The Informal View

Views from an addict.

16 going on 17

5. Lights

4. Camera

3. Action

2. Cut

1. Delete

0. 2017

I spent the last 15 minutes of last year practicing what my sponsor calls “quiet time”. It’s essentially a meditation where you write down everything that comes to mind for about 5-10 minutes. Afterwards, you look at everything you wrote and try to figure out where your Higher Power was speaking to you.

I found out that I’m looking forward to 2017 a lot more than I’m looking back at 2016. One great thing I have though is a sobriety date in 2016, and numerically speaking, I just celebrated a birthday.

2016 tested me. It taught me. It tore me down and it built me up. 
But I just blew out the candles, and the New Year feels better than ever. 


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Worlds apart.

To discover the missing piece is to discover an evolving pattern of destructive devestation. A never ending curiosity of what is beyond the border of norms disrupts extraordinary potential.

A recreational enthusiast, for a little bit…until your day can’t continue without another hit. You want the fun and excitement to last awhile, until you realize you’re in denial. A sense so keen, surprise, you’re a dope fiend.

To wake up with a piercing feeling of hopelessness is enough to convince you that you are absolutely alone. You are stuck in the past, and you are stuck in the future—tied to forces dividing you. Uncontrollable overactive thoughts race to the finish line…but there isn’t one. They don’t know which way to run because the course is so foggy. A place of aspirations so jaded they slip through your tight grasp. A needful time of grieving masked by a cheerful façade.

The obsession unbearable…the fixation powerful. Only a force outside your control can halt the fugue state of mind. Seeking and obtaining is the first step in a chain of broken links. Cancelled plans. People pushed away. Isolation. Telling yourself that it’s alright because life was meant to be lived the way you want—(the way your controlling “friend” wants.) To do this and still think that you have a sense of clarity and understanding is the epitome of perceived deceptive manipulation.

The truth becomes elusive. You have no recollection of what you told people. Embarrassment follows when the spotlight catches you off guard…but you still go forward with the original lie. These catch up to you, which create a wonderful justification to keep numbing.

Time turns backwards, sideways, and upside down. Worlds apart indeed. Don’t let the gravity crush you. Let effortful time move you forward.

Open the door and see.

Let us go back 3 years…

A summer filled with lies and deceit pulled me down to the point of a breakdown. My Higher Power was concealed in little bags that gave me a lift every time I opened them. I felt awful. My emotions were everywhere. I didn’t know what to think. I was lost and couldn’t find my way to a place of peace and serenity. Every day I would look in the mirror and say to myself that I was a failure. I cried constantly…and I was so scared that I wouldn’t make it to the next day. August was my time to shine—my time to prove that I could still manage my life collectedly. I quickly realized that I couldn’t do it alone. I was running on fumes, and the best part of my day was when I flipped my pillow over at night and closed my eyes so I could forget the day that was behind me. After a little while, about two weeks, I was introduced to people who wanted to help…and people who wanted the best for me. They were caring, and gave me things to think about so I could get through the darkness that I was facing. A certain event caused me to fall to the lowest point of my debilitating depression.

I remember sitting in the airport, seeing people come and go. I blankly stared at the tubs that contained enough supplies to last the snowy winter. Zip ties held me down, and I felt like I couldn’t get up. I watched as she walked up to security—and I immediately felt tear after tear roll down my cheek. Confusion stormed through my head, and everyone frantically prayed that I would somehow snap out of it and return to the funny and caring person that I was. I was living a lie, and I was as lost as a bottle floating in the middle of the ocean. 

My bottle wasn’t lost though. I always remembered where I put it. It contained the magic that made me feel comfortable. The buzz was great…but every minute after that was full of negative self talk and impulsive ideas that violently shocked me. My best friend had left…and all I could think about was the fact that I wasted that summer partaking in destructive behavior instead of spending time with her. The guilt was so heavy, and I couldn’t let go of it. I generally didn’t feel like I was a bad person—but the darkness told me different. Saying sorry didn’t carry any weight. Only actions could show a genuine apology. 

Summer after summer I face different but similar difficulties. 3 years have gone by incredibly fast. 

In the blink of an eye I find myself wanting something different—something that can change my current struggle into something that I can own and share with others.

Now, I turn my pillow over and make a mental gratitide list. I still fear the past and future, but I sit in the present with an open mind and a willingness to surrender. 

August is here, and the sun is shining. 

What a gift.

An empty equalizer.

I get time’s signature

It changes, so it seems

An inquisitive outlook

A shuffled paradigm

Transposed to a higher octave

Symphonic rumbles

A pick up to an addition

Of a failing piece

A stand holds the sound,

The sound holds the mind

An incomprehensible decibel

The meter of the music

Pulses the broken story

Measure to measure

Dynamically static, until

I look up at the director.

