The sins of the fathers will be visited upon the children…..
Our parents told us to be wise, look ahead, be strong, don’t look back, get a job, be cool….. That’s if we were lucky. If we were unlucky they mostly ignored us, left us to fend for ourselves while they were out doing adult things. If we were very unlucky we witnessed a dysfunctional relationship, totally filled with an utter lack of love. For some it was worse than that, with one of their parents being an abusive alcoholic while the other merely acted as an enabler. There will be blood on the lawns of those homes.
Children who had abusive parents, or were from dysfunctional families, would grow up with all kinds of mental problems; Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Anxiety and Depression. Alcoholism, drugs, gambling, and other addictions are also common among adults who suffer from mental health problems created in their childhood. The likelihood is that they will struggle with their own psychological and spiritual problems for all of their adult lives, mirroring the lives of their parents. They too will find themselves in dysfunctional or abusive relationships, treatment centres, rehabilitation centres. and hospitals of one kind or another for one reason or another. If they are wise they will not have children of their own.
I know this because I have suffered some of this, and I have also known many people who have suffered a less than ideal childhood and have turned out to be less than perfect adults and parents. Sadly many of the suffering people I used to know are dead; alcoholism, drug use, accidents, sundry medical problems, suicide…..
If you’re suffering from anything I’ve mentioned above, you will also know that the caring professions are mostly
fucking damn useless at helping people with mental illnesses or addictions of any kind. You may get talking therapies, and you will probably be prescribed all kinds of nasty medication, neither of which will be of much help. You may have tried 12-step recovery groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Al-Anon. Not many stick around these 12-step groups for long. But there is something that helped me.
One thing often said in these 12-step groups is; ‘fake it until you make it’, or ‘fake it to make it’. In other words if what you want to be is a kind, caring, sober person, then ‘act as if’ you were that person. This technique is widely accepted in the field of Neuro Linguistic Programming. And, keep telling yourself; ‘I am a kind, caring, sober guy’. If you believe it, then you actually are that guy. Self-talk does work.
It turns out that I believe my own self-talk ~ ‘I’m a cool and charismatic guy, living a really great life’. I can be anyone and anything I want to be. I can manifest any kind of life I want, need, desire, or dream of ~ providing I don’t give in to lusts or base emotions.
There has been blood in my garden, blood helps the flowers grow.
in your race for self-destruction
stop to smell the flowers
Every form of addiction is bad, no matter if it’s alcohol or marijuana
In yesterday’s post 10 things successful people do, I said that successful people stay healthy and overcome their addictions ~ well, it’s impossible to stay healthy in the long-term if you have a drugs habit, drink too much, or smoke. Alcoholism, drug abuse, and smoking will all kill you, especially if you are prey to all three. Most addicts have multiple addictions. Add gambling into the mix and you will die a horrible death, after you have lost everything you have.
There are NO exceptions to that rule.
You may think that you drink a little bit, use pot or coke just now and again, take a few too many of your prescription drugs, smoke the odd cigarette when you’re feeling stressed or happy, go to Vegas to gamble every once in a while….. It could be you have a problem you’re not admitting to yourself, and lying about to everyone else.
Denial is not a river in Egypt. Denial will kill you.
The very first step in overcoming an addiction is to admit that you have a problem. The first step in all 12 step recovery groups is to honestly admit that you have a problem. Your problem with booze, drugs, smoking, gambling, unsafe casual sex, erotica, pornography, dangerous pastimes, sugar, food….. may not be so bad ~ YET. Let me tell you, your problem will only get worse, unless you do something about it. And what you have to do is STOP drinking, smoking, using drugs, gambling, or whatever.
There is no such thing as controlled drinking, drug abuse, gambling…..
And, if you cannot stop, and if you still lie about it to yourself and others, then you are a true alcoholic, drug addict, compulsive gambler, long-term chain smoker, and you’re going to lose everything you have, and die horribly. Things may only be a little bit rocky now, but that’s ok for you, missing work once in a while isn’t so bad. Let me tell you, it is going to get worse if you do not completely stop drinking, using, smoking, gambling…..
No matter how bad thing are now, they will get worse.
What to do? A good start is to go and see your doctor, and tell him / her that you have a problem. But, the chances are that, unless you have an exceptional doctor, they’re not going to be much help. Do Not just accept more medication from your doctor ~ drugs in any form are bad for you. Also, the chances are that if you have a propensity to addiction, then you also have an underlying psychological problem. What you probably need is ‘talking therapy’ to deal with your underlying Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD……
Admit you have a problem, and talk to people who understand.
