Dancing With The Devil!
By Peter Hawes
What do we do when our whole world crashes?
Most of us run to safety.
But what happens when that safe zone is not safe?
After a traumatic break up with my partner of 3 years who mind you is one of the most wonderful people I've had the pleasure of meeting.
My mind cracked, so I ran back to my family home believing they had all learnt and grown from the errors of our past as I knew I had grown a lot too.
But I was wrong, Oh so wrong and this safe zone was just as traumatic as it was in the past.
I am not going to add specifics as I don't hold my family responsible for my choices. They are them and I am me and I chose to go back believing it had changed when deep down I knew better.
Nothing ever changes and I am not sure that’s there fault as they seem to function fine the way they are.
Maybe I am just different or the black sheep. But either way its a toxic environment for me and I find it psychological abusive.
To top it all off while out with a childhood friend her abusive jealous partner threatened and verbally assaulted me and while I believe I handled it well backing away so he could calm down and myself doing all I could to make sure my friend was safe and that the situation didn’t escalate.
I found it incredibly hard to hold my temper with this dick head right up in my face and knowing full well I had all the training and skills at my disposal to flog him senseless. (my Sensei was right it is harder to walk away from a fight knowing you can win)
Now while I believed I handled that situation quiet well, Because of how close I nearly came to losing my temper and also the violence I have inflicted on others in my past, this event re-triggered all the PTSD type flash backs and the guilt I have associated with my past actions. I am a different person now but still carry the guilt of my past actions, I think that's what helps me not loose my temper so I haven’t really done anything dealing with that guilt.
Oh what I wouldn’t give for the comforting numbness that alcohol or endones or oxies or heroin can bring, or the benzo train that takes me to a better place, where I don't feel what I feel.
So my current plan is to go get smashed to feel numb and then maybe go pick up for the night to find comfort in another poor lost soul.
Looking at it with any logic I have left in my tortured mind, That doesn’t seem like a productive way to handle the current situation.
Awesome I obviously still have some logic and control left.
I know I'm vulnerable right now and I know I am reliving my past caught in the loop of past ways to self sooth.
But I've changed enough to know that I am a good person and I will never be that person the monster from my past again.
I have a choice!
So after a fight with my mum I left feeling very DE-validated and hurt and judged and to top it off my childhood friend had stopped answering my texts so I also felt very abandoned and alone.
I was going to get tanked chasing the numbness I crave.
But as hard as it is I will battle the devil today and I will win.
Cause thats who I am now.
Life kicks me and cuts me and kicks me again when I'm down. I'm not going to lie its overwhelming at times and hurts like a bitch.
But I get back up and fight and I grow and I learn and evolve.
Because I know now I have a choice.
Its not an easy road but I choose to be the person I want to be and maybe it's who I need to be as well, Maybe not.
I don’t care its who I want to be and I have a choice.
I want to be this person, The image of strength and will and integrity and honor.
Someone I can believe in and look up too.
So I accept I have a choice and choose to be this person.
I wasn’t always like this, But one day I realized I could be and since that day I have worked as hard as I can to be the person I want to be.
Sure I'm not perfect and I screw up sometimes but I'm always working towards this person I want to be.
So as I left mums in an emotionally fueled state craving my old friend the bottle to numb the pain, My thoughts were focused on drinking so before I did I was doing to send a text to all my friends telling them I was relapsing so stay away from me for the next 6 months as from past history it usually takes that long for me to hit rock bottom and begin the climb up when I relapse.
My thinking was that its the right thing to do by my friends.
See I have this bullshit code where I always do the right thing by everyone else.
It's actually probably got a lot to do with why my life turned out this way and I think the reason I self destruct in my own life.
Anyway before I sent that text I realized this would make my friends worry about me as they are an empathic bunch.
I tried to think why would I do that and what my unconscious reason might be behind this action.
Then I realized I need support.
Now I am not the type to reach out for support.
I usually bear my pain alone and use a bunch of cryptic meanings and humor and half truths to hide my pain.
I suspect those who know me well know I do this but respect that it works for me and keeps me safe.
But trying something new I sent a message to two friends I knew were in a good head space.
My text was simple, it was short, it was clear.
“Things are not good I need support.”
One of my good friends rang almost immediately and while I didn’t hear the call and missed it I rang back.
He asked how I was and I told him all that had happened and how much pain I was in and that I was on my way to get a drink as I needed the numb.
We spoke for a while about my 6 years sobriety and how well I had done, We spoke about what supports there were.
He never told me not to drink, in fact he said he's not surprised I want to drink with all that's happening.
He asked me what my plan was and I told him buying time so I can fight this.
I explained I was going to set myself 3 tasks to do and after those 3 tasks if I still wanted to drink I was going to but I suspect I wouldn't want to.
He said this sounds like a good plan and to ring him after the 3 tasks.
This article is my first task.
I am doing battle with the devil and I sit across from the liqueur store as I write this with $700 in my wallet, Feeling the intensity of my alcoholism craving the numbness to sooth the emotional torment chewing at my soul.
It's hard. But I know I am going to win.
How do I know?
Because I choose to be this person and while its not easy, in fact it's incredible hard with all life throws at me.
Fuck em I will show them all how strong I can be.
Shit I will even show me how strong I can be.
Because I have a choice and I choose to fight this.
I choose who I want to be and no one or nothing can take that from me because I wont let them it's mine I built it I own it I became this person and no matter how hard it is I am going to stay this new person.
So onto task two I go to return and finish this article later.
Task two was to go buy a magazine from the newsagent I deemed would be productive and task three was to go buy a prepaid visa and put my $700 on it so I could buy products from my wholesaler for my business.
So all 3 tasks completed and by then my neo-cortex was switched back on and allowed me to feel confident of making rational choices rather then choices fueled by my emotional pain and addictions.
I think its important to remember to put things in place to buy time so when your emotional you can start doing these things to allow yourself to buy time for the emotional thinking to dissipate.
As you can almost guarantee when cravings arise you will be fueled by emotions. As I believe substance abuse is the desperate and wounded's frantic attempt to self sooth from a world of pain.
I will always remember sitting on the ground with a bottle in my hand about to relapse last year and my Mrs at the time saying don't do it Pete and me responding though the tears “But it Hurts it hurts so bad and I want the pain to go away”
She put her arm around me and hugged me and said it will baby, even if you do nothing it will pass.
She was right all pain passes.
She really is one of the most wonderful people I have had the pleasure of meeting.
And while I still fight the devil of my cravings, These days I don’t do nothing. I do the opposite I do something.
I choose who I want to be and it's not who I am as an addict.
So I ask you all who do you want to be?
And what can you do to get to that person you want to be?
Because we all have choice and it starts with just one.
So be the person you want to be and remember Can't is just a bullshit word. We can do anything we are humans at the top of the food chain through years of evolving.
Can't is just a word for shit we haven’t figured out how to do yet.