I truly believe that we addicts are unstoppable creatures. That once we get a fire under our ass about something, nothing can stand in our way. I also believe that when we first get clean, if we set certain goals for ourselves, we are really selling ourselves short.
When I first got clean, I just wanted the country song to play in reverse: get the truck back, the dog, a girl, a decent recovery job, and an apartment. I had absolutely no idea what God had in store for me.
I didn’t even know what I wanted. Let alone how the hell I was gonna get it. I just didn’t wanna smoke crack or shoot dope anymore. That much I knew. But what had taken place in my life recently, was that someone had shown me some goodness, and planted a see that had started to sprout. I had come to the conclusion that I was NOT a drug addict piece of shit loser, not anymore. And I wasn’t going to live like that, not today. So I Just did my best every single day to stay humble, be kind, see the good in the world, and help others every chance I got. And that, along with listening to that “Still small voice” or “follow my nudges” as I say. Has led me to some pretty amazing experiences, memories, and places in my life. My wife and I got to stand looking over the absolutely most beautiful pond I have ever seen, which was nestled into the golden wheat covered rolling hills in Washington State- something that I never even fathomed would happen. My daughter, her best friend, and myself took a ride on the sketchiest fucking ride ever at Indiana Beach called the skycoaster, where my old ass and two teenage girls, because I am so “Super cool” Were raised up by a fucking bungee cord like 150 feet above a lake and then pulled some damn rip cord and went flying like a pendulum headed for certain death back and forth a bunch of times while I pretended not to turn grey and almost puke my guts out. We drove 16 hours though Kentucky, Tennessee, and the Carolinas to Hilton Head Island, where I got down on one knee and proposed to my now wife over looking the beautiful atlantic ocean at sunset and I was shaking so badly I thought I would drop the ring down through the crack of the pier. We have all cut down our very first Christmas trees together as a family. We have purchased a house, yes, got a fucking mortgage on our dream home, and our very first New Car. I didn’t see any of this coming. I just wanted to feel better and not shoot dope. And I can tell you about all of these amazing things that have happened in our lives, but I would be misleading if I didn’t share with you the difficult times too. I have almost left, I have almost given up numerous times. She has done the same. All of these bills, four kids, who seem to get more and more expensive as time goes by. They want everything and appreciate nothing. All they do is complain and ask whats for dinner, and some how this generation has become addicted to Dunkin Donuts, which isnt’t really a huge deal, unless theres 8 of us mobbin deep and they all wants fucking signature something bullshit, and then the total is like 40$ a rip. And instead of wanting coloring books and shit for christmas, they want IPADS, and AIRPODS and shit. Like what the fuck. And grocery shopping sucks absolute balls now. There was a time when I was like, “shit Ill just grab two boxes of ramen, and 14 frozen pizzas and I’m good to go” Not today. Nope. Not even close. And marriage… Marriage is something I never thought I would ever experience. And it is also something that I must learn and grow into each and every day. I’m pretty sure my Wife and I have experienced about 47 different versions of ourselves over the last several years. And it’s funny, because I always had this weird EXPECTATION that Marriage would somehow like make everything “better”, or cure something? I don’t know, but what I have found out is that here is what marriage fixes: NOTHING. And I have also found a lot out about myself from her, and from this life that I hadn’t quite been able to put my finger on before. I’m insecure as fuck, I’m the emotional baby of the pair, I think too damn much, I’m not as good or as bad as I think I am, and I tend to carry both sides of that equation to either extreme, I don’t know how to be a dad, although I try my best every day, I’m a worry wart, I’m scared shitless of all of this falling apart, And I don’t really have the foggiest fucking idea as to what I am doing. But I try. I fail, I try again, and we all just continue to grow in the beautiful up and down, bad times and good times, merry go round of life together. Ya know it’s funny, cuz when we’re kids, we don’t really consider that we are watching our parents grow up too. “Life’s a dance, we learn as we go, sometimes we lead, sometimes we follow. Don’t worry about what you don’t know, life’s a dance we learn as we go.” Ain’t that the truth.
But there are also a couple other lessons that I have learned. It has taken me almost 5 years to learn them, and I will probably unlearn them and re learn them again, but I have learned that, for me, the two greatest errors I can make internally are EXPECTATION, and COMPARISON. If I have expectations, in my life, my home, my job, my marriage, etc. It not only leads to disappointment, resentment, and bitterness, but that single one idea has had my ass sleeping on the couch, and driving around on country roads blaring music and talking to God more times that I care to recall. I truly am the “Kingest” of King Babies. And I need to continue to learn not to have such expectations as: Planning a perfect special night with my wife and expecting it to go 100% as planned, or a weekend with the kids, or whatever. Yes, losing expectations will help me lose the negative consequences, but it was also lead to some very pleasant surprised. so its basically a win win.
And Comparison, oh the age of social media. We have such a turbulent era upon us, where if we are not careful and able to discern, we can think ourselves into an early grave. Or at least I can. Again, I am a worry wart. But what really fucking sucks for me, or has in the past, and probably will again in the future, is having one of those, just shitty weeks, or months. Nothing seems to go right at home, in the bedroom, with the kids, at work, the elections, whatever- And I begin to internalize all of these things as some kind of failure on my part, or project them as a failing on my wife’s part, or the kids, or whatever. And Then we start to scroll, or watch TV, or shit, even read a book. And we begin to compare our insides, our inside conflicts, or even our home/environmental conflicts with others’ hand picked happy moments on FB, or IG, or on TV. I know a lot of people may not admit to this but I bet you have found yourself drifting off into the ‘what if” world, Or the “maybe just”, “it’d be nice if” worlds that we can find ourselves in real quick. And the combination of Expectations AND Comparison….? Shit! That can be super dangerous for us addicts and alcoholics, because that can trigger a lack of Gratitude and lead to the “fuck its”. And then we’re off the races once again. And no, I don’t find myself wanting to use over some bad days, expectations, reality, comparison, and resentments. But what has crossed my mind more times than I care to admit? Running away, putting a gun in my mouth, giving up, being a weakling and just walking away from it all. But I haven’t and I wont, because at the end of the day, this is the life that I prayed for, and I got clean for a better life and I stay clean because I got one. But I know that there are a lot of men out there who can relate to this. It’s tough being a dad man. It’s tough being a husband. A wife. A Kid. Life is fucking hard sometimes and we need to learn to let go of our expectations, live in each moment as it comes, and enjoy the silence and peace when it arrives.
And these are all things that I never even knew I suffered from, or that existed when I prayed for all of this and just wanted a normal life. I am what I call “E over I” Emotion over Intellect. My Wife is the opposite “I over E” And that alone is one of the reasons why I am still alive and she hasn’t smothered me in my sleep yet. LOL. But I am learning as I go, Some days better than others, that I don’t have to allow every word, thought, ad on FB, song, asshole in the grocery store to take up so much space in my head.
Don’t. Overthink it. Herb.
The greatest way to make something so precious lose it’s sparkle, is to compare it to something else. And If I no longer have expectations, I am no longer disappointed, but I am surprised a lot. Keep it simple. And Stay out of your head.
E/I or I/E