From bitter personal experience I can tell you that there are only two things that work when it comes to recovering from the problems of an addiction;
- Completely stop drinking, using, smoking, gambling, binge eating…..
- Talk with people who truly understand. Ask for their help.
If you are an addict, then you will never, ever be cured, all you can do is begin to recover from your addiction. You will never be able to go back to drinking, or whatever…..
Some say that being an addict means that you are a morally weak degenerate lunatic. And, that all addicts are hopeless cases who will just die sooner rather than later. All I know is that it is possible to begin to recover from Borderline Personality Disorder and Alcoholism.
addicts are not lunatics,
but they may well have a psychological problem
Knowing that you’ll push everyone away is tough to deal with.
Some people suffer. Some people are in constant mental, psychological, and spiritual pain. Those people may find themselves doing crazy and impulsive things, drinking too much, using drugs, getting into inappropriate and dysfunctional sexual relationships, pushing away everyone that truly cares for them, isolating themselves….. Those people may be suffering from a serious mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder ~ they may need professional help. They may act like a lunatic.
People with even mild Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD), do very strange things; they test the people who care for them by doing things which are really socially unacceptable ~ for example constantly being late, flirting inappropriately, expecting and needing gifts lavished upon them. They have extreme reactions to the thought of being abandoned and / or rejected.
People with BPD have a propensity to enter into dysfunctional and unstable romantic and sexual relationships / have casual sex / cheat / commit adultery with monotonous regularity. They tell themselves their sexuality is normal. They are impulsive and have intense, highly changeable moods. Paranoia, anger, ennui, and emptiness all come easily to those who have even the mildest touch of BPD in their psyche.
They tell themselves that they like being alone in their comfort zone
Suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder is difficult, but the situation isn’t hopeless. Recovery is possible, growth is certain, becoming a better person is the eventual reward for all that suffering. I should know, I have been at the very Gates of Hell because for most of my life I suffered from undiagnosed and untreated BPD.
But now I know. I know what caused me to push people away from me all my life; it’s a symptom of Borderline Personality Disorder. If you don’t get close to people they can’t hurt you, and if you push someone away hard enough that they leave you, well that just means you were right about them all along…..
Knowing Exactly what’s wrong with you is very liberating. Knowing Exactly why you have suffered and are still suffering is even more liberating. And, I know Exactly why I developed Borderline Personality Disorder.
When I was about four-and-a-half years old, the woman who loved me most, the woman who cared for me, got sick and died. She was my nana, my maternal grandmother. And nobody told me that she’d died, my parents didn’t explain, there was a wall of silence, and I thought she’d abandoned me because I wasn’t good enough.
That one event blighted my whole life ~ until now.
Some say that it’s good to be mean to the one who loves you, because if they stay with you it proves that they love you. And, that if they leave you it proves that you were right to be mean to them all along. All I know is that only the mentally ill can like being alone and lonely.
You can get so that everything seems normal
even crazy, vicious, evil mood swings
even turning into a Mr. Hyde
Only a fool will let miserable situations run on from year to year.
Despite everything, there have been some dark clouds over my head. Ergo yesterday, on a whim, I took a train ride to the nearest big city to do a little shopping.
More than just going shopping yesterday, and buying whatever took my fancy; in a few weeks I’m going to New Mexico to attend a ‘new-age’ retreat, and I’ve just booked a week on the Algarve for over the Christmas Holidays. That Christmas trip will be my 6th vacation this year. How fortunate is that?
Oft times I tell you of my woes, bemoaning my luck, revealing the darker parts of my psyche ~ and yet there are so many others who are far worse off than I. Even in this moderately wealthy country, this green and pleasant land that is England, much misery abounds. There are those who struggle to find the next penny, let alone have the cash and freedom to just take off whenever they feel like it.
And, in America, that Land Of The Free there are more people living on the streets than a supposedly civilised country should countenance. Some say those people are just down on their luck ~ some bad luck America.
Without revealing too many confidences; yesterday I had to give a friend enough money for petrol, (gas), to allow her to visit her son who had been rushed into hospital. Even some of my friends aren’t as fortunate as I.
Maybe I want so much that I aim too high, and just going off shopping, or taking a vacation, is ultimately less than satisfying for me. Those foreign trips may put me under a different sky, but I still often feel alone and unsatisfied. Perhaps this is because I have unreasonable expectations, or that I am acting with selfishness, or it may be that I am not living a mindful life anyway.
