Telling the Truth

happy-cat

Who am I to advise you not to qualify your life?

I closed my last post with that thought.

The only thing I can say on my behalf is that I am someone who knows that trying has availed me nothing. For me, I must either do something wholeheartedly or forget about it. I have proven this.

After a year of hard-fought sobriety, on 21 June 2014, I took two Valiums that were not prescribed to me. Two days later, just for good measure, I swallowed one more. Not even enough to have a good time! But enough to cause me to reset my sobriety date to 25 June 2014.

I did this because honesty is all I have left. I did this because I took the pills with the same mindset I used to have while drinking — I wanted the effect those pills would produce because I wanted to feel something other than the depression and anxiety that was clouding my life.

When I took those pills a few days ago, I did not realize that there is a difference between emotions and feelings.

My turbulent emotions (or moods, if you prefer) flit here and there, constantly changing. They are fickle, inconstant, and deceptive. But I can actually choose how I want to feel.

How I feel now, moment to moment, is up to me, based upon what I focus on and to what I give attention. I can choose to fuel peace and serenity, or I can choose to fuel the opposite — discord, misery, despair. I can feed the white dog, or the black hound.

I learned this in practical application as young as age 10. Desperately unhappy but having to face another day at school, surrounded by cliques of mocking classmates with whom I had never (and did not try to) fit in. So I decided to try smiling. Just that — smile. Pretend that I was happy. It was a matter of survival. And to my surprise, I began to feel better. I began to actually feel inside like my smiling face looked on the outside.

So acting “as if” can produce the actual feeling I am emulating, despite whatever emotion is running rampant. Interesting…

I smiled, just now. And so I move forward, building my second first year of sobriety.

And for me, I know I will build not by trying, but by doing.

 

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2 comments on “Telling the Truth

  1. LL says:

    I trust Pamela will not mind my guest posting, here, because she tends to swing to and from extremes of self-deprecation and self-sabotage. One is pretty funny; the other is not, of course.

    Pamela attended Texas A&M University (my father’s choice for me and, probably, her father’s choice for her), in 1986 and thereafter. We were not previously acquainted and did not know one another all that well, at school, just as well as residents of the same Hobby Hall are generally acquainted.

    Her mother sent her ‘dressed to kill,’ as they say ‘down South’. :). Silk scarves, floral crepe de chine, understated pumps, and expensive perfume.

    Now, she thought she needed to break free of all that oppression. ;). Go figure. :)

    So, that’s all I’ll say, for now, so you all will have a more accurate picture of this highly-strung, highly sensitive, highly self-critical Southern belle turned avante garde. :)

    I think we should all encourage her to take the wise and easy way out of unhappiness, for once, and, to put it in the immortal words of Forrest Gump, ‘Go home to Alabama!’, that metaphorical place where she can simply allow herself to be herself again, without any apologies to the confused world at large. :)

    If she is brave enough to do so, metaphorically speaking, some lonely Southern gentleman, longing to pamper a Southern belle who still looks 30 and draws very well, will be on his way to bend the knee and pop the question, ring in hand, and Lexus waiting. :)

    Now, how do I know this with such certainty? Because some things never change. :)

    You all send her lots of confirmation and affirmation, and let’s see if it doesn’t work out just that well for her. :)

    Cheers!

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