Friday, August 29, 2008

This Is a Story Of Redemption

So, today I was on a bus. Yes, my summer friend (the bus) and we got reacquainted for a little over an hour. Generally my ipod is my time-passer of choice, but today I went the book route. For about a week now I've been reading Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp. I originally chose this book from a list assigned for extra credit in Abnormal Psychology. I looked through several options and my general curiosity to understand problems that occupy the world I live in... won out. So, I began to read a personal account of a renown journalist and her alcoholism. My first thought on the book was that it would be interesting, but nothing that hits to close to home since I myself and none of my immediate family are alcoholics. However, as I was sitting on the bus ending the last fourth of the book I realized that addicts share many trates and all of a sudden a general interest in a school assignment hit home, very close to home.

Caroline spoke of her upper/middle class family. She spoke of being the daughter of a Freudian Analyst and an artist who were always "appropriate", secretive, and collected. She did not come from a family of alcoholics, she was not beaten or molested. She came from what looked like a perfectly fine family, and she often wondered why she turned out to be an alcoholics because she could never exactly point out what caused it. I often felt the same way. It's like being stuck in a gray area and I just wanted to go to the doctor and them tell me I was ill and send me away with a fix. However, addiction is not like that, and I, being the daughter of a pastor, felt that I had no excuse to be caught in the life I lived.

It's just a life stuck in gray areas and places that can't be defined or understood by people who have never lived them. I began to read more and she mentioned being at AA meetings and how addictions travel in pacts, rarely ever do people just have one. Many of her friends in her meetings (predominantly women) struggled with eating disorders. This passage took me back to many memories that are several years old. As I read about the habitual things people did who struggled with eating disorders I remembered every time that I did the exact same thing. I remember going running because I felt that I needed to punish myself for being hungry. I remembered that after I had not eaten more than 200 calories a day for weeks I ate a half of a cake in one night and I was in so much pain that I thought I was dying. I vividly remember walking into the living room and beginning to cry as I walked towards my mother. Through my sobs I got out "I didn't mean to eat that" to which my mother replied "No one made you do it" and I took some napkins, walked out into the woods, and rid myself of the cake. That was my first addiction.

I read more as she recounted all of her sexual experiences that she couldn't get out of so she drown them in alcohol. She described them as "surreal" as if she was never even there. This brought me back to the present. The very thing that "no one understands" in another persons words. I read my own thoughts in another persons autobiography. Then my mind began to run a thousand miles a minute.

I've compartmentalized my life and forgotten how much my addictions are effecting my current life. I used to be addicted to morphine. I used to do drugs. I used to drink too much. I used to mess around with boys at parties just in time to disappear. I used to do all that stuff. It's been a long time since that stuff, in fact it's been so long that I've convinced myself that that wasn't me. For the millionth time in my life I overestimated my own strength just in time to face plant into the ground. So, now where does this put me?

Well, my life has been great. I have been blessed in more ways than I can count. I got sober, and started devoted my attention to learning how to developer healthy relationships. However, this summer there was a slight set back. A certain event sent me into a slight whirlwind and I found myself in an all too familiar place. I found myself downing alcohol while I lay there praying it would end. I found myself smoking just enough weed that I couldn't recall anything. I found myself being the person I "used to be", except this time I don't know if it's because I'm older, because I've seen more, been through more, or because I found a sense of morality, but there is a voice deep in my soul that won't leave me alone and all it ever says is Catie suck up your pride and leave it alone. Run because you might not make it back again.

I decided to give this all a little more thought than normal because the issue faced me head on the other day. I found myself spilling a little more than may have been necessary to a good friend. It wasn't really the conversation that made me question my lifestyle as much as my reaction to the conversation. He told me that it's going to be alright, and all I thought was apparently you didn't hear me. Then the conversation progressed and I found myself staring at the ground with a thousand things running through my head and I'm not sure if I've ever felt that misunderstood in my entire life. It was not anything he said. It was a feeling of not really understanding it myself, and knowing that no one else really could either. There I was in the same place I "used to be." In a moment of desperation when I knew that I had to do something. I couldn't go back. I couldn't half way do this. It's time to commit to change. Right before I left my friend suggested that I write down things that I need to change and ways to accomplish this. So, I began my walk home. I was walking in the dark thinking of all the things I needed to do and everything seemed so gray and unsure. I was desperate for something concrete. I was desperate for a sign(which I generally don't even believe in). So, I started to think about the reasons I changed last time, and I remembered a story. It related very closely to the "surreal" experience that Caroline so perfectly described.

It was the second week of college and I got a call from a friend who wanted to go to a bar and play trivia. I went with all intentions of returning to my room at the end of the night. It turned out that I couldn't leave. I was taken back to the friends house and it didn't take me long to realize that he never had any intentions of taking me back, and I was stuck. So, as we entered his apartment he made me a large glass of coke and rum (10% coke and 90% rum) so as I realized my fate and fear began to run down my sleeves I downed the drink and followed him to his room.

That was it for me. I realized that I was gambling with the house, and it you play long enough the house always wins. So, as I was driven back to my dorm at 5:00am and dropped off I walked in utterly defeated. I'd played a game too long that I never had the business to play in the first place. So, as I walked down those dark streets recalling that moment. I started to feel the first sense of clarity that I've felt in awhile. I realized that the game only gets more dangerous. It doesn't really matter what I have been through or what has happened to me. I can't do it again.

