This morning I went to my second AA morning meeting. I have found or rather it has found me. Five minutes from my home. Interesting people with really honest shares. I am home....again. I was sober a few times in the career of my life. The most amount of time I ever stayed sober was just over a year. Then my beloved sponsor Tanya moved to New York so I used it as an excuse to jump off the wagon. She had kind of become my higher power. She had everything that I wanted. Then I lost her. It triggered what for me is a core issue. One of a few actually.
So it was more than just me just going back to my old destructive ways . It was a deep feeling of being abandoned, yet again. And so as a result, abandoning myself. This is another old pattern of mine. To believe I am not worthy of love. To look for my well being based on the outside instead of my inside. To fill the wrong hole. To believe all the false beliefs that were installed into me as a result of my young parents and their lost lives. Lineages are a bitch.
My drugs of choice have always been smoking pot and drinking alcohol. Mostly wine. Less alcohol content. Yea, that sounds good. But all it means is that you need to drink more of it. Addictions can come in so many different sizes and shapes. Sugar, sex, food, negative thoughts, people pleasing, exercise, cleaning, computers, iphones, texting, tweeting, porno, ice cream, chocolate, buying shoes, buying clothes, hoarding.......this list could go on forever. If everyone is really honest with themselves they will find a few things that they have an addictive relationship with. It's human. But some are more dangerous than others.
For some people drinking is just a social thing. For me it was a way of life. I am by nature too sensitive and shy. So these "spirits ' enter me and I can let go. But the real question I have begun to ask is what am I letting go of ? Why do I need what is essentially a poison to let go? Why not just let go and let God..... It seems I am running but from what and to where? Wherever I go, there I am. So I made the decision to run no more.
At my meeting this morning in question..... some people spoke honestly of the insanity that ensued from their drinking. They spoke of the ways that drinking almost killed them. I thought to myself smugly, well, I had a high bottom. I never did anything that insane. Drinking or using never almost got to the point of killing me!!! These people are certainly far worse off then I. Psychic amnesia was filtering into me from my disease.
A few hours later I was speaking with a best friend/sister Joanie explaining the whys of my decision to stop. Explaining the high bottom theory. Which basically means that I was a high functioning addict. We then moved onto my recent influx of blogging and she said I really needed to start my memoir. That I had already begun with my blog. I just needed to expand more on the stories.We shared about the title "Postcards from the ledge" based on the wonderful Carrie Fisher book. That she had addictions and was in the Hollywood scene and all. It was familiar however unoriginal in terms of actors with addictions and self destructive behavior. But the Gods as they often do knew better regarding the blog title. It was not arbitrary. There was a much deeper meaning to it and one that had eluded me until that moment.
I had come up with the title in jest. As a kind of nod to Carrie Fisher's book/experience. As our conversation continued through the grocery store, a memory came back to me that filled me with embarrassment and shame. I stopped and shuddered. Trying to shake off the memory. Wondering dare I tell my friend.......but dove in as is usually the case with me.
So the story goes:
When I was making the film Boxing Helena I had a hotel room on the 20th floor. Everyone also was staying across the street at a less than acceptable hotel. Elizabeth had rubbed off on me after all. My room had a beautiful marble bathroom, goose down duvet covered comforters on a king size bed and a very large balcony that overlooked the city. I had brought my white, deaf, blue eyed kitten Ophelia who had indeed gone mad at the hands of dear Hamlet.
One night she had escaped from the room onto the balcony and was now scaling a foot wide wall to an area where night lights illuminated the greats heights of the Nikko Buckshead, Georgia. I in my alcohol/pot induced heroic delusions of grandeur followed her out there determined to save her. On my hands and knees I went out right after her with my poor friend Susanlinn crying on the balcony behind me frightened. Rightly so. She had the brains that my addictions had erased in that moment.
I remember being up there still. It was a bit windy and that seemed to be my only worry. That and the fact that my girlfriend would not let go of my foot making it all the more difficult. The lights were so bright and hot with many bugs buzzing around them. Ophelia was drawn to them like the moth to the flame. I was drawn to dangerous situations too it would seem. As I grabbed her I wondered how now I would get back. Only one way, backwards while she howled her odd meow and dug her claws deep into my arm. Thank God for this film, my arms were barely seen or required..
The next day as I returned from the set and opened my traditional bottle of vino and rolled a joint. I steeped onto my balcony to find there was now barbed wire across the entire area and a sign in bold letters to stop my demons from me performing another idiotic act like that again. Thanks to my friend.
Unfortunately the barbed wire only could contain what may happen there on the balcony. I needed it for the whole of my life for there were many situations to come.
As I stood there in the grocery in a refrigerated section I was frozen. Not from the chill in the air of the freezers but the chill in my bones that I too had indeed put my own life in danger. My ego of the earlier time at the meeting tucked its tail between its legs and disappeared for now. How badly I had lied to myself about that. How many countless other times had I refused to remember.
I feel it is essential to shine a light on my life as a whole. As I write my memoir it will be a life story. And how I believe my childhood (and everyone else's) informs my adult life. What core issues helped to create the emotional makeup that I struggle with everyday. This is how I was taught by my beloved teacher. This is my version of turning, facing and slaying my own dragons.