rolling stone

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image credit… denis darzacq

here i am on wednesday evening after finalizing the agreement to list my townhouse for sale. it has become embarrassingly evident that the loss of 28 percent of my annual income has taken a toll. i am a mixed bag of emotion- shame, sadness, worry to name a few, and have been scattered and detached for awhile. once i came to the decision that i did, i have felt myself pulling back into the present.

i have changed my job duties, my job title, and the department i work for and now am beginning a transition for my residence and my financial life. i have been in the middle of a storm of sorts in my life and by the grace of a power greater than myself, i have managed to maintain a spiritual life. sometimes the ordinary can appear so very extraordinary.

it is sad to think of leaving my comfort zone. i have been here for 4 years and have grown up quite a bit emotionally here. i first truly came to feel and recognize how stunted my emotional life had been before sobriety. i never understood how toxic shame really is until i found an ancient seed germinating after reliving a drama. it has taken almost 4 years for me to learn how to begin to soothe myself when someone i trust does not  continue to be trustworthy. and it does continue to happen. and i am sure i trust much less easily.

with all this in mind, perhaps this residence shift is a metaphor telling me it is time to move on. moving on is not the easiest task for people with trauma. my experience is that i am much more comfortable when terrorized than i am when things are unknown. and today, i feel confident that moving on will reap some rewards and offer me new insight and a new focus for my future.

my friend jim chandler passed away this week. he had been staying at a hotel in ohio (on kaiser’s dime) waiting for a liver transplant. something went awry and he was in icu for 21 days and the whispered away. jim was a minister at the denver church of religious science. he contributed fairly regularly to the newsletter we publish. jim was always  wearing a positive message with spiritual undertones.

i remember when my friends and i wanted to start a gay men’s 12 step meeting that focused on meth, he offered space at the church. there were already other meetings there, however my understanding is that many board members did not want tweakers roaming free in the building in the evening. jim advocated for the meeting, citing the outrageously high number of gay men who had meth issues, as well as the hiv transmission rates that involved meth. he never boasted about this, he just did it quietly- and potently.

i watched part of the 2011 vma award show and particularly liked russel brand’s tribute to amy winehouse. he pointed out succinctly and lovingly that although amy lived with a very evident drug and alcohol issue, that there indeed is a solution for this. and he wanted to remind all the patrons of the show that a solutions did exist.

i have remarkably come to believe that living with an active faith is far more prudent than not. i love my atheist friends, but i am more enamored with the safety net that faith provides. i never wanted to have to rely on anything like faith when i was young. it seemed so weak. but as the gray antiques my temples, i realize that i struggled with relying on anything because i didn’t grow up with a lot of that around. i believed then that a rolling stone was less prone to heartbreak and i lived much of my life that way.

and here i am on the move again.

2 thoughts on “rolling stone

    Jeremiah Andrews said:
    August 31, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Hey Rod. My condolences on your loss. Every life is important. May he rest in peace.

    Sometimes downsizing is a good thing. And for some, like myself, it may not appear from the beginning but over time, you may find that the downsize serves you well or will serve you well.

    We loose work, jobs change, and life changes too. And sometimes we are powerless over these things and we have to conform to what the universe is giving us at the time. But who knows all that may change in the future. One step back and two steps forward. isn't it always one or two steps backwards before you get a foot forwards.

    I've told you this before. Don't be too hard on yourself. We are powerless over people, places and things. and life as well. You are your own worst enemy sometimes. Don't be that so…

    Faith … it is organic and changes over time. The more time I have in the program and the more I listen to the old timers they say that having faith in a power greater than themselves is a saving grace. On top of keeping it green so as not to forget where the bottom still lies.

    Even the atheist believes in something, however non defined that something is. The faith we knew as children is not necessarily the same thing we know today. And that is the gift of recover, finding a power greater than ourselves is a personal journey, everyone's journey is different and there is no shame in that.

    Look on the bright side of change and see what good is coming from it and not always focus on the bad.

    Trust … That is my deal breaker. if i can't trust my friends then they don't belong in my life. But people are fickle. And once again we are powerless over them.

    It seems a theme is emerging in your life if my observations are correct … This has been a period of change for you in many areas. Maybe this is the harbinger you need, as you said “to move on.”

    Take what you need, leave the rest behind. There is nothing more troublesome than having to relive some trauma over and over again in your head. That is mental torture. If it doesn't play a role in your life today, then begin to calmly let it go and give it to god. Turn it over and Let it go.

    I hope you can eventually move away from the pain, become comfortable in the life you are now living through the change coming and find that everything happens for a reason. We may not know the reason now, but all will be made known later on down the road. I am sure of that.

    Be well. And be good to yourself and don't beat yourself up ok.

    Jeremy

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    warrior scout said:
    September 1, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    thanks for the comments jeremy.. i make efforts to be aware of my feelings during these things. this, of course, is a habit that is a few year old only and still clunky.
    i am not certain that being near the pain isn't a healthy place. for me understanding it and right-sizing it is the work that i have been doing.
    i don't feel shameful about where i am or who i am at this juncture. i am astonished i have made it here. i find that habits of coping that developed over the years are not at all appropriate for me now, and i work to establish new ones.
    i often share with my clients that in my life, i seem to always find myself sitting in the very same seat in this theater called life. there are hundreds to sit in, but somehow i navigate unconsciously to the same position. some of the work for me is recognizing this automatic response and doing it differently.

    shame-based trauma…. dr. allan downs.

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