Friday, February 19, 2010

Vices

I started this blog with the need to be honest.  Good or bad.  I write a lot about my past, my secrets, my hurts, and a little about my feelings. 

I have a present tense life as well.  However, my present has always been wrapped up in my past.  And my future, well I honestly could not imagine one.  I have never been one to even dream of a day down the road.  I grew up living day to day.  Even moment by moment.

My father's death has changed a lot.  I held my breath with every phone call, knock at the door, even a familiar cologne or voice.  I don't have to do this anymore and it is the strangest feeling.  I have a present life.  And possibly even a future.

So now as I look at my present I see that it is a tangled mess of feelings, numbness, bad habits and addictions.  I have never cared about these things before.  Because I had no future.

Here is the ugly truth.  My husband told me that I am an alcoholic the other night.  I told him that he was full of shit.  After discussing my drinking habits in therapy last night I asked my therapist if I was one and without a taking a breath or even a pause his answer was "yes". 

Nice.

And another ugly truth.  I eat too much.  I guess that's called binging.  And then I throw up.  Purging.  And then I won't eat at all.  And after that I will binge again.  I have done this for years.  My food issues run very deep.  Food is one of the earliest ways that I remember my parents abusing me.

And yet another.  I cut.  That one is pretty straightforward. 

I know that all these things need to stop.  They hurt me.  Some worse than others.  And worse, these things hurt the people who love me.  But I would be lying if I said that replacing these habits doesn't scare me shitless. 

Food.  Alcohol.  A blade.  These things have been constants in my life.  My friends.  What I run to when I'm sad, hurting, numb, lonely.  Even happy.  So I am looking for some new constants.  Healthy ones.

I don't really know what I want by writing this.  I suppose I just want to be honest about where I am and where I need to be headed.

46 comments:

svasti said...

I want to honour your honesty here in sharing what you have with us. There's nothing more powerful and from the heart than talking about what is. And acknowledging those things is a way to begin looking at how to make changes. You can do it!!

Of course, it won't be easy but you do need to find new patterns to add into your life before you can feel confident to let go of the old ones.

And are you surprised that I suggest you try finding a gentle yoga class? One that focuses more on the connection between your breath and your body and mind than it does on perfect poses?

Whatever you choose to do, know you have my support. You are so strong and I know you can do this!

Josephine said...

I guess, what you could do is something I heard on the radio not long ago. Don't stop every unhealthy thing right away, no matter how bad for you, but instead, take up some new healthy habits. You'll exchange the unhealthy for the healthy over time, as long as you permit yourself to take the time. Good luck.

Andrea said...

The very first step toward healing is openly admitting..honestly. You have done that, so you are one step closer than you were yesterday.

Take one step at a time toward healing and know that we are here to pray for you and support you.

Hugs and prayers,
andrea

Saranne said...

You're not only aware of these things, but you have admitted them...two HUGE steps. Everything in its time...the healthy things are already beginning to crowd out the unhealthy ones...Hugs and prayers....OX

sarah said...

Hey 'shattered.' you just took a huge step....admitting the truth of what's going on. Praying for you for freedom...complete and totaly freedom....in your corner always...Sarah

The Pliers said...

There is a truism in our cultural frame of reference that a "bad" habit must be replaced by a good habit. I am here to tell you that that is a lie.

There is such a thing as transformation that makes itself known by "absences." Of late I have a lot of absences where I used to have pain and counterproductive habits.

As time goes by, perhaps you can inquire into the work of Milton H. Erickson and its potential application to loosening the grip of the bottle, the binge, and the blade. There is hope and there is future out there.

English Rider said...

You may have thought we didn't perceive your vices; mentioned in passing for all to notice. You already told us this over time and it has not diminished you in our eyes in any way.
I knew you drank. I knew you cut. I knew you had food issues. I wished and wish for you that you will have an easier life. You are doing a lot of good work towards strengthening yourself and preparing to embrace a future. The same old advice holds true. One small step at a time will take you a great distance along this road. Take us with you. We will support you in any way we can. Hugs to you and that husband of yours who seems to have an uncanny sense of timing.

Shattered said...