The Valley

Dense branches smacked me as they swung back in retaliation. The sign said to go that way, so I did. A trail was established…and there were signs that directed me to stay on it. The further I went, the more side trails I saw. I didn’t know where they went, but I assumed they were dangerous. I assumed that every single one was bound for disaster. I had only heard stories of sprawling thorns and terrifying cliffs. I found myself going nowhere, but too afraid to try anything different.

Life abruptly dropped a rock in front of me and screamed at me to take a different course. I took it, having no other options, and followed a bend in the mountain.

Down in a valley—a peaceful valley—flows a river going somewhere. I don’t know where the water comes from, and I don’t know where the water is going. All I know is that I can see it constantly moving…never settling in one spot. The water doesn’t decide where it goes—but rather a force that is greater than every last drop. 

Welcome home.

Please, help me let go of the idea that life is supposed to be lived a certain way. Let me live it exactly how it is, but only if I can float down the river that leads to somewhere.

The power of one.

One thought. One word. One person. All powerful beyond measure. 

One drink. One drug. One disease. A life turned upside down.

One day. One minute. One second. A moment never to be reversed.

One decision. One step. One victory. A day to stand and be proud—A day to never forget.

A starry campout.

The other day I read an interesting fact regarding a marshmallow. Apparently, if you drop said marshmallow from a certain distance on a neutron star, the impact would be that of a 3 megaton nuclear warhead. This got me thinking.

I am a neutron star.

At first I thought it was relatable because I pull in food at the velocity of a potato gun. However true this may be, it doesn’t appropriately explain my parity to a neutron star. 

Little, petty things have lately made me erupt in anger and frustration. I know that anger is a secondary emotion that shows itself when I try to cover up other vulnerable feelings. I’m not trying to shut the door on my feelings of anger—rather, I am seeking ways to cope with it and deal with it in a healthy way. Writing about it definitely helps, and provides an outlet for me to express how I feel.

My anger:

First is the onset of an adrenaline rush. My face gets hot. My fists clench to the point of a stinging tightness. I breathe fast, and my shoulders puff up. 

Second is the thought process that runs through my head. I get defensive and yell at the top of my lungs. I generally ruminate for atleast 15-30 minutes. 

The next step is something that has developed over the last few years. After I’m done obsessing about the situation, my thoughts turns to empathy and acceptance. It’s almost as if I feel guilty for being angry. I try to find my mistakes in whatever happened, and this has helped me to calm down and move past it. It’s not a perfect process for me whatsoever, but every time it happens I notice a different thought pattern from the last time.

A marshmallow may be a fragile, squishy object—but the outer shell can always be burnt over a fire and replaced with a new surface. The good news is that it can be smashed between two sweet crackers…ready to be eaten.

2 weeks.

2 weeks. 2 weeks. It shows itself everytime.

An abundance of dark insight is causing me to shut down. A shadow is following me—but not my movements. I wake up every day in a different reality. The room is different. The lighting is different. I panic with an energizing anxiety, and quickly rearrange so I can forget what it looks like. I really can’t though. That shadow still follows. It scatters my mind to a point of crippling despair. I pull up the shades and look out the window. The sunlight shines, but all I notice are dying weeds. 

One in particular sparks my curiosity. It leans, but isn’t quite touching the ground. It’s a little green, but mainly a dark, dry tan. The wind blows and picks it right up. The walls of my house block the wind.

I lay on my back and stare at the white, cracked ceiling—as if it’s going to fall down. Hours and hours of pure thinking…a prisoner of my own mind. I want to get out, but it’s not that easy. Snap your fingers; I could use a little magic. 

My indecisiveness is paralyzing. 

Will I sit in the sunlight or stand in the shade?

The zen center.

I call, it rings, I can’t get on through. Wait, hold up, let’s try something new.

A mighty big choice, so many to pick from. Brain freeze, panic, is this really that dumb?

No, it’s good, it helps me a lot. A batch of hot coffee, sitting in the pot. 

I shake hands, say hey, and head to a room. Ready to talk about last weeks doom.

I talk, I stutter, my chair squeaks and bends. Don’t worry there fellow, these are all your friends.

Steps on the wall, framed and hung. Its been a long while, I speak in different tongue. 

They clap, we pray, and head on outside. Hi, my names Bill W, do you need a ride?

Generous man, I can see it in his face. Yep, for sure, I’m in the right place.

The zen man.

I climb up three flights of stairs, so high. To try to find the thing that gets me by.

Ring, ring, hello, is anybody there? Alright, I’ll be back, but you take care.

One more knock, one more try. I know you are in there, don’t you lie.

I stand, I kneel, your doormat is slanted. Stand back, be clear, the obsession has landed.

I leave, I cry, I panic, distraught. Wait, hold on, I have a great thought.

Go to my car, grab a few things. Haha, you jerk, I’ll cause a few dings.

Back up I go, tired and weary. After I’m done, you’ll sure be teary. 

Break in, break up, you had a nice shrine. Flashy and perfect, the green is all mine.

I walk, I trip, I have a great fall. Keep your chin up, you should be expecting a call.