Pecan Pie

Social Anxiety from the South

Posts Tagged ‘addiction

The Tried to Make Me Go to Rehab and I Said Namascray, Bitches

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My friend Lisa has been asking me to go to yoga with her for going on three years. I did Pilates before and I really rebuffed the woo of yoga. 


I had been so wrapped up in my atheist identity that I left no space for anything that might be misconstrued as metaphysical or a threat to my non-belief. 


But I got to rehab and it was 12 Steps and find a higher power and honestly, my higher power is me! There’s nothing bigger than my own will to do right by myself.


I met Christine. She was our yoga and DBT instructor. Learning to sit with my own thoughts, listen to my own breath, stop worrying about who is checking out my ass in down dog was a very difficult task.


Christine invited me to be completely non-judgemental. With myself and with others. To laugh at myself if I fell out of tree pose. To cry when she touch my forehead during savasana. To feel my feelings and stop attributing those feelings to anything outside of myself, including god or whatever, that I am human and imperfect and that’s okay.


When Amy left and I was so alone, it was yoga class that helped me cope.


I am learning to understand that inner intensity, meditation and emotional literacy within myself is not connected to anything metaphysical if I don’t want it to be.

(Look! I can bloom my tree!)


I’ve got a long way to go. But I believe that this practice is saving my life, well, I believe that my choice to practice and commit is saving my life and is so much more useful than 12 step navel gazing and guilt and shame and war story sharing.


I am grateful for my mat. 

Written by thelittlepecan

May 7, 2017 at 2:26 pm

They Tried to Make Me Go to Rehab and I Finally Said Yes: A Series

I don’t know how to start a description of deciding to go into rehab. I’d had years of meth use behind me…working on my second decade of being clean. I couldn’t stop drinking and eventually I found myself handcuffed on the side of the interstate with my 10 year old precious boy in my car.

Seemed like I should get my shit together.  This was clearly beyond acceptability.

You should see my admission photo. I look like Bambi met a MACK truck on a dark Smoky Mountain road and truly had no idea which way was left.

So, I went right.

I’m not a wallflower. I’m anything but. But you couldn’t force me to talk that first day, though force me they did.

I was frantic to find anyone who seemed like me. On the inside. I was determined to take this for all it was worth and force myself to ignore whatever bullshit I heard.

And heard it I did.

Racist, sexist, ableist, queerphobic, antitheistic, antiatheist bullshit.

It was horrific and traumatic and beautiful and freeing and stifling and one of the greatest experiences of my life.

I stopped having panic attacks. I leaned on people very different from me. I learned just how deep my racial and class and educational privilege is and how far that shit would carry me at the expense of others.

I fell in love.

I fell in love with myself.

 

These are my experiences. These are my analyses. These are my words.

 

Hold on.  I think I’m back, Bitches.

Written by thelittlepecan

April 22, 2017 at 10:08 pm

What’s in a non-belief?

My friend Kent sent me this NPR article by Penn Jillette, who’s like the funniest atheist out there.  He’s also pretty poignant and I gotta give him credit for this one.   When you don’t believe in god, there is no one to alleviate your sins, no one to forgive you but the people you’ve wronged and no one to shoulder the guilt you feel but you.

I’ve been having a bit of a time with this recently.  My parents, my step-mother and my father, recently allowed me to move into a townhome they own while I pursue my master’s degree.  I’m responsible for utilities and any living expenses and they will waive my rent.  This is a fantastic opportunity for me and my son and really, even for my mother who’s been ready for me to get out for a while.

It’s also opened up a lot of really deep wounds, wounds that are barely scabbed over and quite honestly, wounds that have probably been weeping with infection for the better part of five years, maybe even longer.

This is not the first time this offer has been made to me.  The last time, I lived in a family rental for four years.  It had been renovated after an elderly family member (who was a hoarder) died so that it would be habitable again.

When I moved out, it needed a second renovation.

It’s taken me all these five years of sobriety to even begin to look back on my drug use with any type of reality.  I try to leave excuses by the wayside and own up to the decisions I made, but that’s hard.  It’s hard to admit that we’ve taken advantage of those we love.  It’s hard to admit that you lived in filth, of your own doing, even though an alternative was clearly provided.  It’s hard to admit that we’ve stolen, that we have been liars, that we were not a person of integrity.

Who wants to admit those things about themselves?  No one, but we have to.  We have to first be honest with ourselves to begin the path of forgiveness.