Svasti, no I'm not surprised that you would suggest yoga. :) I think I like that idea. What kind of class would I want to look for? (I know they have all sorts of different names)

New patterns are what I'm looking for. Thanks for the idea.

Shattered said...

Josephine, that is what we talked about in therapy the other night; not trying to stop everything all at once but rather doing whatever habit less. It will still be hard for me though because "less" isn't perfect.

Shattered said...

Andrea, thank you. :)

Shattered said...

"the healthy things are already beginning to crowd out the unhealthy ones"

Saranne, thank you. That is what I'm hoping...

Shattered said...

Sarah, thank you for the prayers and encouragement. I need both. :)

Shattered said...

"There is such a thing as transformation that makes itself known by "absences." Of late I have a lot of absences where I used to have pain and counterproductive habits."

The Pliers, that is a very interesting perspective. I can see where you are coming from as the "absence" of my father has transformed my situation a great deal.

Shattered said...

"You may have thought we didn't perceive your vices; mentioned in passing for all to notice. You already told us this over time and it has not diminished you in our eyes in any way."

ER, I think the difference now is that before I didn't view my vices as actual vices. Like I told my husband, "I don't have a problem", when in reality he, everyone here, and others around me saw what was really going on. And because of that, there been some hard truths to face lately because the are in fact, problems.

What has surprised me is how people receive me. I completely expected some harsh words here, not because anyone here is cruel, that is just what I tend to expect because I view myself so poorly. I am very thankful for the encouragement I have gotten because truthfully, this is a very frightening part of my life to face.

And yes, hugs to my husband. :) I often take his uncanny knack at this as him being an asshole but that's not what he is. And I am very thankful for him.

Deborah said...

Jennifer, none of your 'vices' are surprising. You have only my sympathy - you do suffer so. From my layman's perspective, you have taken a profoundly important step forward and I only wish you more of the strength that's brought you this far.

Grace said...

I think that you are a beautiful woman in a lot of pain. I know how hard it is to give up what has always been there for you (the booze, ED and SI) - I struggle too. I remember the first time my theraist told me I needed to "nurture" my body - I was like, what does that mean?? I only see my body as my adversary and why would I nurture that! I know that she is right, though. Baby steps...right? And you have taken many of them.
I wish you peace tonight and always ~ Grace

Ethereal Highway said...

It's so hard to need to find a new place to run to when you're hurting. I know 'cause I need a new place, too.

Deb W said...

Shattered said "What has surprised me is how people receive me. I completely expected some harsh words here, not because anyone here is cruel, that is just what I tend to expect because I view myself so poorly."

I've been reading your journal for a while now and as a woman with DID/PTSD I can really relate to a lot of what you're saying. I have been "coming out" about the DID to a very limited number of people and I, too, have been very surprised that the responses to my illness have been so gentle and devoid of any kind of criticism or judgment. It makes a world of difference in how I perceive myself..that I am not some freak...but am a normal human being to whom terrible things were done. Thank you, Shattered, for sharing such a private part of yourself.

Journal of Healing said...

Shattered,

Appreciating your honesty. I guess my response to reading this is...of course you have vices. looks at the hell you and yours have been through! And, i can say the same for me and mine...of COURSE we have vices. I know you follow my blog, so of course you know that we struggle with multiple food issues as well. Some of my insiders purge, some of them starve, some of them over-eat...it reeks havoc on the outside body. Some of us cut. Some of us drink. Some of us rage. Some of us spend. And the list goes on and on.
We wrote a few contracts last year, and a few of us were in agreement to isolate some of these behaviors to only the inside. While it didn't fix the root of the problem...the why's, it did free the outside body up to function a little more coherently, and healthily. But of course, we have still had to work hard on truths, ridding ourselves slowly of the false beliefs that cause us to need these vices...these escapes from pain.
It's a long road, isn't it? We will thrive though. We will!
I guess I just want to encourage you to know you are not alone in this. I am sure you already know this, but just thought I'd repeat it...it's quite normal for those of us with Dissociative Disorders to have various addictions. And, it is quite possible for those of us with Dissociative Disorders to heal.

(((Hugs for Jennifer today))) Support, Understanding, and love right where you are on your journey in the here and now...

ang

Malefic said...