One hope is that my upcoming New Mexico trip will give me some new psychological tools to put in my bag. Another is that as I become more self-aware and more self-confident, I will be able to look at my life, my relationships, my wants, needs, desires, and dreams in a more honest and mindful way.
Some say it’s not what you keep that matters, it’s what you are prepared to leave and lose. And, that if you have doubts about people it’s time to walk away. All I know is that the harder I work at things, the luckier I get.
Living on the streets is not much fun
My muse as always, is Aphrodite. ~ Shakespeare in Love
my goddess of love, sorceress, divine spirit,
you were there when I needed you most,
when I was lonely, miserable and lost,
drifting aimlessly from pillar to post,
you visited in dreams as a ghost,
and as a goddess lifted me up,
for that I shall you worship,
forever, no matter what,
you live in my heart.
Aphrodite, Goddess of Grace and lascivious love of Ares ~ eternally unrequited
You can never get away from where you’ve been.
We cannot change the past, we can only change the ways feel think and feel about the past. Most people have brutal, painful, and regrettable memories of their past. Events from the past have created who we are today, and events from the past will affect us today, tomorrow, next week, next year, and maybe until the day we die and beyond…..
Some of us may say that we are OK with the past, that things that happened in our childhood and adolescence do not haunt us at all. But beware, even if you are not aware of it, everything that you have experienced in the past; good, bad, terrible, traumatic, joyful, boring….. is affecting your sub-conscious today.
Nobody, up to and including you and me, is completely at peace with their past. We cannot, and should not, forget the past. Our past creates in us feelings of anxiety, bitterness, disappointment, doubt, guilt, fear, frustration, hurt, regret, rejection, sadness….. and most of us recall and remember the negatives from our past more than we focus on the positives.
Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. ~ Chuck Palahniuk
Some of us try to run away from our past; changing where we live, drifting from one relationship to another, changing jobs, drinking too much, taking drugs, attempting suicide, and metaphorically running away to join the circus. But none of that running away ever works, for wherever we go we take the past with us. (Even if a suicide attempt fails it will most likely do irreparable damage to the body, mind, and spirit.)
For some of us it’s even worse, because we are also affected by the past of someone who is very close to us, and emotions created by someone else’s past are incredibly difficult to deal with. This is doubly so if our ‘friend’ hasn’t themselves fully come to terms with their own past.
To be cool with the past we must first be motivated to deal with the past. We need to understand what really happened in the past, not just some biased half-memories that we use to fuel our negative emotions today. Try to find out what really happened in the past. Be willing to talk about and fully explore issues from the past. Stop pretending that everything from the past is fine, when most likely it isn’t. Acknowledge your true feelings, whether they be loss, hurt, shame, anger…..
You can accept or reject the way you are treated by other people, but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed. ~ Iyanla Vazant.
Depending how deeply the past affects us, we may need help to come to terms with what happened, how it affected us, and who we are today because of the past. Speaking to family and friends may help, you may need to see your doctor or a therapist, you may talk with your priest or spiritual adviser, you may need something like hypnosis, or you may just need to really meditate, read inspirational books, listen to motivational lectures, or just go for a long walk in the sunshine.
With any luck we may find out that the past is better than we feared. But, no matter if the past is better or worse than we think we remember, we cannot move on from something we don’t understand and we refuse to accept.
That’s the past for you. Not only does it come back at the most unexpected and inconvenient times, but it’s set in stone. ~ Jeffery Deaver.
There may well be things from the past that need resolution. This might be very difficult, but the longest journey starts with the first baby-step. Be honest. Be self-aware. Be kind with yourself. Seek to understand yourself. Be kind and understanding towards others. And, give yourself time to heal.
A ship does not sail with yesterday’s wind. ~ Louis L’Amour
Some say that we can become cool with the past by keeping a positive outlook and a strong determination to succeed in finding joy instead of negative emotions. And, that the past only exists in our memories and imagination. All I know is that the past isn’t actually here.
If what you’re doing isn’t working,
then do something else instead.
Paranoia; an extreme feeling that people are lying to me.
There is no such thing as paranoia. Your worst fears can come true at any moment. ~ Hunter S. Thompson.
We are all conditioned by our past. We have all been conditioned by society. We have all learned to be afraid. Our parents, our carers, our siblings, and all of society taught us to be afraid.
We learned negative thought, and we learned character defects like; anxiety, cowardice, denial, distrust, evasiveness, frustration, guilt, hatred, immorality, insecurity, pessimism, possessiveness, promiscuity, self-pity, and worry. All of these character defects are manifestations of fear.
