Want Something Different? Do Something Different


Want to know what I’m powerless over? Fear of rejection, avoidance of meaningful work, drugs, alcohol, other people’s opinions, worrying about other people’s opinions, compulsive spending, debting, my emotions, my thoughts, low self-esteem, poverty consciousness, my ex, homophobia, the past, PTSD, compulsivity around sex, depression, hiding and/or running from life, resentment, self-pity, compulsivity around food, anger/rage, and religion.

When I think about giving up control I feel like I’m just being lead back to where I always end up, at the mercy of someone else who wants to use and exploit me for his or her own personal gain at the expense of my soul. I feel afraid and angry, I feel like I want to die. Every time I’ve put myself in the care of anyone else in my entire life to include individuals and institutions, I have gotten hurt– often very badly. When the church was in control of me, I got hurt. When I gave my life over the care of the Alabama Public Education system, I was hurt. When control at the hand of the society in which I grew up, I was hurt. When I gave control to a husband, it nearly killed me. I turned my life, quite literally over to the United States Government and the Marine Corps and I was betrayed. When my parents controlled me, I got fucked up. You want me to give up control? Fuck you! What kind of insane person, after almost 50 years of real-world-laboratory evidence what then turn right around and do it again. Other people, entities, institutions, and/or even philosophies have left me broke, suicidal, angry, confused, homeless, jobless, broken, and depressed. You asked me what I feel when someone suggests that I give up control? I feel like you’re coming at me with a belt or a switch or your dick or threat of death in war or homelessness or poverty or sickness or anguish. Yeah, you can pretty much keep that shit to yourself. Not being in control scares the fuck out of me. Turning my will and my life over to the care of anything or anybody other than me hasn’t typically turned out well for me. And I am not a victim. To deny real life things that happen to use for the sake of “not playing the victim” is asinine. People who do that shit are stupid and end up trying to convince themselves that their band-aided, look-pretty life is actually their dream. It’s not. That’s bullshit. I’m not falling into that trap. I acknowledge that bad shit happened to me. Especially when I was a child, I didn’t have control over any of it. But I’m not that child anymore. I’m the adult. And I get to say what happens to me. I get to make sure things go from here.

Want to know where my life is unmanageable. Are you fucking kidding me? Here’s a better idea, why don’t I tell you where my life is not unmanageable– in other words, where is my life manageable? I worked towards a common financial goal with someone for six years and that person walked with the money. I’m without a place to live in New York City. I don’t have a job. I’m alone and lonely. I have health concerns. My emotions seem too much for me to handle and I’m scared to death. I want it to be over. My life is unmanageable in the areas of finance, career, relationships to include romantic and sexual ones, self-care. Emotionally, my life is unmanageable– psychologically too. My life is unmanageable in the area of health and fitness although past steroid use has made me look fit. My life, again, is unmanageable with regard to everything to do with money. In most other process addictions, my life is unmanageable– sex, for example. Yeah, in pretty much every area of my life– things seem pretty goddamn unmanageable at this point.

This is a good place to be. Finding myself in this place gives me the gift of desperation. Finding myself at bottom gives me the opportunity to realize that “my way” hasn’t worked, to remain teachable and humble, to seek answers from people who have recovered in a way that I haven’t yet.

I have no doubt that I’ll be fine. In fact, I’m fine now. I’m exactly where I need to be– and I’m still trudging forward. Walking through the deep snow today in New York City trying to find a place to live is a great metaphor. It’s hard but I know where I’m going. I can complain about it or I can be grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this beautiful demonstration that is in the middle of happening for and to me. Admitting personal powerlessness and acknowledging the unmanageability of my life and affairs once led me to a new way of life when I was nearly dead. Now it’s time to do that again so that I can take it to the next level. If I want what I’ve always had, I should keep doing what I’ve always done. If I want something different and better, I’ve got to do something different and better. And that’s a process that is well underway. But it’s not easy.

Everyday, as I continue the search for work and for a place to live, I feel the gravitational pull of Alabama. “The devil” says, “Why don’t you just change your flight to tomorrow, go back to Alabama, take a stable good job, write from there if you must write.” “He” will even try to trick my by saying, “Look, just go for a couple of months, sell some things and build up some cash reserves, come back when you’re more ready.” Fuck the devil. Fuck that lame ass plan. I’m here to make this work. Or rather I am here to get the fuck out of my own way and let this happen– to suit up and show up, take the next baby step (tiniest of tiny if need be) and keep going in the right direction. And that direction is toward Broadway and not toward the Bible Belt.

See y’all tomorrow.

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