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Learning To Listen And Landing Feet First

Learning To Listen And Landing Feet First
This wasn’t musical chairs – this was my life – all tunes had stopped playing and I was a woman without a seat.I’m not addicted to vitamins and I don’t wake up singing or dancing in the morning. I love my teenage daughter and all four legged creatures. My old mantra was animals are safe and people are weak. And I struggled. Each day. Why? – because I am an addict. But more days than not, when I review my week I am grateful I’m sober and free from the 4 square-inch, insane cerebral loft I dwelt in while using.
So what transformed the tune that was rambling through my gray matter? See here’s the kicker; the song didn’t change – I did! Slowly I’m evolving. I turned down the volume and pulled my head out of my ass.
I’ve finally learned to listen and become teachable; yes, amenable.The best lessons of my life have come when I’ve unclogged the pipeline between my head and my heart. Over recent years I’ve learned to let my life wash over me like a breeze instead of a storm. To see that I’m blessed and not cursed. And realized that I best serve myself and those closest to me when I stop fighting everyone and everything. Especially yours truly – did I mention that I like to pick on myself? It’s another bad habit. Each of my habits possess deep grooves. So change can be a real bitch. And change is essential for me. I don’t like change, although I long for it daily. Why, perhaps because it requires work and I can be lazy.

There’s enough struggle and strife on this planet. As a journalist I’ve seen that we have two relentless wars in this country – terrorism and drugs – and they are both sickening bullies “hiding” in plain sight. Like wizards or shape shifters – drugs disguised themselves as serenity or relief from the feeling that I didn’t belong. It took me a few 24s to realize that I DO belong, that humans aren’t weak and that this struggle called “life” isn’t a battle. It’s an open endeavor – one SO WORTH getting in the ring for..

I had to lose everything to fall in love with life again. If you viewed a snapshot of my life 5, 10, 20 years ago you might think that someone was playing a sick joke on me; that I was losing a really harsh bet! But I firmly believe the universe was stripping me of external, material things that I thought were keeping me stable. See, I had no idea what I needed; I don’t learn easily. I’m stubborn. A gentle reminder or tap on the shoulder doesn’t work with me; I need a piano dropped on my head. Frequently I had to perform the Heimlich maneuver on my Texas sized ego and finally ask for help. Help can be served up on different platters – self-service, cold buffet or a full 8 courses! But you must remain seated folks! And you must change! Not just your physical addiction but also your response to pretty much everything! So pull up a seat, grab your favorite color crayon and fasten your safety belt. And I’ll try to explain the best way I know possible; how I changed.

So how do you measure change? In a person – in a movement? How do you know when to yell “uncle”? Do you mark true metamorphosis in history by revolutions or by simple units of time? Mine, came at first when I honestly said “I don’t know!” I prayed to spill out of my mouth NOT what I thought you wanted to hear but the ugly plain truth. There’s a fine line between “I’m fine” and “fucking help me out of my hell”! This was the first slice of humble paneling I would need to install. This is where I should have been taking notes instead of spouting out judgment. See, I was consuming massive amounts of denial daily, along with my booze and pills. An ounce of prevention and “slow and steady win the race” were urban myths to me. My mistakes were becoming legendary; a combination of an ineffectual fact and a whaling wave of fiction. I forced fibs down many a fine folks pie hole! I loved my casual relationship with reality! Loved it! My addiction always returned in some shape or form though, no matter how hard I tried to lie to myself or you.  It often came out sideways; like a drive by shooting or being slapped abruptly. Each day was a clumsy dance of rubbing elbows with the enemy; myself. Or whatever was “the boogy man” appetizer of the day! In other words, I scared myself so easily by staying locked in my own head. Just me and my narrow-minded view; until one day I began to listen.

Original Article re-printed here with permission from

Red Rock Recovery Center is a Colorado state licensed substance abuse extended care treatment program designed to help you or your loved one recover from the struggles associated with alcoholism and drug addiction. Located in Denver, Colorado we offer a safe haven for those afflicted by the ravages of untreated addiction. Our program is based on a compassionate 12-step model that applies behavioral as well as life skill therapies, which will enable our clients to heal and recover.

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