Sunday, August 22, 2010

Alleged, might just be a ledge.

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.


  1. Good thing God (or whoever you want to acknowledge) was there by your side. Hope it never happens again tho... you're too important to vanish like that!

    Big KISS from Brazil!

  2. Keep writing. I am writing a blog about my own demon right now, chronic nerve pain. I don't care if anyone ever reads it, but I need to write it.

  3. This is very interesting Sherilyn...

    There is so many fears in this world and so few things to put them down...
    I used to smoke joint too when I was 17-19 years old and drink too (no alone for drink). I have many fears, well... I got really one and a big one (do not want to talk about that here, you already know it, Sherilyn) and I live with it, with this fear (again and again) since my 20th birthday and now.
    I could drink for fight it but I do not want. That will be not me but the alcohol. So I stay sober, from time to time I drink a beer or a glass of wine - I must admit that in France we have good wine - but, you know I do not feel the necessity to drink or smoke any joint. Do not know why exactly but I think that this is a challenge, I want to beat the fear out of me and the only thing that I REALLY need is me! Not drinking or smoking joint or something else but ME. And, if I win one day, if I win against this fear, I don't know... I will very proud of me, I think.
    I say/write this with some tears falling down (for some personals reasons) and I hope that you will win to be you too.
    One last thing, I really do not know why shy peoples have more problems, may be that they are more "open mind"?? This is really a mystery for me...

    All my love,
    Be strong Sherry.


    P.S : I'm strongly sorry if my english is not good because I do not practice it anymore so much as before (Well anyway my english is strange and I know it ... lol! :-) )

  4. Sherilyn...
    Once again reading your blogs have made me adore you even more...because you are human..and face some of the same things I have (though, yours are more glamorous things)
    You should write a book...I would be enthralled in it..

  5. Incredibly brave of you to write this. I've lived with addiction since I was 13, and although I prefer to not to think of my life with regret, I wish I'd turned that compulsion to something creative instead. Now you have your little boy as your inspiration, and you're a great writer with much insight, so, write, sober [it's the only way to judge your own work fairly], publish; and any time you fall off, don't kick yourself for it - get up, breathe deep, write, keep going. You'll be ok. Best wishes.

  6. I can really appreciate you sharing this, and I'm glad that AA is doing something for you.

    I've been there. I can easily envision the friends crying, the obliviousness to it as we selfishly act out our actions because we don't feel "loved" enough -- meanwhile driving those who do love us away. I'm only twenty-three, and I've already made my share of apologies from a hospital phone. Your embarrassment is very much felt.

    Thanks again for sharing. I hope writing this memoir serves you well. Keep us updated on it, if you can.

  7. Great blog ... I just stumbled upon it because I work for The Hollywood Show. Would you please let your fans know that you will be appearing on Oct 9th & 10th?
    It's such a great experience for all. About as authentic a connection as any happening in this city of angels.
    Thanks, Sherilyn!

  8. Addictions, me?

    Obviously, some wonderful examination and looking into the mirror which we all hate to do, because lets face it, us compulsive people pleasing addicts are cutting our arms with the proverbial knife when doing so.

    We look deep and see the pain; the anguish and the only thing that saves us is the compulsion which attracts, comforts with open arms. "I WILL LOVE YOU!!!!" ("Even if your not capable of loving yourself!" You don't need to do that, I can do it for you! This is the unmistakable sign of dependence, not independence.) My problems always seem to be exactly as you say, Letting go by rewiring the brain or impulse that guides us to the compulsion and obsession.

    Bravo to you for throwing it all up on the page here. I can assure you that it was just as good for me as it was for you!

  9. S.F.,
    Since I first discovered your share space/blog a year and a half ago, I have been constantly AMAZED at the deep levels of insight and honesty that you have courageously shared with your readers. With each new post, you have continually outdone yourself and delved deeper and deeper into finding truth in your life (whether it be present or past) and, as you say, shine a light into dark corners in hopes of confronting issues, dealing with them/gaining knowledge and moving on with your life in a positive light. Your words continue to resonate with me deeply and fill me with positive energy (Dylan's as well). Since I started following your written work, I been greatly inspired to live my life in a more truthful way and, like you, shine light into my darkness by examining past/present issues.
    This share moved me deeply. I also have and have had issues with addiction. It's been something I've denied for many years and I am just beginning to deal with them now and, as you know and countless others, it's a bitch... big time. It's an ongoing process that many of us will have to deal with, in some way or another, for the rest of our lives.
    Sherilyn, please don't beat yourself up so hard. . I know it's hard not to (and I do the same). I think you're are incredibly triumphant by actually writing down that you have issues and then posting them in this space. Many, many people would not do that. You are worthy of love and many other wonderful things.
    As always, I apologize for my rambles. Thank you for words. Please keep writing and I'm so happy to hear the memoir news! I know it'll be wonderful.


    P.S.... I love the quotes you put on Twitter and the family photo. You have a gorgeous family. Also, wasn't The Elizabeth Taylor Story filmed a couple years after Boxing Helena?

  10. I think about you...just from one human being to another.

  11. It most certainly is a bitch to realize that as an adult, much of what you learned, (from people you were supposed to be able to trust as a child) are all out of whack. Now all of a sudden, our core beliefs are this tangle of wires - pull one and three more are affected. Thank you for sharing - it does get easier.


  12. The strawberry grows underneath the nettle,
    And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best
    Neighbour’d by fruit of baser quality:
    And so the princess obscur’d her contemplation
    Under the veil of wildness; which, no doubt,
    Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night,
    Unseen, yet crescive in her faculty.

  13. Sherilyn,
    The fact that you can share and be so open makes me respect you on a whole new level. I commend your courage for being so strong. We all have demons and it is amazing that you can share some of yours. By doing so you connect with so many people because they can relate to you.

    I also have the tendency to drink or enjoy some weed. But for now I blame it on being young and naive, as if it is a valid excuse. As of now I hope that it will not become a problem and I can handle it, and for now ill say its under control.

    Through all of my rambling I am not sure if I said that I congratulate you for going to AA. Being able to say that you have a problem is a big step. You are a very strong woman Sher and you are someone who can make me reevaluate my life and how I am living it. I will find a way to commemorate you in what im sure will be a tattoo. To say that I admire you would be an understatement. The more you write the and the more I read, the more I realize that you are someone very special. And dont forget that, you are a strong, courageous, intelligent, beautiful woman, who has touched the lives of many. So keep on shining your light.

    With Love,

  14. You had me on the "edge of my seat" glad you are like
    a cat with 9 are not alone in this journey....your writing is
    amazing....keep going...xo

  15. Thank you for sharing this blog entry. I enjoyed reading it. I just wish I could put to words my thoughts like that.