I have a book that is “Daily Advice From the Heart”. It is one of those books that has daily inspirations. This one is quotes from the Dalai Lama. Today the message was, “If we really want to make our lives meaningful and happy, we should begin by thinking sanely. We should cultivate the human qualities we all possess but which we bury under a heap of confused thinking and conflicting emotions.”
This could have been written about me. I am an over thinker to the extreme. Crippling self doubt is probably my second biggest flaw. Under, over-thinking everything. Looking critically at myself, I must say that part of the appeal of drugs for me was probabably that it gave me a way to shut up the voice in my head. Notice that I said voice, singular. I don’t have multiple voices in my head in the stereotypical, “The voices in my head made me do it” way. The voice is just mine, but it doesn’t shut up. It keeps me up at night.
I have been diagnosed with ADD (a long with a host of other things). This again goes back to the overly critical voice in my head. She is rambling about so much shit, changing directions at hyper-speed that it is incredably difficult to stop and focus on something. School, tv, reading, anything. But it is more than just a general lack of attention or razor fine focus. It is that my mind is a warp speed tornado, thoughts swirling around as a massive conglomerate of ideas that I somehow have to file into tidy little folders.
The thoughts that are whirling around at a truly dizzying speed are more than just the general conviction that I am not good enough. Oh no. That would be too easy. No, no. With me it is that I am not pretty enough. I am too smart to be a desirable woman. I am smart yet have accomplished far too infinitesimal. It is that I am so unlikable. I want friends, but I push everyone away. I am a cold bitch, yet I care far too much about far too many things. I am too scared to put my self out there and I hate myself for not achieving what I should have. I wish I was a super mom and I am not.
On top of all of this, I am a dichotomy of so many opposites. I am a feminist who can count the number of people that I have slept with on my fingers (and not use them all up), but I am an absolute freak in bed. Full on “50 Shades of Grey”. I am hardened all the way to my core, but I care about all of societies ills. I am a smart, strong women, but I am incredibly insecure and weak.
To have a meaningful happy life we must think sanely, huh? I wish. I am trying. Dalai Lama is correct. Who knows what I could, what any of us could, accomplish if I could dig my potential out from all of my self doubt. I am now at least able to tell the world, “I am an addict. I am clean, but I will always be a heroin/cocaine addict. If you can’t handle it, Fuck you!”. It is not just the blog. I used to wear long selves all the time to cover up the scars on my arms. Track marks, scars from horrible infections that came from missing shots of heroin. I am now able to look at them as battle scars, not marks of shame.
I am trying to follow many Buddhist teachings as a part of my recovery. I find the notions of helping others, of the recognition that holding on to anger only serves to harm us incredibly insightful. I think a lot of addicts constantly berate and criticize themselves. This can only serve to hold us back. Sometimes we deep down do this on purpose so that we have an excuse to use again. We are not terrible, awful people. We have a disease, like any other disease. A disease that may have made us do things that we regret, but we can’t go on hating ourselves forever for these actions. We will repeat these actions over and over if we don’t get over ourselves.
It is not sane thinking to expect that we should be perfect, and then beat ourselves up when we are not. What the Dalai Lama is getting at is that merely accepting who we are is the biggest step towards ultimate happiness. I am working on it and so can you.