The Power of Shame 

Self destructive shame. What exactly is it and how does effect us on a subconscious level?  How many addicts and alcoholics carry shame….I think it’s safe to say ALL.

Isn’t it the exact nature of Shame that keeps so many of us in active addiction. Sure it does, but then again I can only speak for myself. I know the shame,  then and now has been the very nature of my isolation and wrecked self-esteem to say the least.

Massive destruction thats been done by this affect is beyond words ( although I’m attempting to try it here).  If we look at the dynamics of Shame and give it a name for all the destruction it causes cab we have power over it?

Shame is a normal and natural behavior of human emotion. Some say it is necessary to feel shame in order to separate us from other living creatures and gives us permission to be human. It’s necessary for spiritual discipline and growth, it’s shame that tells us we are not God.

Healthy shame is the foundation of humility. Shame as a healthy human emotion can be transformed into shame as a state of being. Once shame takes over our whole identity we begin to believe that we are flawed and defective as humans. And once that shame is transformed into an identity, it becomes toxic and dehumanizing.

Once this toxic shame becomes our identity we look to become a false version of ourselves and that does nothing more than ignite the downward spiral of all the lies we are constantly spewing out of our mouths. Never-ending it seems.

Unconditional love and acceptance is our hardest task and refusing to do so we fail to accept our “real selves “.  From there it’s when we try to create a more powerful false self, or we just give up all together and become less human. And it is this result that leads to a lifetime of secrecy and hiding.

This secrecy and hiding is the basic cause of our human suffering. It’s the total self-loce and acceptance that we can find a foundation for happiness and LOVE for others. And without it we are doomed with the enervating existence to creating false selves. And I’ve found this existence to be tiring because it takes so much energy and hard work.

Toxically shamed people become more and more stagnant as life goes on. Living in defensive and secretive ways. Healthy shame let’s us know our limitations, to be human we are limited. Shame moves us to get our basic needs met.

Rally the troops….

Keeping my head above water….

I’m really into this blog post sharing and I’m going to try my best to be mindful of it and the content that I can share.  I know the writing is helpful and even a form of meditation if you but for many reasons I feel that I have kind of lost my way…..lost my voice if you will.  Since I got out of rehab and returned home to the shit storm of a mess that I created before I left (I call that D-Day and I’ll save that for another time}.

I’m 41 years old and here I set typing about the mess I’ve made, and boy is it a big one.  My husband has left me, my house still isn’t finished, I have no job, my kids are in counseling and I’m a f#$#cking hot mess.  Alone, depressed, anxiety ridden to paralyses with no hope of integrated back into my community.  My hometown, Clendenin, WV born and raised.  I love(d) this small, quaint little town so much so that I came full circle and back on the compound, bought the house from my grandpa and put down roots.

In June 2016 when that historic flood hit our state and wiped out this small, little town the havoc it reeked was devastating.  I feel quite confident that I can speak for the majority of the population here.  …. hell I did when FEMA rolled in and tried to railroad and take advantage of all of us (but that too is saved for another time).  Nothing has been the same for me, it was horrible.  It’s been nothing but pure hell the past 13 months.

If someone would have told me a year ago that this would be the state of my life I would have looked at them and laughed.  Hell no.  Well hell yes.  How did all this happen?  Where do I even begin to start to try to work thru it and heal, let alone try to explain it to this audience .  I haven’t a clue to be honest.  I can only suggest that when you read you’ll just have to enjoy the message.

Hey I admitted from the very beginning that this is all new to me and that I would do my best.  So please remember that.

The husband got transferred from here at home in WV to Evansville, IN because all the coal mines shut down that if the coal miners aren’t mining coal then CSX doesn’t have any coal to haul.  It’s not rocket science it is what it is.  So being the responsible person that he is he took a transfer to the closest city that was the most busy with work.  Job security.  This was in Feb. 2016 and the plan was for me and kids to move out there in June 2016 so we would all be together as a family unit.

Guess what?  That didn’t happen and what came next was a travesty that damn near destroyed me (and a few others).  The flood hit on June 22nd, 2016.  Matt was out in Evansville working, the kids at their grandparents and me here at the house.  About 5am our little dog, Foxy started growling and barking.  It was very unsettling and then I heard it…..the gurgle of water that has surrounded and filled up my backyard and then flooding my home.  I got foxy, my cell phone, my purse and my bible (this one I didn’t even realize till later) and headed out the front door to what bit of higher ground we have around here.

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I took off and headed straight up the holler to my grandfather’s house to check on him.  He was fine and so was his home.  The water actually crested right outside my front door, imagine that.  As I was dredging thru the water trying to get my barrings together and comprehend what the hell was going on, I just so happened to catch a glimpse out of my kitchen window at the back of the house.  And there it was, the mighty Elk River in my damn house.  What the hell, how on earth is this happening I continued to think.  There was no rationalizing whatsoever.

