I feel happy today. Fulfilled. Rested. Organized. It’s really nice. I will take these pink clouds any day of the week, that is for sure. I am 54 days sober today and things are feeling a bit easier. Just a smidge. I humbly take it.
On another note, isn’t is weird how negativity can breed more negativity? Does that happen to you, too? The past few days I was taking care of my sick kiddo, which I wrote about in my last post here. At the same time I had trouble sleeping, even though I was exhausted, because I was thinking about how screwed up my family-of-origin is. WTF? Why were those thoughts coming to me while I had other, more important things to deal with?
I’m not exactly sure why that happens. Any theories? My theory is that negative thoughts get in the cracks of your psyche when you are tired, or stressed, or scared about something else. AA’s idea of HALT comes to mind. (Don’t let yourself get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired). But sometimes it is really hard to avoid feeling tired or stressed or scared because…that’s life. So you just have to put on your big girl pants and deal with feeling shitty feelings and thinking about difficult stuff. At least that’s what I had to do. And you know what? It turned out okay, at least for now.
So, back to the realizations I had about my family-of-origin while staring at the ceiling instead of snoozing. My family was a mess while I was growing up, and they still are in many ways. I always knew this on some level, but I never really wanted to admit it. Alcoholism is rampant amongst us. We lied, enabled, covered up, and worked together to further addictive behaviors for a long time. Some of us still do these things. I learned how to do them as a child.
It’s strange because it seems so obvious and crystal clear to me now, but I genuinely didn’t want to see the truth. I wanted to protect my family from having BIG, BIG problems. “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” I joined them from the moment alcohol first passed my lips. I can’t pretend things are okay anymore, either, and I’m not sure exactly what to do about that yet. For now I will continue to process this new, yet old, knowledge by talking, writing, praying, meditating, and forgiving (or at least trying to).
“It isn’t the things that happen to us in our lives that cause us to suffer, it’s how we relate to the things that happen to us that cause us to suffer.” -Pema Chödrön
2 thoughts on “Some Thoughts From Day 54”
Hi J, A few years ago I spoke to a psychologist about the sudden distressing negative thoughts about my family, possible harm that could come to me, and sometimes horrid images of murder and mayhem that thwarted my sleep, night after night even when I was genuinely tired after a happy and productive day. How could this be? The psychologist told me that with PTSD these pre-sleep negative images and thoughts are very common – and not only that, but that they could happen for years and years. They are the brain’s defense system saying to you “Stay awake! Something bad might happen!” She then told me that the best possible way of draining the energy from this negative habit is to deeply engage in your creative life. Life your particular talents to the fullest possible – and in this way, you will train your mind to forge new pathways and links that will greatly lessen the duration and the intensity of your mind’s defense system that is always working overtime (to protect you, even though you no longer need the protection!)
Wow, that is interesting stuff! Thank you for sharing. I personally have never thought about having PTSD, but as the child of two alcoholics, it is certainly possible. I think delving into the creative is a great idea. Thank you so much for your interesting comment! ~Jen 🙂