Ever have a day that -- oh, let's say we wish would go away? One where nothing but negative thoughts about ourselves flood our mind with reminders, over and over, about how much of a screw-up we are? How stupid that was to do what we did, whether today, yesterday, or a month ago? A day that is much like today was for me -- where Left Side and Right Side simply had their hooks in me, wearing me down, making me hate.
It shouldn't have been that way today. It was supposed to be a damn good day. I was going to walk into work with my spirits high, and ready for service.
I don't know. I don't know what happened. Every mistake I'd made from the time I was born clear through to the time I'll die came flooding to me. When I left from work I refused to go home, I didn't want to deal with anything at the house. The first thing this morning, as I left the house, I had intentionally decided that I wouldn't go home -- I had packed my sweats, a t-shirt, and my tennis shoes so I didn't have to. Looking back, I see now where my day had already started going to shit -- I had anticipated a shitty day the entire time, though I denied it.
Work wasn't so horrible that my day went downhill. It was busy, and I even found myself more useful today than I thought I would be. I mean, I did ask the Creator, wholeheartedly, to allow me to be of assistance today, and I was. I had a gal that needed help with something, and she was so flustered, that at one point, she was in tears. I helped her through it, though. She was not crying when we were done, and in fact, she was even laughing.
One might think that should cheer me up, right? Fucking Left Side and Right Side. They began comparing, "Why can't someone just be there for you like that, jerk?"
"Ya, no one even gives a shit how you feel. You suck! You couldn't find someone to talk to about your shit, dummy!"
"Anyone with half a brain would know how to get a friend, ya dipshit; let alone any companionship!"
That's how my day went; slowly, hatefully, wearing on me.
At lunch, I went and prayed and meditated, "God, please take away my troubles, that victory over them will bear witness to those I would help!" For a minute, I was okay -- but the day was only half over.
I left work with every intention and refusal of going to a meeting tonight.
"Fuck that!" I said.
"Ya, now your talking! Who needs those losers, anyway?!" Left Side asked.
"Right! No meeting! I'm getting burned out! -- let's go to coffee and sit, bored off of our asses instead! We have that right!" Right Side chimed in.
So I ran to the coffee shop -- and sat there, feeling sorry for myself, fighting with myself, getting angry at Life, deciding that it was bullshit I was alive, and -- and planning.
"Go to your home group." a Third Voice said. As quiet as it always is, it is the loudest voice in there. "Go to your home group, and just sit, and listen."
With absolute reluctance and resistance, as well as a fight between Left Side and Right Side, the Third Voice simply picked up my laptop, placed it in the bag, and walked me out the door. He wasn't playing around, and I had no choice in the matter -- I was going, period, like it or not.
"But you'll be late! You'll be so late!" Left Side and Right Side argued, "You're just going to make everyone look at you, you'll be late and they'll laugh and you'll look stupid!"
Fuckers. I hate those two.
Third Voice didn't say a word, He simply took me. He drove me there, and all the while, I argued with Left Side and Right Side, if agreement can be considered an argument. We arrived, and we were just on time. Better yet, the meeting was actually running late, so we were, in a sense, early. FML. Why not.
The meeting began, and of course, Left Side and Right Side began nitpicking at everything.
"We've never done anything like that!"
"That guy is messed up! We can't relate to that!"
"I know, we're nothing like any of these guys! Hell, we've never done those kinds of things!"
"Right?! Maybe -- maybe we're not alcoholic, dude. Ya think?"
--- WHOA! ---
NOW they've got my attention. This could make some sense, couldn't it? Maybe, just maybe --
"No!" Third Voice sternly commanded. Left Side and Right Side went silent. "Remember where we were, how we were, what we went through. Remember. And don't forget. We were hurting! Just like they were hurting! Remember what it was like? The pain? The agony? They are reminding us RIGHT NOW!"
Sometimes, I just want to roll over and die. I don't know why. I can't understand what makes me feel this way -- but I can truly say that I just want to be ALIVE. And when the inner arguments begin, it gets terrifyingly difficult to stop some times, and I don't know how I get through it some days. Yet I do. I do know it is partially because of the people I've met (ZJ, AF, Sponsors (all of them at their own level), Counselor, The Rooms, Third Voice (God?), meditation/contemplation/prayer/release), and the tools that I have learned and picked up along the way.
I came home tonight, because I have to sleep at some point, and on my desk I found a paper from about two months ago. On it was handwritten, "I Am ________." I learned this while doing a meditation once, actually, about self-talk and self-realization. I also get reminded, often, by both ZJ and AF, to stop my horrible self-talk. I don't even realize I do it, it just happens most of the time, but they catch me, and they stop me. Directly, caringly, and firmly.
More recently, AF challenged me to say, out loud, positive affirmations, so I would hear it. Her reasoning was that if I hear it coming back into my ears, then my mind processes it differently, and it is set and recorded in a way that simply thinking it does not. This actually makes a lot of sense to me. It is also true that handwriting affirmations triggers yet another part of the brain, further recording it and setting it.
Hence the piece of paper and the technique I learned while meditating. "I Am _______." What am I? As I read through the list, I began to realize what I truly am -- and it was nothing like what Left Side and Right Side were saying! Remembering the challenge AF had set before me, I began reading my handwritten list, out loud:
"I am: love, light, compassion, hope, caring, truth, peace, truth, positive, faithful, loyal, grateful, creative, awesome, artistic, musical, handsome, smart, literate, lovable, honorable, accessible, down to earth, heartfelt, devoted, passionate, patient, hopeful, changing, grateful... ALIVE."
The list actually goes on for pages, a few words being repeated. As I recited those words and blinked to dam the flood, I could remember writing each and every single one of them just as well as I did the day I wrote them -- two months ago. And with each recital, I could feel my wellbeing grow, my spirit lift, and my self worth expand.
I am a wonderfully, damn good man. And if anyone thinks otherwise -- well, who cares?
I know I am.
I may be stuck with Left Side and Right Side, but thank God I've got a much more subtle, quieter, albeit much better heard, Third Voice stuck inside of me, too. And the friends that I've met along the way and the tools I've learned and lessons I've been through, are all remolding me into the better version of the great guy I've buried inside. I'm truly a blessed man.
In my past, I would respond by saying, "I don't deserve this much Love." But you know what?
We all deserve this much Love, it's just that only some of us are seeking it, and finding it.
May the Universe bless you with as much as you seek to allow it to.