Saturday, March 2, 2013

The 11th Commandment

Ooops. I forgot one!

I've been thinking a whole lot about the messages I tell myself, the way I react to me, and how I handle decisions.

I figured something out that anyone with a grain of sense could have seen. Easily. But you know how the seeing things thing is, and how you just don't until you just do.

I issues. And by 'trust issues' I mean the kind that you have with the most important person in your life. I don't trust ME.

I notice that when it comes to making decisions I waffle all over the place. "Well, maybe this? Or that? Whatever could be good, too. If I do this then will that be mad? Blah blah blah." I also think I tell myself in that destructive whisper-y voice that you can't hear with ears or your head but the one that you just know in your heart that I'm not doing it right. Ever. That I can't be trusted. That I don't know what's best for me. I have zero credibility with myself. My motives are always questionable. That I have been given the opportunity time and time again to do what's right and I failed. Miserably.

I was listening to The Bubble Hour again yesterday. It was the one about early sobriety. The first guest was a  woman who had to move herself and her young child in with her mother. Her mother was having a hard time trusting her now that the woman was sober because for years the mother had been lied to. Let down. This is me. I am the liar and the distrusting mother. Talk about a tough crowd.

Learning to trust someone after twenty some years of letdowns is a big big big deal. Sometimes I can feel myself not even wanting to try, having given up on me so many times- and maybe even for good years ago. Don't get me wrong, I am trying so hard. And I want to try so hard. I haven't ever wanted anything more in my whole life. It's the knowledge that the person that hurt me the most is ME that blows me away. It's knowing that my soft place to fall has it's arms crossed and is eyeing me suspiciously. It's that I can't be trusted to make even simple, seemingly easy decisions without the scrutiny squad tearing them to bits looking for hidden agendas. And I'm paralyzed and frustrated and skeptical. And brimming with self-doubt.

So I suppose this all boils down to instincts. And hearing. And trust.

And my 11th Commandment: Honor Thyself. Because if the neighbors can be part of it, then I can be part of it, too.

Those two words give me such pause. Honor Thyself. I would have never though to do that before. Hold me in high esteem? Me deserving respect? Having dignity? Credibility? Whoa. No wonder I'm feeling a little awed at the prospect of bestowing myself with all that. No fucking wonder it's hard to trust that, and that something like that is confusing to hear. Especially since I haven't really ever done that, and so I'm extra extra out of practice.

Sobriety is hard, but really life is hard. When you choose to get sober and turn around to face your life you just can't imagine all the remarkable things you're in for. When I made the choice to quit drinking forever I declared my intention to honor myself. Out loud, into my universe, to my higher power, to myself. Every day  is an act of building trust. A lesson in self respect. Every day I stay true to the promise that I've made to myself strengthens my integrity, my self worth.

If I can choose to honor my higher power, the lives of others, a day of worship and rest, and to not lie about my neighbors or want their stuff then I can make a new commandment too. A commandment to be taken earnestly and holding monumental significance. Maybe the most important one of all.


Every one of these eighty-six days shows me that my word has value. And that I am not a liar after all.


  1. Yay for 86 days! It's cool how it doesn't take long for sobriety to really start to change us. I'm at 152 days and I can't believe it.

    1. If you let it grab you, it will get you good.

  2. Wonderful stuff - I could have written that myself in my first year. I know exactly what you're feeling and going through. And I think it's normal. I have always been my toughest critic and audience. Aren't we all? But it's doubled up when we're alcoholics and aren't in that place yet of fully *being* and not reacting to ourselves. Guilt and shame are horrible, wasted emotions. We can't change the way we acted towards others and ourselves. Done. But as you say, we can honour ourselves here and today and here on end, and that is what is important. I had a moment of true self-forgiveness not too long ago, and that really helped to clear all that debris away. I *do* trust myself now, I *do* feel I am worth it, I *do* get a sense that things will be ok. Life might throw stuff at me, as life is oft to do, but I come at it in a different way now. And what you say about building trust and's the real deal there. no one else can do that for us, it's an inside job.

    If we can't trust our selves, then we cannot trust others or have faith that others will see us as trustworthy. We need to value ourselves and not crush ourselves under the weight of what has passed.

    You have some great insight there, and you're right, we are out of practice in doing something we never could really do before - give ourselves the benefit of the doubt and cut ourselves some slack.

    1. I like that once I see it, and I notice it, I can get it out. Look at it. Hold it. Make it not true. Or make it more true. There are a thousand things about me I don't know yet. And when big boomers like "YOU DON'T TRUST YOURSElF" come along I just hold on tight.

  3. Wow this is amazing, there's some real grit and determination in your writing which I am loving. You go girl!! I am so rooting for you from afar and am so so so pleased you've taken the leap to become sober and are sticking to it. Isn't it so fascinating what reveals itself after we take away the booze.....I'm still amazed at what unfolded for me, especially in that first year. Incredible. xxxx

    1. Thanks Mrs D! I like the image of someone taking a 'sober leap' and then 'sticking to it'. Like when David Letterman jumped on to the wall of velcro. This shit is magic. No doubt about it.

  4. Wow. This is so powerful. I'm still struggling with his too but it's sooooo much better than its ever been.

    You are leaps and bounds ahead of where I was at 86 days. I'm really proud of you. Not in the patronizing I pretending to be someone who's allowed to be proud kind of way, but in the you're the shit kind of way.

    86 days!!! Rock on!


    1. Thank you so much Sherry. <3 <3 <3