“…If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it – then you are ready to take certain steps. At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier softer way. But we could not” – The Big Book.
I think taking steps is easy. For ME its standing still thats hard. Its waiting thats hard. There is so much I can’t do because I haven’t been sober long enough, or I don’t have enough experience. Its heart wrenching that I didn’t decide to take this life changing journey for myself sooner. Something that has been so healthy for me. Something that has changed, and most definitely SAVED my life. If it weren’t for this program of 12 steps I would most certainly have taken my own life. I don’t fear the day that I want another drink, or another valium, I fear the day that I want to take my own life. That day scares me. I deal with suicidal thoughts almost every other day because of my borderline personality disorder, being sober now just means that I can FEEL it. I can feel the desperation. I can feel the heart ache and pain. To the point of my chest literally hurting. I get physically ill now, more so then when I used to. At least once every two weeks I’m throwing up because I’m so stressed out. I know it won’t always be this way and I know I have got to give it to God but some days I want to burry my head in a pillow and cry and never leave my room. I feel like I should just hide myself away because all I do is mess things up. I know this isn’t true and this is my disease talking but it doesn’t make the FEELING any easier. Standing still means FEELING. It means being present in the moment. It means not looking into the past or glaring into the future but simply observing where you are now. I’ve never really been good at that but ironically its the best thing for my BPD.
Once we have realized the key to being present and standing still the rest of the steps come easy. The rest of life comes easy. For you are not worried about what has been or will be. You are not dwelling on anything. Simply observing what is happening before your very eyes. I have no doubt that if I work the program like the Big Book tells me too and that if I stay in the Here and Now and stay focused on my Higher Power that I will be able to stay sober as long as I shall live. Now whether or not I’ll be able to do that I cannot foresee. I hope and pray I am. For being sober has saved the very fabric of my being. And changed every faucet of who I am. In a GOOD way. I don’t think ANY old friend would meet me on the street and say that I looked bad or I looked rough. I look and feel amazing 90% of the time. I am filled with a joy and happiness I can’t explain. A best friend of mine asked me the other day if I had been using, I quickly exclaimed “NO!!! It’s GOD!!!”. I never in my life thought I’d be so excited and happy and thrilled to live such a simple life. Such a quiet life. Such a STILL life. Theres that word again. That word that ever reminds us to be present. Here and now. Once you are still the whole world seems to just slow down a little bit and you can breathe. I have been going for so long that I have forgotten how to breathe. I am like a baby being born again. I have recently started to learn the practice of Thai Chi and the movements are so precise and slow that its hard for me. I haven’t been STILL long enough. My teacher always has to tell me to stop FALLING into the movements. I know I will and I know that in due time I will learn that stillness. Being Patient is also part of the road to stillness and when I am able to be patient with myself I can start to be STILL.
What is unrelenting life crisis you may be asking yourself? Well it is what it sounds like and it effects those with borderline personality disorder. If you’ve ever watched “Girl Interrupted” you may be familiar with the disease I’m referring to. Well I’ve been plagued with this since I was 14. Unrelenting life crisis is as described by Dr. Shari Manning:
One “bad” situation (many times not of their own making)
Inability to tolerate the distress of the situation
Leads them to make ineffective decisions OR
Engage in impulsive behavior to relieve stress
Makes situation worse
I am working really really hard to use coping skills to manage the crisis that are coming up in my life but getting sober in and of its own is hard enough much less doing it with borderline. My hope is to do this, do it well and thoroughly so that I may be able to help other addicts and alcoholics that may have “grave mental illness” because you CAN recover!!! IT IS POSSIBLE!!! If I’m going to be a statistic I’m going to be the GOOD kind. I have many problems beset before me. First I stupidly backed into a wall and busted my OTHER tail light so don’t have any working tail light, My phone is about to get cut off and I have no idea what to do about that, I’m feeling every single emotion in one day, I’m longing to have a guy friend in my life and can’t find a sober one to save my life, being a tom boy theres only things a guy can relate to and I feel as though I’m being PUNISHED for something, my health insurance has run out and clearly I am sick, I have no clue how I’m going to pay for medications, I don’t qualify for Medicaid because I don’t have kids, I sat in fiber glass last night, my real family barely talks to me even though I couldn’t do this without them and I would love to share this with them, lonely is an understatement. I could go on but I won’t bore you. I think you get the point. What is my plan for recovery? WELL I’m glad you asked. First I’m going through the 12 STEP Program! Such an amazing way of life and if we all lived this way the world would be such a beautiful place. We are not perfect and no one person can adhere to the steps perfectly but I do my best and I will try my best everyday. Second I plan on becoming my own best friend again. I once was. Six years ago, before the great darkness. Before I lost Mariah and experienced the first great loss in my life. Before I started to get emotionally abused. I was truly in love with myself. I stayed up late reading “Brave New World” and the “Dune” series. I ran everyday. I did yoga. I meditated multiple times a day. I didn’t smoke NEARLY as much. I listened to music more, and probably most importantly I JOURNALED. Why I don’t do that anymore I have no idea. I will never be the SAME Katie again but what I want to do is read the Tao, I want to learn Thai Chi, I want to go camping ALONE, I want to run again and feel the freedom and release of my feet hitting pavement, I want to get back to my mat and do yoga again and eventually teach in rehabs, I want to quit smoking, I want to get a job and not just any job but something I’m passionate about and something that HELPS my community and those around me. I want to spread joy and happiness. I want to serve others. I want to travel the world and hike trails all over! And most importantly, I want and NEED to write and JOURNAL. I can’t tell you how healthy that is. I want to start making better healthier discussions. DPL stopping using me back in February and thats still relatively fresh, I’m not really looking to hop right into a relationship, I’m more focused on my well being and my self care. I had something happen to me and well it threw me for quite a loop. I don’t know how to put it words. I miss my friend from the hospital. My friend that got me to where I am now. The friend that got me on the road I’m on today. The friend that got me to where I can now look in the mirror and say “I love you, you are worth it.” He, he is the only guy friend I have and I’m not allowed to talk to him because I’m a girl. I remember staying up from the time we got meds at 8 until 11:30 or later just me and him talking. I softly cried to him. I will never forget just looking at him and telling him how desperate I felt. The desperation of a drowning man. I told him how I felt like no one understood me, and that I thought I was destined to be alone the rest of my life and that no one would ever love me the way I appreciated myself. You see, I KNOW my worth, I don’t look to others for validation, I know my worth. No one else does. But HE DID. He told me how he found love and told me that God had a plan and to just listen to my heart. He told me his story. I knew then I needed to get sober. He saved my life. I owe him my life.
Growing is hard no matter if its in your bones or in your soul! Its going to be uncomfortable but oh so worth it! I am going to be such a stronger me and be able to handle all these unrelenting life crisis soooo much better and I’m going to be able to help people with my story. I’m going to have tough skin from being lonely. Sobriety isn’t always easy but it is ALWAYS worth it.