Saturday, February 6, 2010

It's not about failure; It's About Honesty

That's what Julia just said to me.

Today I have had two cigarettes.

Yesterday I had several. I didn't count.

The day before I had three.

I fell off the wagon, or got back on it... whichever one it is. And, I will tell you, I don't feel too good about myself. But, that comes along with my personality. I'm self-destructive and hate to love my self-pity. It's sick and twisted, and I'm working through it.

I just started reading this book about healing the addictive personality. As I stood in Borders staring at all the "How To Deal With Recovery" books on alcoholism, drug addiction, quittng smoking; this book caught my eye. I read through the table of contents and flipped through some of the Zen views the author doctor presented.

Self-help books make me laugh, usually. This one, though... this one has some truth in it, at least for me.

Essentially, it is all about love and the self. It is all about the void a human makes in themselves and then adapting the habits and addictions to try and fill that void.

It talks about working to remake the personality into a truth-based on, as opposed to an addictive one.

It is, literally, all about trust and love and changing one's perception about oneself.

It's about everything that Julia and so many other people in my life have been telling me about.

Simply love. Love simply.

It's such a foreign concept for me, and I have no idea why. And it's my responsibility to figure this out.

I have to take responsibility for my actions, my perception, and my addictions. To nicotine, to drama, to intensity, to misery.

My action plan for the cigarettes: Stop, eventually, and STOP binging RIGHT NOW!

There is no need for me to have a cigarette right now. There is no need for me to have a cigarette after I eat lunch today, after I eat dinner, before I go to bed.

We are snowed in. Two feet and it's still coming down. I have nothing to stress about. No worries. I'm in a house with a lot of love and a lot of laughter.

Here's a poem to keep you company for the day:

I wrote this a couple years ago when I first realized how stuck I really was.


I am homeless. A nomad in limbo. I walk into my parents’ house. I say, “Hello, Dog.” Mother is watching “Days of Our Lives” – taped from the afternoon. I do not know what she will do when VHS no longer exists. She’s only 53. There’s still a lot of time left. There’s still a lot of tape to use and reuse.

I drag my writer’s bag and my duffle bag through the narrow doorway, up narrow stairs and I find more silence before 10x10 walls. Fabricated with birdhouse border and paintings they only sell at craft shows on muggy August mornings in the middle of a street in some unmarked Midwest town.

And I have not been able to eat more than a couple pretzels or a bite or two of a dry pork chop in over 24 hours.

I started smoking a pack of cigarettes yesterday. I quit months ago.

This is the first thing I’ve written in months. And everyone is facing me. Always there in the mirror before me. The crowd. I’m losing this dodge ball game. They feed into my temples, my reconstructed knee, my acidic stomach, my empty chest cavity.

“50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” plays loudly through 10-year-old speakers. A muffler bellows, deafening every note for the dog walkers down a cobble-stoned street.

But that was earlier. That was before I spent three hours staring at dead trees. That was before I caved in and called the one person I know who gets it. They never get it when you are lying right next to them, but after, after it disappears—the clarity surfaces. That’s when they let you know how well they can see beneath your skin.

But it’s always too late and it’s never enough.

I am homeless. I have no one to blame.

I stand naked before you and show you absolute surface.

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