I had quite the demon collection back in the day. Terrbile, horrifying nasty little creatures that I carried around and kept hidden. The fear these demons produced was a warped,long playing record. On one side was the obvious fear of these little buggers getting out and ruining my life even more than they already had. On the other, the fear was more confounding. I was afraid to loose these demons. I knew that once they were gone, I would be left without any horrible nasty creatures to blame my misfortune on and it scared me to death.
Now dear readers, we can see that I was screwed either way and the best thing would have been to suck it up and face the bastards head on. Easier said than done. Telling an alcoholic like me to “face your problems” is like telling a hoarder, “you should really tidy up in here.” That is to say, the task seemed daunting, even impossible. For years I drank and used drugs and fooled myself into thinking I didn’t deserve more and then worked double time to convince the world at large that I was fine and the life I was living was more fabulous than yours. Clearly, the warlord of my demons is a beast called Delusion. The powerful and evil scumsucker ruled me for decades. Delusional is commonly described as”maintaining fixed false beliefs even when confronted with facts. ” Sounds like me for sure. And Delusion kept me from dealing with my other demons for years.
But the thing about demons, at least mine, is that you can only keep them contained and in pretty little rows for so long and once they’ve escaped, look out. As my demons became totally out of control and unavoidable three years ago, my life collapsed. Or that’s what I thought at the time. In reality, as these demons were being slayed one by one my life was being rebuilt. But in order for this to happen, I first had to say to my demons, “No more. You don’t scare me. I can change.”
These nasty little devils have been on my mind recently. I’ve heard grumblings of old demons wanting to rear their heads and wreak havoc. Lately, I’ve been pulled into selfish directions and I know that it’s my old stuff at work. Thankfully, I have a set of tools and skills to use to shut them up. Praying helps. Helping other people really helps. And telling the truth about where I am and what I’m feeling gets me closer to silencing Delusion and his friends for good.
The movie Annie was seminal in my life for several reasons. First off, it was the launching pad for a game called “orphanage” in which me and my cousins would wait for nice people to adopt us. I’m sure a psychologist could have a blast in analyzing why childhood me from the alcoholic home loved playing that game. Second, it was the movie that briefly inspired me to play the piano. I learned how to play “Tomorrow” which was a nice accompaniment to the only other song I knew how to play, “The Rose.” That’s right, my entire piano act consisted solely of a Bette Midler song and a song from a musical. By the time I played those songs a billion times, I’m sure even our piano was ready to come out of the closet. Lastly, the film made me realize that I need to live somewhere where I could have servants, preferably ones who sang.
I’m thinking about Annie today because much like the curly-headed orphan, I’m thinking about tomorrow. I’m having a hard time being in the now right now and thought if I blogged about it, it would pass faster. It’s not tomorrow specifically but January 2nd that’s heavy on my mind. Unless I get kidnapped by terrorists or crushed by a speeding bus, I will celebrate 3 years of continuous sobriety on January 2nd! This is fantastic especially since year 2 has been a challenge. No one bothered to tell me until I was about six months in, that the second year of sobriety is notoriously tough and commonly referred to as the terrible twos. Thanks for the warning! Even still, I managed to overcome the self-doubt and struggles to say in the program during year two and I’ve stayed sober. My life is amazing right now. I just married the man of my dreams, I work full-time as a writer, and my first play opens in a month from today! My life is mind-blowingly awesome and I have the program and getting sober to thank for all of it. And yet… my alcoholic brain sends me shitty messages like “you don’t deserve any of this” and “you’ll never make it” and of course that number one hit song played on repeat since 1972, “You’re not good enough.”
So I listen to that garbage for about ten seconds, do the things I’ve been told to do that always make me feel better and I breathe and give myself a break. I always get itchy before birthdays and I know that’s what this is. And maybe Annie wasn’t living in the future. Maybe the little orphan was saying it might seem crappy now but there’s always tomorrow. Or as they say in the rooms, “this too shall pass.” Here’s to clearing away the cobwebs and the sorrow, indeed.
PS- I realize these are “quality problems” so thanks for indulging me.