Thursday, January 05, 2006

Sobriety and the BoogyMan

I came across several posts tonight in which people talked about having broke free of some type of addiction. Gambling, cocaine, alcohol, etc. I'm proud to say me too! I came from a background of four generations that I know of who were alcoholic, pill popping maniacs. I didn't know they were maniacs at the time, it was all I knew and seemed quite normal. Great grandma said you used to be able to buy cocaine from the sears catalog. Who knew. Our family motto could have been "When the going gets tough, the tough get fucked up"! Or "When the going get going, the going, I mean. umm we, whatever, hey! Lets get fucked up!"
I naturally started doing my part when I was about twelve or thirteen with the unspoken blessing of my folks. Spoken loudly however by things like getting a carton of Marlboro's and a quart of Yukon Jack for my sixteenth birthday. Actions speak louder than words, so "get that dope outa my house" didn't mean much to me.

By the time I was eighteen I was a mess. At twenty five I was full on crazy and dangerous but still only mildly aware that most people didn't live like I did. I spent the next ten years on what I now think of as "The magical mystery tour" Ten years of fucking up my life, becoming depressed and disillusioned, scrambling to repair it, reaping the benefits of the repair and then fucking it up again. Then repeat the process. I was baffled and it was complete mystery to me why it kept happening.
I did the 12 step thing. I liked that for awhile until it seemed to me more like a cult than anything else. And seeing people who had sat at the same table in the same seat twice a day for thirty years straight, saying the same thing every day, seemed more like a curse than a "gift of sobriety" It was a good start and the beginning of my self reflection. (Note to 12 step people: If it works for you, bless you! It just wasn't a lifelong fit for me)

Luckily I was born with an insatiable curiosity and quite beside my own self I started learning more about the world around me and how I did or did not fit into it. I started seeing how my perceptions sometimes didn't match the facts. I saw how things that I disliked or even hated, if I really looked hard, were a part of my makeup also. I started to understand that my feelings and my inability to deal with them were the problem. It wasn't my fault, I just never learned. As an adult I had a choice, be a victim and blame my upbringing, or accept responsibility for who I was and be accountable to myself for changing. I found myself at a different step one. I could write for hours about the journey from there, but not tonight.

Carl Jung said in his book Man and His Symbols:
"It is the face of our own shadow that glowers at us across the Iron Curtain."

How true this is! Those parts of myself that I hide, repress and deny must find an outlet for expression. It seems to be a law.
Not just for me, but for all humans. That which we deny a place in our conscious goes into the realm of the shadow. When I discovered this some years ago things began to get better for me. I began to learn how my projections kept me from seeing the truth about myself. And so it is today. A learning process, perhaps a lifelong one at that.

I think that is one of the reasons bush and his henchmen have been so successful at what they do. They tap into that part of us that we hide, repress and deny. They scare us into believing our projections are real. The boogyman doesn't live in a tent and ride camels. He lives right here among us.


At 8:55 PM, Blogger Lizzy said...

Fire Crow,

Nobody, as long as he moves about among the chaotic currents of life, is without trouble.

Another wise quote by Carl Jung.

Thanks for sharing your story. We all have skeltons in the closet. When I read that you continue to learn, it simply shows you have gained wisdom.

Keep sharing that wisdom.

Peace to you!

At 11:03 AM, Blogger Chuck said...

Good for you!


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