This book was my saving grace and changed my life and my way of thinking so drastically and I am better for it. So I’m sharing it with you so that, while it might not be as instantaneously impacting as it was for me, you can see the way I have changed my thinking so that I am happy no matter what is going on in my life or where I’m at. It is a choice – and a pain in the butt sometimes to choose to do – to choose happiness and reframe my thinking and it took a few weeks of continuous conscious effort to stop the negative thoughts that seemed to come so naturally and having to be honest with myself wasn’t a walk in the park either. But it is worth it on the other side. I’ve always poo-pooed self help books as schemes to make a buck off of our insecurities and maybe some are but most all of them have a positive message and ideas that can help or inspire us in one way or another so let them have their buck for writing down what we should already know and be doing, it is mutually beneficial. The book that follows is not making a cent off you or me or anyone for that matter, it is not copyrighted and available free to the public (you can find it for purchase too in audio and print but its a public-domain book so you can find it for free *see links after book*). It is pretty simple and repetitive but the ideas within can open up a whole new world for you if you want them to. I’ll also add the audio version somewhere in here because that is how I first “read” it, with my ears and pen to paper scribbling notes like a madwoman, and all in one sitting (and then again, and later again still and somewhere in there I’ve read it a couple times over) and wham bam thank you ma’am I’m still right where I was but I enjoy and am happy. My stoic best friend doesn’t agree with thinking your way out of poverty and she’s right that sounds unthinkable! Yeah that was sooo cornily on purpose, sue me (can’t squeeze a turnip!!). Okay I’m done. Anyway she is the smartest lady I’ve ever known, and I’ve known some really smart people so she is impressive, but she’s wrong on this one (loves you my errant muse!!) and I’m gonna prove it – just give me a couple years! Really though she is correct that you can’t JUST think positively and get anywhere but that is where this system of thinking and ACTION works. It is about thinking positively and accepting things as they are and improving upon them by turning those positive thoughts into actions that bring about better outcomes. You catch more flies with honey (shit may attract more but honey keeps em stuck) than vinegar, right?
Okay let me stop rambling and without further adieu As a Man Thinketh written by the genius philosophical mind of James Allen. (I made it pretty!)
The James Allen Free Library
The James Allen Free Library aspires to make all the works of inspirational writer James Allen (1864-1912) available online, to anyone, for free, in both English and Dutch.
A few weeks ago this website seemed to just materialize on my screen after my computer finally relinquished control of itself back to me. I don’t know what caused the glitch in my system but it had me at my wits end and then this simple set of words settled my frazzled synapses into a peaceful calm.
I didn’t read any of the blog that night. I saved the website to my desktop and chuckled at my madness and called it a night. That was the first bread crumb leading me back to a positive, healthy mindset when I was adrift for a bit. The concept of keeping small reminders on hand (in my pocket) to remain aware of and in the present and keeping myself grounded. This idea goes hand in hand with reshaping negative and pointless thoughts purposefully to the positive in keeping a healthy uplifting outlook.
I revisited the website frequently but didn’t read any of it still, I was fearful that the mesmerizing effect would not be lived up to possibly and I wasn’t ready to chance losing the magic. About a week ago I decided to give some reading a go and was not disappointed, it is an extensive and enriching guided guide for mindfulness that I keep going back to. Mysterious ways and all I’m paying it forward and sharing it with you.
I just read A Guide to Self Concept which ties in to where our healthy mindset has to begin and end – self love and honest self acceptance. Keeping my focus on positivity and self awareness is also how I’m taking my thoughts away from the obsession of my addiction. Diving into recovery with the program was having the opposite effect so I’m forging a different path at least to start out. I’m healing my mind and taking control of my outcome so that I can succeed in my recovery.
Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. — Rachel Carson
Beauty is everywhere. It is in the daisies, in the lavender wildflowers, in the new green grass of spring. As we walk through life, noticing such beauty strengthens us. It reminds us of the spiritual creative force alive in this world. On better days, we can feel our own creativity gaining power from such beauty. On harder days, nature’s sunset can help us step out of our suffering for a moment to be comforted and inspired by its splendor.
Even storms, in their wild and angry way, show us a power greater than ourselves. Such awesome beauty is beyond our understanding, and yet it is part of the earth we live on.
