I guess it’s an obvious truth that when you do a life makeover you leave no stone unturned. There are no half-and-half deals here – once you commit to that path and start re-engineering / re-parenting / re-birthing yourself, over time you get to explore, pull apart and rebuild every little bit of yourself, from scratch.

I’ve never been good with feelings. I suspect because it’s always felt like I’ve had too many feelings, all the time – rushing in and overwhelming me. 

So I learned which feelings I could master, and use to hold the other emotions at bay. I used humour and laughter both to connect to people and to keep them at a distance. A perfect façade constructed to welcome you in only so far. Push any deeper and you’d find stronger barriers of crude, filthy humour – precious few people hang around under a barrage of offensive quips. 

Then I grew up and found drugs. Cocaine in particular. And that took care of all the internal emotions kept behind that barrier. The only thing that thrived in that white powdery desert was the cruelty of my outward smile. No other feelings were nurtured. None. I wanted them to wither away and die.

But that never happens. They lie dormant, waiting for the façade of a lifetime to crack and fall. 

And then the flood.

Therapy was a tool I used to slowly release the pent-up emotion I’d spent decades hiding. I wanted to let go of all the old pain and loss and disappointment and learn how to roll with the punches life would throw in the form of more death, anguish and heartache. I wanted to learn how to love like an adult, in a healthy way, and to feel what it feels like to cry without shame. 

Therapy was good. Great, actually. I was foolish to stop it when I did. But I did.

The walls have started to come down. That is what I wanted, after all. What I wished for. And that adage, of being careful what you wish for? It hit me squarely – right in the feels. 

Anxiety. Alone-ness and loneliness. Jealousy. Love. Infatuation. Greed. Compassion. Anger. Joy. Fear. Pride. Despair. Hope. Resentment and rage. God, the list is never ending, and the onslaught relentless.

Every minute of the day, my mood, actions and responses are powered by, influenced by, affected by or tainted by emotion. Even when I sleep, my dreams conjure up anxiety, loss, sentimental confusion and depravity. Every. Single. Second. Of the day.

It is exhausting! Fuck, I just want to turn on the drugs or alcohol to get a break, a minute’s respite from the always-on status of my heart and the accompanying chatter in my mind. Anything just for a moment of silent numbness.

But that’s not the deal. It can never be the deal, ever again. The agreement with myself was that I choose to live, and take everything that that choice brings. All the chaos. All the sobriety.

All the feelings. 

It’s been a tough week. My heart and mind have been rough partners; they have played the game well, throwing out one damn lesson after the next. 

But that’s the deal. That’s what I wished for.

I guess. 

© Dave Luis 2017. All Rights Reserved. 

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4 thoughts on “What You Wish For

    1. I am finding this more and more – that this ‘recovery’ thing is not just for addicts, but for everyone who is transitioning into a more self-care styled way of living.

  1. Thank you for this brilliant piece, Dave. It helps me to understand addiction and recovery a little better. One of my loved ones has used cocaine, and you have given me a glimpse into what he goes through. The plethora of emotions that haunt him daily.

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