Here’s where the non-belief kicks in.  God is not going to forgive me these things I have done.  The only person, who can forgive me, is me…and each individual that I have wronged.  That’s probably the only one of the 12 steps I agree with, making amends.

I had dinner with my step-mother last night.  I was really nervous, but glad we were taking steps towards healing our relationship.  She was honest with me and I tried to be honest with her.  Sometimes that is really difficult, the honesty.  Admitting the whole of who you are to someone can be really scary.  I came out as an atheist and that felt really good.  I made a promise to live up to a new commitment and I really felt like I received a level of forgiveness that was wholly undeserved, but truly appreciated.

Without god, there is no one but me.  Me and who I am, for better or worse, and how I approach my relationships.

We made a commitment to honor the word honesty in our relationship.  That’s all I’ve got for the New Year.  I think that will be quite enough.

Written by thelittlepecan

January 5, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Posted in addiction, atheism

Tagged with , ,

All I Want for Christmas

Friday night I went out.   I went to the Blue Frog Cantina in East Atlanta Village to hear my old college roomie’s fiancé spin some dub-step.  The music was killer and seeing my friend was fantastic.  I haven’t seen her in years.  I have avoided anything remotely related to my old stomping grounds since I got clean in January of 2006.

I used to be a tweaker.  I started experimenting with street drugs when I was 19, starting with ecstasy.  I began going to raves and listening to EDM (electronic dance music, for the rest of you) and as most people know drugs are a huge part of that counter-culture.  I did crystal for the first time when I was 20 and by the end of 2001, I was using most every day.  I kicked cold turkey after 5 years of constant drug use.

The only way to get clean is to remove yourself from the social framework that enabled your drug use.  The only way. You don’t need 12 steps, you certainly don’t need god and therapy is great for healing the cause of the desire to self-medicate, but none of those things will get you clean.  Only a complete rejection of the life you lived before will work.  It is the only way.

So, after almost 5 years clean, I finally allowed myself to go hear the music I love so I can dance the way I enjoy and see some (also clean) friends that I have desperately missed.

While I was there, I saw a friend that I have been trying to get in touch with most of the time I have been clean, but even through the wonders of the interwebz had been unable to connect with.  We finally made contact through Facebook recently, but my last message has been unanswered for a couple of weeks.  This is a person that was very dear to me when I was using.   He’s smart and really sweet, just a kind soul.  I guess I just assumed he cleaned up when everyone else began to leave the scene.

When I saw him walk in, I just hugged him so tight.  I was so happy to see my friend.

He asked if we could go somewhere quieter to talk.  Outside of the loud music, smoke machine fog and dark lighting it was clear he was high.  I tried to be calm and non-reactive.  I did not want him to think I was judging him, because I’m not.  I love him regardless.  He told me he had two years clean…but relapsed.

It was surreal.

All of the sudden I realized how difficult it must have been for my family to try and converse with me.  All that time I thought I was hiding the indicators so well.  Now, I realize I have a nose for users.  I can spot them a mile away.  Walk with me through a Wal-Mart Supercenter at 3 am any day of the week and I can peruse the aisles pointing them out to you.  Even the ones who really do project little to indicate they’re hanging out with Tina.  However, there are some things you just can’t hide.  Even if my family, hell even the general public, couldn’t quite figure out why I was acting so weird…the weirdness must have been so obvious to them.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a wash of shame in that moment.

In the end, I gave him my number and made sure to get his from my girlfriend in case he forgot to text me with it and I let him know that if he wanted some straight friends who love good food, good music and good conversation to hang out with, Jim and I are here.  I won’t judge or pressure him.  Those things don’t work.

He said, “You know what’s ironic?  I feel so much better when I’m sober.”

Yah.  It used to be fun.  That’s why we all started.  It was fun.  Anyone who tells you drugs aren’t fun is an idiot.  Then it makes you scared.  Mean.  Depressed.  Then you think about all you have to give up to get clean.  Friends.  Family, even.  I gave up the music I love.  I retreated from online life in many ways that first year.  I couldn’t drive into the city without getting physically ill.  I felt guilty for abandoning my friends, some of whom were in jail and I knew I should have visited them or written to them…something.

Getting clean isn’t hard.  Giving up your whole world is what the difficult part is. I really hope my friend gives that another shot.  He’s so worth it.  I really hope he realizes that one day…one day soon.

I told him it was so much better on the other side.  For Christmas, I want him to believe that can be true.

Happy Holidays, Y’all.

Written by thelittlepecan

December 18, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Posted in addiction, atheism

Tagged with , ,