God, I'm there every waking moment! Just the other day my therapist told me the same thing. I'm an alcoholic. When that fails I seem to end up putting cigarettes out on my skin. The thought of giving any of my vices up scares the living shit out of me. Thank you for sharing. You express what I can never seem to say.

Shattered said...

"Jennifer, none of your 'vices' are surprising. You have only my sympathy - you do suffer so. From my layman's perspective, you have taken a profoundly important step forward and I only wish you more of the strength that's brought you this far."

Deborah, thank you.

Shattered said...

Grace, baby steps work better than big ones doen't they?? It's a hard adjustment for me to do this because I'm such an "all-or-nothing-person" but I'm trying.

Shattered said...

Deb W., it does make a big difference when people receive us with grace doesn't it? I am sorry that you are dealing with many of my same issues. Take care...

Shattered said...

Ang, thank you for your understanding, that means a great deal to me. I like what you did with the contracts on the inside; that's a great idea for while you are working on the root issues. As always, thank you for your support.

Shattered said...

Malefic, it is scarey isn't it?? I try not to think about what I'm trying to give up because each time I do I work myself into a nice little panic. Hang in there and try and take care of yourself.

maggie said...

Jennifer I like what you said to Malefic-'Hand in there and try and take care of yourself.' Your inner wisdom is there. I see you as the light and love that you are. Don't believe any voices that say any different.

Melinda said...

Jennifer, you have made a huge step in admitting that you have problems that feel overwhelming to you. So many people will never even face the fact that they have an issue that needs to be addressed, such as drinking too much, or bulimic behaviors, or anything. For you to face that is the biggest step of all--believe me.

Once you face the fact that you have some big issues that you need help with, I believe that help will come. I so strongly urge you to consider finding some support groups. Early in my recovery, I cannot tell you how helpful it was for me to find support in two different groupos: Narcotics Anonymous and also a support group for survivors of sexual abuse and incest. It helped me enormously to listen to how others had overcome the same types of challenges and problems that I was facing.

Jennifer, in talking with others, I knew that I didn't need to face anything alone--that I was NOT alone. And you aren't alone either. There are so many of us out there--people just like you who have taken a drink, or a drug, or who have eaten and purged to try to mask our inner pain. There's a lot of hope for you, Jennifer--and I truly believe you are making great strides in healing yourself. Don't let anyone shut you down.

If you should ever need help or a kind ear to talk to--email me melinda @ melindaville. I'd do anything I could to help.

Take care, Jennifer--and here's a big ((((((hug)))))) for you, my friend.

Melinda

Annie Coe said...

This is awesome. You know what to do and I believe you will start doing it. One vice at a time, replace these things with healhy, fun things you love that don't hurt you. I am a bit obsessive, so I decided to become obsessed with good things, like art and nature.
it has worked wonders for me. I know you can do this, one little step at a time.
Love and hugs,
xoxo

Friko said...

I am sorry I haven't been to visit, I've been a bit poorly. I don't want you to think that I've gone away for any other reason.

For now all I can say is, be kind to yourself, learn to like yourself, not hurt yourself. The hurt must stop. If you can accept yourself for who you are then so will others. Others will take their cue from you.

Your vices are just that, vices; vices can be dropped. unlearned.

You have a future.

Betty Bishop said...

I have just started reading you. Someone said "a problem well stated is a problem half solved" - I believe you are walking on the Recovery Road - I feel sure you will get there - to a place where you can accept yourself most of the time. A place where you will pretty much always know you have a best friend who loves you - that friend will be you.
If you are looking for new things to do you might want to buy a sketch book and a few artists pencils ......
Somehow I don't think you are an alcoholic either - [LOL what does your husband know? He only lives with you!] - I guess you will know soon enough if you stop drinking?
take care and good luck,
Betty

Kathryn said...

Hi there,
I guess that most of out here might guess that you use the alcohol to forget, the food to comfort, and the cutting to control.
Could you make a list of alternative ways to forget (safer diversions), comfort (non-food related), and control (maybe starting with breathing and , as someone else suggested, yoga?). I am such a methodiacal person that this is the way I would tackle it, but of course this may not work for you. Do I sound like a therapist? I'm not; I'm just a list- oriented person.
You sound like you are on the road to recovery, even though you may not feel like you are. All the best with making changes!