So, I started to pray on that street. I haven't prayed in awhile except while drunk and very angery at my life. However, as I began to pray I realized another reason that I left that life behind me. Jesus is the only person who has ever understood me. He's the only connection I've ever had to a real feeling of intimacy or love. He gave me a chance to start over, and amazing friends, and a million opportunities to love people. For that, I'm eternally grateful, and for that I can't go back. I don't understand why the incident this summer occurred. I don't understand a lot of things, but there are some things that I'm not supposed to understand. All I need to know is that there is a chance for real love waiting for me. There is a chance for freedom and I don't have to earn it and I don't even have to deserve it... all I have to do is reach out and grab it.

So, all this turned out to be is a story of a girl, a life, a great God, and all the beautiful things in between. This is a story of redemption.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Taste of Death

I used to wonder why everyone said the same thing
Including my dad
"This is just life
Take it for what it is"
It seemed silly that no one wanted me to dream

I felt like I invented passion
Because I seemed to be the only person that possessed it
Or maybe the years not only killed everyone
But made them bitter, angry, and complacent with life
And I dreamed that there was so much more to life
Than what everyone else had
And I always refused second place

But the years have found me
And I'm not sure if it's premature
But this is my life none the less
And I don't feel that I can change it anymore
So, maybe I will just accept it

Maybe the part of me that always needs to be better
Will die
And let me settle in peace
Maybe this time I won't look for love in anymore places
I will just accept it's absence

Maybe a part of me will die
So the rest of me and live
Maybe I'll learn
Maybe one day I'll be able to love

But right now this is my life
And I'm learning to accept
That this might be the best I ever get

Sunday, August 24, 2008

All I Asked Was that You Remember

This was the most beautiful morning I can remember
And none of the beauty was anything I could grab onto

It was not filled with great victory
Great love
Or a beautiful flower blooming through a bed of thorns

In fact,
This morning was filled with sorrow
And the nights before with little hope

But this morning there was a strong wind
The air was dry
I felt Summer being blown away
And as my hair blew in locks across my face
I knew that Hope was in the breeze
Whispering a secret
And if I could only stand still long enough
I might know what life is holding for me

On that street corner looking for the sun to appear
Over the top of high rise buildings
Tears began to softly flow down my face
Being dried by my hair as it whipped around in the breeze
And I could not name those tears with the loneliness
That floods my soul and runs over into the streets
And joy never showed itself where I could see
And the sorrows had cried all the tears that they would ever find

Those tears where life and the overwhelming choices that are
All of them changing my life indefinitely
And I have no direction
This moment is too small for life
So the excess is running down my face

I looked up
Realizing that I'm a vagabond
In a strange land
That feels as much like home as anything I've known
No family
No where to go
And I can't find anything
Except a cross walk sign
That I've officially missed seven times
While standing in the one moment of peace
That I've felt in a long time
And i took one more step
Out into the street
And after all the wind had spoken to me

All I replied under my breath
Through my hair
And into the breeze
"Please, remember me"

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Cast Out

Did I ever tell you how much I love you
Did I ever let you know
That you were my hero
When the world was new
And I had yet to grow into my fingers and toes
Everything I knew was you two
The lighthouses on the ocean that I was about to set sail on

I thought you were perfect
I wanted to follow every step you took
And mimic every move you made

It was if everything good in the world
Was in your eyes
And all I did was look at them all day

But time caught me sooner than you thought
I just wasn't your little girl anymore
And I saw your mistakes for the first time
But don't think that I ever thought anything less of you

But you changed towards me
You covered up and became ashamed of what I could see
As if you resented me for knowing the truth
And I wish I could tell you how much I love you

As heartless as I can be
It never stops stinging when you get angry at me

I've tried to count the times I've failed you
Keeping a tally in my head
But I lost count long ago
And I wondered when you would realize
How hard it has been for me to grow

And the new sets of baby fingers and toes
Are you're new blind objects of affection
But my love never changed
And I've told myself over and over again
That you love me unconditional it's just hard for you to show

But through everything
I never thought that our paths would bring us here
With nothing to show for a 19 year relationship
As if whatever number time this is that I've failed
It's the end of grace
And I was never forewarned

I just wish that you would tell me I've done something right on this road
That maybe it's your scars
That cast me out in the cold

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Way You Move me

All the prayers that I've prayed
And all the words that I've written
Never seem to capture the feeling I get when You're near me
It's as if everything that was impossible
Appears in a new light, so near my grasp
And it no longer matters that I can not speak eloquently
Or write poetically
And the way my heart beats can not be contained by my scant vocabulary

And for the first time I understand real love
I feel for the first time
And I know that where I am today is where You want me

I know that the days I don't see clearly
And the moments that You're hands are not near me
Are number by the grace You've bestowed upon me

And death no longer seems punishing
It's beautiful
To know that one day I will forever be with You
And now forever
Doesn't seem long enough

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Uncovering Victoria's Secret!

I randomly decided to let everyone know that my first day at my new job is tomorrow. WooHoo new job!

Yay Panties...

... except I must find a way to get over my fear of picking out stranger's sex clothes...

That's a problem