What lessons will nature teach me today?
clean.dopefiend: I needed to be reminded that 1. I’m not alone and 2. continuing to try again and again is the making of success. I know I’ll get there, I wish I wasn’t making it so hard on myself.and 3. finding the beauty in life is a positive step toward healing. Today I will take my daughter out to walk in the rain and appreciate the purity and beauty of the earth being washed anew. We will intentionally seek out three positive takeaways from the experience that we wouldn’t and likely couldn’t have learned if we’d stayed inside.
Efficiency is putting your best foot forward. Fortitude is the courage to endure. Followthrough is finishing the things you start. Overtness is doing in an open and obvious way. Resilience speaks to your strength of character. The takeaway is what you get out of putting in the effort.
My addict behaviors (also the top 5 expected): lying, manipulation, criminality, blame shifting, and verbal abuse.
I’m a pretty honest person. Hot damn! that is a lie. Definitely not where my addiction is concerned. Every time I use I have to make and take texts or phone calls that I will need to sanitize from my phone (making me a hypocrite because I expect my boyfriend not to do just that) after the deal is completed. My whereabouts for the lost time spent scoring are also a lie or usually a well-timed execution so that no one noticed my absence and thus I omit. Then every time I actually consume the drug, if I don’t wait until I am home alone, I make up some excuse or another for going to the store so I can use in my car down the block. Back when I shot up I could just go into the restroom of anywhere and do my thing. Smoking is a pain because, while my boyfriend disagrees, I believe meth has a smell and heroin for sure did, it creates smoke and pipes or sheets of foil are not easy to quickly hide inconspicuously. Every time I’ve attempted to hide either I have been caught red-handed. The boyfriend finding my rigs (needles) after going through my purse was the only way I got caught on that front. I am NOT promoting the use of needles – I wish I NEVER had and NEVER will again (I may relapse but am NOT going back to that insane method of drug use – I should have died so many times) and am beyond lucky to be alive after having done so. I am a liar, not to you, I’m honest with you and that is one of the difficult things about blogging my sobriety including my fuck ups because even though I don’t know you it is humiliating. I don’t actively lie in my sobriety I just omit certain things that I wouldn’t appreciate the boyfriend doing to me that I am doing (yeah I see the hypocrisy and the asshole I am) like messaging with a sober friend (who is male and therein lies the problem). See I know I am not doing anything wrong but I’m not doing something right. I just appreciate the support and attention! yeah. Alex and I have an agreement that we don’t participate in any form of relationship (friendship included) with members of the opposite sex because there is no good reason why we would need validation or attention from someone that is not the two of us. Its flawed thinking but it is a respect thing that we agree on. Thankfully he doesn’t do social media and I’m a super sleuth of all things cell phone so I am unworried, he got caught when he tried to step outside the terms and has been on good behavior since. Oh yeah we were talking about ME the liar. Other than that facebook contact and the occasional check-in by old friends on facebook I don’t hide anything else. Oh but back to being high I also have to pretend to be sober, rarely do I believe I fool Alex and probably Joke’s on me! thinking I’m fooling anybody else. Lying is painful though it rots a pit in your gut and the only way to cure that is through the agony of admitting the truth! I’ve done so though. After I got sober for my decent length of sobriety before the October relapse I admitted all my wrongs and lies to Alex. This guy is awesome-sauce staying with me after I admitted to pawning all his valuable jewelry among a bevy of other trespasses and lies. What a freaking guy! Before moving onto my manipulation I thought I’d address the big purple elephant bouncing in the corner: I realize that by my not being honest in my relationship I am creating the mistrust I hate. If I can keep him in the dark then of course he’s probably got some shadow over me and even if that is not the case that is what I do believe. I feel kind of indifferent about it because he did who-knows-what with that female I caught him talking inappropriately to. I’m still so hurt by that that I’ll blame shift all day long! But yeah I see the cycle and don’t like that I am perpetuating it. Not proud of any of my pettiness.