Deborah said...

Dear Jennifer,
Just came by to see if you are all right and tell you that even when you're not around, you're in my thoughts.

Saranne said...

Jennifer -

Hadn't heard from you in a while, and just wanted you to know that you are in my thoughts! Hugs, Saranne OX

-K- said...

I'm totally impressed and overwhelmed (and every other positive attribute that I could think of) by your honesty,

In my experience the huge benefit to not drinking on a sustained basis is the clarity my thinking took on. Or to put it another way, how unknowingly clouded my mind was even when I was technically not drunk. My life hasn't always been easy but the sense of balance and solidity within my head is a constant source of gratitude for me.

JeannetteLS said...

Your honesty in writing this brought tears to my eyes. I pick sometimes, mostly in my sleep. I am ashamed, still, though I work on it... hard to figure it all out when most of it is in my sleep, but I know it's the sign that I am working on unresolved issues. "Vices." I wonder at the word, only because of the connotative quality. You have some issues you want to address and addictive problems to work on stopping. When I think of VICE, I think of willful breaking of sins to be "bad." Eating someone ELSE'S chocolate. Adultery to hurt another. VICE.

So forgive me if I would not call this entry that. I think being as honest in as public a forum and you have just been... I'd title this "Courage to Begin." Or something like that. You are wonderful, Shattered. Just wonderful.

SO THERE. It's good to be back, to be catching up with what others are feeling, thinking, doing. Know how supported you are... and respected.

Rising Rainbow said...

Wow, standing up and taking responsibility for your actions! Very impressive!

It's the hardest step of all I think. Few people really take responsibility for themselves. You should be proud of yourself! I know I'm proud of you.

The journey may be difficult but it is one of the ways you will learn to respect yourself. It is worth every step. Happiness really does lie at the end of this journey. Hang in there. We'll be here for you if you need us.

Shattered said...

Maggie, thank you. Those voices are loud at times but I do my best to only believe my own.

Shattered said...

"Jennifer, in talking with others, I knew that I didn't need to face anything alone--that I was NOT alone. And you aren't alone either. There are so many of us out there--people just like you who have taken a drink, or a drug, or who have eaten and purged to try to mask our inner pain. There's a lot of hope for you, Jennifer--and I truly believe you are making great strides in healing yourself. Don't let anyone shut you down."

Thank you, Melinda. It helps more than just about anything to remember that I'm not alone. It also helps, coming from you, to hear that I'm taking good steps. Thank you for your encouragement.

Shattered said...

Annie, obsessed with good things certainly beats obsessing over the bad. I just wrote about it but I've thrown myself into my quilting and it helps. Thank goodness for creative outlets!

Shattered said...

Friko, thank you for your encouragement and support. It means alot.

Shattered said...

Betty, thank you for reading and commenting! I do have a creative side and I do love to draw, sew, paint, etc and I have been doing much more of that. :)

Shattered said...

Kathryn, I'm pretty methodical too. I like the idea of making a list of alternatives and I've been doing some of that. Thanks for the ideas and the support!

Shattered said...

Deborah & Saranne, thank you for thinking of me and checking in. You both are very kind. :)

Shattered said...

K, I'm starting to see what you mean about the clarity of mind when you don't drink. It's nice not to wake up foggy and tired. It is also nice to remember going to bed and not having the evening before feeling like a blur.

Shattered said...

Jeanette, I like your title too. :) I know all about the picking... that is a really hard one to break when you do it and don't even realize you are doing it.

"It's good to be back, to be catching up with what others are feeling, thinking, doing. Know how supported you are... and respected."

I'm glad you are back and catching up too. I'm looking forward to doing the same... :)

Shattered said...

"The journey may be difficult but it is one of the ways you will learn to respect yourself. It is worth every step. Happiness really does lie at the end of this journey. Hang in there. We'll be here for you if you need us."

Rising Rainbow, thank you for the encouragement. I really do want to be happy and it helps to hear someone in my shoes say that it is possible. :)