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It was at the point I went into auto-mode, a defense mechanism like no other mind you, and after that the next 2 to 3 days were so surreal and vaguely comprehensible.  I don’t have too many descript memories or recollections to be honest.  That’s probably a damn good thing too, know what I know now and living what I’m living now from all that aftermath.

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The reality of the situation really hit me when that eminent silence had spread over the neighborhood and ultimately the whole town.  It was at that moment I heard choppers over ahead and they were administering emergency rescue and dropping boat out of the sky and down into the river to rescue folks that were trapped.  You wanna talk about some serious mind-blowing shit that seared its reality into this brain for the rest of my days.

Image result for images of the june 2016 flood in clendenin wv

That shit fucked with me like nothing else to this point in my life.  Here was my house submerged with water, my town completely underwater and my fellow neighbors standing on their roof tops waiting to get rescued.  I mean really.

Nothing like a historic flood, a husband working out-of-town and having to walk the front lines of the aftermath that Mother Nature had just dumped on us.  What better time and excuse to amp up the drug use.  I know that there isn’t a damn excuse on this earth to justify my bad behaviors and many mistakes but I don’t know what I would have done thru all of that if I hadn’t been using.

With active addiction in full effect there was no way out of it.  I thought about how much I wanted and needed to quit but I didn’t have a damn clue as to how  I was to go about that.  There was no way in hell I was going to announce that to the husband the family during this Presidential declared state of emergency.  Really. No way I could have done that.  And obviously I didn’t but oh my how I wished I would have.

Perhaps the events that lead up to me setting here typing these words and sharing my story as part of the recovery process and an attempt of self-care.  Who the hell would have thought…..

That flood did devastated, destroyed and damaged so many people in its wake.  I guarantee there isn’t one f#$#$cking person in this town that isn’t depressed, divorced, self-medicated and oppressed beyond comprehension.  Yeah it was that freaking bad.

And for now this is going to be a stopping point.  I’ve gotten worked up and the anxiety and repressed feelings are surfacing and need tended to.  I’ll be back soon with more.  Thanks for letting me share….


Starting over again….

My real recovery started the moment my flight hit the tarmac and the wheels were rolling closer to home…

March 6th of this year I finished my treatment for addiction and substance abuse at a dual diagnosis treatment facility in Jacksonville, Florida. Lakeview Health Systems is known to be one of the top treatments in the nation. 

It’s hard for me to write and share about my addiction for many reasons. I was always brought up that you didn’t “air your dirty laundry” for the world to know about. I view my privacy and that of others to a specific set of standards that today’s society doesn’t give a Damn about.

With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all the many other social media sites we’ve become complacent and offended by privacy. Over sharing, checking in and relentless status updates only contribute to the demise of our society (and many, many more I dare not to get into).  

I’VE been guilty of it many times over and shared more than I would have liked to on Facebook. My biggest dumbass habit, even as I type this, is taking care to set a password that is effective and site suggested. Good grief the endless password requirements and 2 key authentication. On and on they go. And what do I do…. I commit the cardinal sin every Damn time with the dogs name and 1234 or My name and 1234. Every now and again I might mix it up a little and add a @ # ! or the occasional * to my password combinations. 

Either way I don’t take care…enuff…to implement an effective way to secure my personal information. I kinda sound like a freaking hypocritical moron now that I set here and type about it. Oh well that’s not the point I’m trying to make. 

Back to my point….

Privacy and personal information whether its poor passwords or major life circumstances should still have the option of remaining personal.  Its taken great courage and an extreme set of circumstances to get me this far. And in order for my recovery and continual growth I know I’m going to have to share my story. 

The shame and the guilt and the isolation that comes while we are in active addiction is a hell of its own. Not to mention all the other shit we do to ourselves and others as well. I’ve reached a place thus far that is stifling and suffocating for my recovery and it’s the same Damn isolation, shame and guilt. 

I’m paralysed with fear and anxiety not to mention the depression thats creeped in and setup shop. 

Somewhere along the dark, lonely, self destructive paths of addiction and mental illness I lost my way to all the wonders and amazement that personal passions, goals and dreams are made of. I’ve always been a creative writing and expressive individual whether it was the written word or the spoken word. 

Active addiction took over those dreams and goals and replaced it with evilness, hatred and personal hells that no one but a fellow recovering addict could begin to fathom let alone understand. I have to put a voice to my recovery and write it with words and thoughts of wisdom and truths that I’ve found for further self-care. 

From this day forward I am going to use this blog and the platform to share my story and my words for hope that I can start to really heal and thrive for my lifelong journey of recovery. If another person stumbles along and into my little piece of internet cosmos and finds some insight and the like then I’ve been blessed beyond intent. And that MAKES ME SMILE and forever promise to pay it forward in any way. 

Thanks for letting me share. Check back for more. This is all new to me so I’m learning as I go.