self-destructive behavior

I would be lying if I said a year later after starting this blog, I’m healed.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still trying to fill a void. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still lonely. I’d be lying if I said that I’ve changed for the better, that I’m this whole new person, and that I’m not falling into the same destructive habits. I’d be lying if I said I was okay and “thriving”. I’m not very okay.

The other day, I looked at my coworker and asked him a question that I knew he knew the answer to…I asked if he knew what it felt like to knowingly ruin things that were going well. He laughed and shook his head and goes, “Yeah, self-destructive behavior.” Standing in your own way, seeing that things are going peachy and since you’re not used to it, it feels more comforting and normal to mess things up again so you can climb your way back to the top after failure. I know this feeling all too well. 3 in the morning, not knowing what my next move is, not knowing how to make things right. I think God laughed at me when I told my coworker that night, “Sometimes, life gets too easy. I need some kind of challenge to keep things interesting.”

Too easy? A challenge? I’m lucky, no, blessed to have a life where things actually seem like they’re going well for more than a minute. There are people who have nothing. They don’t have a family, a home, food to eat, a bed, clean water, etc., and I run around knowingly making my life harder for myself even though I have all the tools laid out in front of me to succeed. I messed up badly about two years ago now. I lost a lot of the good things I had going for me because of a selfish decision, a decision I made because I didn’t want to be alone in that very moment. Drinking and driving, risking my life and risking the lives of others, seemed worth it because of how badly I didn’t want to be alone. Two years later, I want to say that I’m healed, that it’s a part of the past and so are you. I can’t say that. I’m still thinking about you, drinking about you, and feeding this toxic habit that’s almost as self-destructive as drinking itself. It feels good in the moment but gets me absolutely nowhere and inevitably makes me feel worse in the end. Why do I consciously take part in the things that I know are killing me inside?

Because I think, it’ll be different this time…it won’t affect me this way, I’ll be okay. But it’s not different that time or this time or any other time. It’s always. the. same. Every time I engage with you is like engaging with alcohol. It gives me a short-lived high and a really hard crash and burn back to reality. I’m left picking myself off the ground, swearing I’ll never do it again, swearing I know better. Then alcohol shoots me that “Hey” text, and I fall in love all over again. I’ll never stop saying that love is like a drug.

I’ve been given so many chances, and those chances run out. They always do the more you take advantage of them. The more you look at those chances like a joke that you deserve, they quickly get taken away from you. Only so many times can somebody look at you and give you the benefit of the doubt that one more time. Only so many times can God save your life that one more time. Only so many times can God pick you up off the ground and make you want to try again. Sooner than later, the weight just feels too heavy. Sometimes I just want to stay on the ground. Maybe it’s easier.

More often than not, I’m starting to feel like everybody in my life is becoming my shrink. I need to ask people if I’m going to be okay, if it’s all going to be okay. Am I going to move past this, am I going to heal? It’s been almost two years now. Two years of this cycle of crashing and burning and recovering. My boss told me today, “Everyone goes through it, everyone has their rough patches.” I’m ready for mine to be over now. I might actually surrender to the mundane, the safe, and the “normal”. Normality has been something I’ve feared for as long as I remember, but maybe normal is good. Maybe normal is what I need. Maybe the drama and the ups and the downs need to be a part of my past instead of a standard that I live my life by.

“I imagine living a life that I don’t need to escape from.”

If we’re being honest with ourselves, alcohol doesn’t make me happy. It makes me forget. It makes me not be myself for a little bit. How nice would it be to not want to run away from myself? If I got to that point where I was happy, full, without you…without anyone or any kind of outwardly substance to comfort me, that’d be almost too nice. I’d lose a lot of my friends. I’d drift away from my old life and emerge into my new one. I wouldn’t be the same person that a lot of people met. One of the scariest parts of changing yourself is outgrowing people and shedding them like dead skin. You’re not the person they knew, you don’t go to the same places or do the same things, you don’t have the same negative coping mechanisms, you’re different. I guess I have to teach myself how to be okay with that. Spiritual awakening isn’t this zen, cake walk of a life transformation. It’s tough.

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There is something so beautiful about looking at somebody, or even just looking at yourself, and saying, “I’m not okay.” I love breaking that barrier and being the first one to be vulnerable and transparent because 9 times out of 10, I always get a positive response. I love when somebody looks at me like, “Finally, someone else gets it.” Be real. Be open. Connect with others. Tell somebody how you feel. That’s why love is so powerful and why so many people want it and are chasing after it. If it’s done the right way, it’s incredibly healing to be heard and understood. You’re not alone.

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