My Secret Hiding Room In My Head
This next post is going to the realm of my secrets; my innermost place up there in my head. As I stay clean and the days to my using get further away, I find myself still needing that place upstairs that is just mine and free from pain, stress, and out of this world negatives. A place that is not real but very necessary for my sanity. And, once again, I am going to share this stuff because I probably am not the only one who goes there and hides there. You will notice I put the word probably in that sentence in hopes that I am not the only one. Because if I am the only one that would leave me vulnerable and open. Seriously, I still shake my head at myself and rationalize with myself. I say Maureen do you realize that every post you have published is open and shared with the world online and this is going to be the line you want to draw? And then I am reminded that it does not matter how long I am clean; I am going to probably always have to check with myself first before I type this on paper and before hitting the publish button. There are the illusions once again. Everybody will know and talk about me and snicker. And here is the clincher; I don’t really care about what other people think at the end of the day, but around noon or mid-afternoon; I have to remind myself of that. I am rambling again so let’s move into the thoughts at hand.
I remember in my former days before I got into recovery I had this strong need to not hear or imagine what pain would look like. If someone gave a description of their pain or I saw it on TV in the torture medium, I would take it on, physically cringe, and one hundred percent feel it. It would cause me dreams (nightmares) of reliving that pain over and over again. I am not sure where this stemmed from but I recognized it and tried very hard to steer away from anything painful. Now here is the shake my head or flip side of the coin, if you will; when these painful things happened to me in real life, I would manage to totally block out the actual accident and most painful part of the event. In the car accident, I blocked the part of being thrown from the car. The falling off the back of a truck I blocked the actual hitting the ground and pain as one side of my body healed. The getting beaten up for drug-related causes I blocked the part of the actual getting beaten up. The physical fight with my sister at one very bad time I blocked the part of the fight itself. And I’m sure by now you get the gist of where I am going with this.
The place I am going with this is my imaginary world I would live each and every night most of my adult life. I actually probably lived there each and every night as I was growing up too. As far back as I can remember; my go to sleep prayer/picture looked like this. Winning the lottery and then nothing bad would ever happen. I would not have to work and life would be about doing nice things for people I care about all the time and doing nice things for myself all the time. I would be loved and love. I would go to sleep and not have nightmares if these were the thoughts I went to sleep with. Even when sleep eluded me because of too many uppers and downers were not strong enough to work anymore; I would still feel safe and painless and warm and loved if I stayed in these thoughts. And I vividly remember feeling the opposite of those things regularly; the treacherous and pain filled and cold and hated. What I did not know at the time is that I was my worst enemy. I put myself in very dangerous places and caused a lot of my pain and allowed myself to get cold and hated myself more than any of you could.
Without those fantasies ; I fear I may have died long before I got to recovery. Without these momentary sanctuaries of freedom in my mind from the world I lived in; I still shudder to think of where I may have gone. As innocent as that may have seemed, the world I was closing down from was not so innocent; and every day I would awaken with the same patterns and thoughts. My days started in pain, anger and tears.Why did you not let me die and why can’t anything good happen to me. Followed by the excruciating ache inside me for someone to love me and be nice to me, for something to just go right. The last ten or so years were this way more often than not. And then I would be obsessed with finding ways and means to get more and do more so I could forget more. A vicious cycle it was; with me as the leading lady is this horrific painfilled film. Unable to get to the ending credits, because that was what I wanted this role to do. And every day that I woke up alive just left me with starting the day as a failure. From there it would only go down the hill; because once we are in those depths of despair we only attract and can be around people in the same grips. They may be on different pages but still in the same grips.
So I live for a moment every night with not enough medication to help me sleep because I am becoming immune to even the strongest things on the market and I get to float for a minute before consciousness leaves me in a world where everything is taken care of and everyone is super nice and I am happy and I am alive and I am loved. And tears run down my face as I wonder if other people get these things. Do they win lotteries and spend their lives helping people and loving people and surrounded by love? And I sleep before I have to answer that question; because the answer to that would take away my need of the answer being yes. I did need the answer to be yes and I needed to believe that with all my might.
And here I am today, thinking about when I first got clean. My thought patterns and thinking changed. I used to cry myself to sleep feeling lonely and still very unloved. What I didn’t see was the love that was surrounding me as I stayed clean. Why? Because I did not even know what that looked like or felt like. What I believed was that if you were nice you wanted something or you were gong to want something in the future; that I would now owe you if were nice and hugged me. And the constant telling me you understood only sounded condescending to me; like I was being talked down to. None of this was the fact, but that is how I internalized it. So, I had to once again put the show on and talk like everything was working out and how grateful I was. The truth was that I was terrified that this wouldn’t work and I would be right back where I came from. I believed nobody truly believed in me because I didn’t believe in me; so how could you.
And here I am today thinking about how I go to sleep tonight and many nights in my life today. I still use the same skills; meaning I still have the same thought processes when I am stressed or just unable to sleep and I will return to the original win the lottery and spend and-and help and be happy. The difference with that thought today is the process. Today I know it is not real and doesn’t have to be. Today I am loved and I have love and I know what love is. Today I am happy and not needing this illusion to get me to sleep. It just helps slow my thinking down and gives it one object to focus on when I cannot sleep. And there is a bit of comfort in having a remembered thought that I understand and know.
So in truthful theory; I am now making this a little less painful and a little bit better. Today I don’t fear waking up; I relish it. I am not upset with myself for having some of my old thoughts creep in. They were never using thoughts; just thoughts to get outside of me and today they are not. Today they are just a place to focus on something that isn’t about me not sleeping because that stresses the hell out of me.
I shared this because I needed to say it and others may need to hear it. Not everything has to change in my life; only that which is not working. Guilt is or shame is not things I have to feel today about being honest. For today, let’s be okay with being honest. I certainly am. And on that note…
Have an amazing week and let’s be honest and only change the things that are not working. Let’s be okay with the things that are. Once again, I hope you enjoy the read. Feel free to comment and I will respond. Like, share and follow if you wish.