I can just not exit?  What if I just stay?  Right here, with all these swirling thoughts and their attendant emotional tendrils.  Can I, in fact, just allow myself to survive myself?  Without reaching for an exit?  Without trying to buy something, or call someone, or date someone, or eat something, or walk somewhere, or pump iron or clean something?  Can I just sit still with the thoughts and their emotional aftermath?

The answer is sometimes.  I guess the progress is that I can do it far more often than I used to.  I didn’t even used to know that I did this...I mean I maybe had some small inkling, but really the thought process was curtailed and brief and very accepting of myself as I was.  There wasn’t a lot of room or need to delve deeper.  As the intervening years have passed, I have developed a greater and increasing intimacy with myself and why I am the way I am.  And today, I can now see all the exiting I do, and sometimes I even have the power to change that.

So I guess the work is for me remain.  Here with myself wherever I go.  To begin to work harder and with more commitment to examining the thoughts that drive me away from feeling and into action and disassociation.  Perhaps that is my greatest addiction of all:  disassociating.  Once a total survival just another dysfunctional coping strategy that doesn’t really work and only serves to keep me in ever lasting pain.

I see it.  I feel it.  And I really don’t like at all.  But here we are, well, here I am, you can totally skip this whole session of Erin introspection if you so choose.

So one of the great exercises of my life see myself, as I am, as I really am.  And to find love and compassion and acceptance for her, while also being curious enough to change her.  To see the why’s and the how’s and be willing to slow down long enough to examine it and allow it to be while also finding some willingness to change it.

And I can tell you that one only arrives in this place of great need and desire to exit with an ability to stand still and just look around with a lot of fucking interior work.  It is not easy.  It is in fact, very hard.  But so worth all the painful, sometimes excruciating effort.



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