I can bullshit my way through most situations high or sober, I am a bullshitter – it is a family trait passed down on my father’s side and it hasn’t skipped a generation or child in our family yet! Which yes I understand entails lying but it is smooth wordplay and if done right everyone walks away feeling like a winner. My bullshitting ways took a drug addled left turn to become manipulation right before my very eyes. I didn’t even realize I was doing it but I usually get what I want so the change wasn’t apparent. And then I did something I am super ashamed of but can never make unhappen – I threatened to commit suicide if Alex didn’t stay home from work with me. Ugh. Blah. Spit. Then I started seeing how I was playing on many people’s emotions and kindness to keep getting what I wanted when I wanted it. Alex got the worst of it. I was the master of guilt and could make a person feel bad for doing something good. My “friends” (other addicts) tried and failed to manipulate me while I was pulling their strings. And I felt what I was doing was okay! Now I get that it is abusive to manipulate someone and sometimes have to work hard not to – I did it for more than two weeks so it because a habit. The lawyer I used that screwed me over told me that I should be Trump’s spokeswoman because I could give Sarah Sanders (his actual spokeswomen) a run for her money in spinning truths. I base every exaggeration, lie, or spun truth on the truth because outright lying is too hard to keep straight. I am proud of my powers of persuasion!
A criminal? Who me? Never! and she lies again (just a joke I’m honest with you!). So I’m over thirty and have a nearly clean record. I’d gotten a possession of paraphernalia (I spelled that letter-twister right the first time!) for marijuana charge right after I turned 18 and a MIP Minor in Possession charge at 19 (alcohol). What a rebel I was! Yeah, not really but I did get away with a lot more I could have been in trouble for. Then, however, I got homeless. In order to get drugs, we would boost stuff that Mick (my dealer) wanted to pay for them so that got me started shoplifting. I really liked shoplifting; it made a lot more sense to me to just take what I wanted rather than pay for it. I liked it so much so that when I finally had money and started buying things again I had a hard time. I still could steal a lot of what I buy but I don’t have that meth-confidence that gave me the gumption to walk out the door without paying. I mostly stole gifts for my girls and jewelry – they have since taken the jewelry completely out of the Fred Meyer I would shoplift the fashion jewelry from. I’d forgotten about how I got started stealing until I remembered, mere moments ago, what I shared with you. Around the same time as the boosting for drugs campaign while I was homeless I stepped up my unlawful game and stepped into the world of prostitution. For about two weeks I sold myself through sex or a blow job more often than not. It is a surreal endeavor that I do not recall much of. I had a couple regulars, well men who wanted to be my regulars if I’d continued, who paid me very well. My excuse was that I had never enjoyed sex (true story save for 2 occasions) and had been having it for free for years so why not get paid for my displeasure. I carried bags and a backpack so I looked like some high school kid strolling down the street at ungodly hours. I don’t think the police were trying to stop the prostitution as it was an area known for it and I didn’t get stopped once. I found it weird, also, that I just wore regular clothes (and I don’t dress at all slutty quite the opposite) and had a three car back up at one point. Not proud, not ashamed, leaving my unsettling choices there in the past where they belong.
I wasn’t a big blame shifter but I did do my fair share during the custody cases. Trust you me it was not that I was on drugs and not willing to go to rehab that it all blew up in my face nope nosiree, it actually wasn’t they didn’t base it off of that but it definitely wouldn’t have hurt. The courts went off of a few stories Grayson made up to scare my family into being on his side but weren’t in any way true and the other lies he told throughout the court proceedings. I didn’t help my case by continuing to use though and know I allowed for his lies to be seen as possible with my action or inaction or both. I’ve accepted most everything and do take responsibility for my use but there are some things I’ll never agree with. And I take and took the blame for where I am at in life and know it is my decisions that have gotten me here. I’m pretty happy here, now, so I’m going to stay that way by not delving too deep into this blame shifting business,
Last but definitely not my least is verbal abuse. Get me high and give a cell phone with the ability to text as much as I want as many times as I want and numbers for the people guilty of getting involved in my life unasked and taking my kids from me. I can twist words into knives and convince a person to stab themselves with them. I’m a much better manipulator when I’m not on the spot and can edit my commentary. Words are my most powerful weapon and I utilized this during my addiction. I was superior and knew more than anyone else or could at least make it sound like I did. Alex had to deal with a lot of verbal abuse spewed at him at all hours and with no regard to him working hard every day to keep us going. I was an awful jackass to him for a bit while I was getting high. I can honestly say that I was a piece of crap as an addict for a period as most of these things were overlapping on my timeline.