It has been a massive shock to me to realise and accept just how afraid I have been for most of my life.
My greatest fear ~ fear of abandonment. I was a small, premature baby, placed in an incubator immediately after birth. Before I was five years old my maternal grandmother, my principal carer, left me. She had passed away.
My second greatest fear ~ that people are lying to me. My parents didn’t tell me that my nan had died, I thought she had abandoned me. My parents’ lying by omission, and telling me half-truths, destroyed my capacity to trust anyone.
Half a truth is often a great lie. ~ Benjamin Franklin
My third greatest fear ~ that I am not good enough, that I do everything wrong, that I am useless. I thought my nan had left me because I had been a bad boy, that I just wasn’t good enough for her anymore. Since then I have always felt second-best.
Because of that trauma in my formative years I have always been afraid of getting things wrong, and of being mocked for making mistakes. I have been morbidly afraid of rejection, which has resulted in all of my relationships with women becoming utterly dysfunctional. I am deeply afraid of developing a close relationship with an attractive and sexual woman.
Good girls go to heaven, Bad girls go everywhere. ~ Mae West
Because of my childhood trauma, I believe that every women I have had a close relationship with has lied to me, and I am afraid that negative belief also means that I cannot even know truth from falsehoods. In my own life I attempt to be dedicated to the truth, but to be a truthful man in a world of liars is to live in a very scary place. And, as we all know, everybody lies all the time.
Keeping secrets from someone is no different from lying to them. It’s still dishonest. And I am deeply afraid of dishonesty.
Perhaps due to the traumas I experienced before I was 5 years old, for most of my life I have suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder, which is a serious mental illness that brings with it it’s very own set of fears. Happily, I am mostly in recovery from BPD.
Some say that we are all afraid of change because we fear the unknown. And that our fears are there to protect us from really bad things happening to us. All I know is that if I keep on doing what I’ve always done, then I’ll get what I always got.
I don’t believe in fate or destiny. I believe in various degrees of fear, paranoia, and abandonment. ~ Henry Rollins.
To recover from paranoia and fear I am working on healing the causes of my problems, rather than the symptoms.
no matter how much you deceive yourself,
you have to know that she has always lied to you.
Time is an illusion; Happy Hour doubly so.
There was once a time when I was very good at altering the Cosmos I lived in to match up with the way I wished it to be, rather than the way it truly was. For most of the time I could pretend that things were much better for me than they really were, but no illusion can last forever. Ergo, every once in a while stark reality crashed through the violet light of my fantasy, and each time that happened was more painful than the one before. It got so that the only ways I could find to escape the pain of reality were even more destructive than suffering the pain.
My life was mostly getting worse.
I did have good times, and the good times could last for hours, days, weeks… But even my good times were falsehoods, illusions. I would shape reality to match my own attitudes, perceptions, and preconceptions.
Reality is an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. ~ Albert Einstein
Maybe that’s OK for some, but not for me, not with all my psychological problems. I was shaping my reality to cope with my own defects of character, and that isn’t living, that is just a different kind of escape into just another nightmare. And every nightmare was worse than the one before, until eventually I was suffering the long dark midnight of my spirit. And midnight is not the darkest hour.
The darkest hour is just before the dawn. ~ Thomas Fuller
No matter how far I had fallen, there was still much farther I could fall, unless I chose another way.
A little while ago, and with a little help from a close friend, it became plain that I needed to find new ways of thinking, doing, and being. I had to stop running away and trying to join the circus:~ wherever I went, whatever I did, I always took myself with me.
I had to stop being Mr Know It All, and I had to find a way to stop myself from becoming Mr. Hyde.
Perhaps I have found something, a new way of being. Perhaps I have found a way to make meaningful and lasting changes in my life. It’s not going to be a one-time thing, and my future is not going to be easy, but then most of my past was fucking terrible. So, my choices are simple; freedom from pain and suffering for myself and all those around me, or walk the dark path down into hell again?
Some say that a good friend will help you to move. And, that a very good friend will help you to move a dead body. All I know is that I don’t want that body to be mine ~ not for a good while yet.
If, as Einstein says, the Cosmos is really an illusion, then it follows that happiness is a choice ~ that most people can be just as happy as they choose to be.
Today and tomorrow I choose happiness over misery.
I choose sunlight over the dark moon at midnight.
jack collier firstname.lastname@example.org
People are lonely because they build walls for themselves.
Do you live inside a prison of your own making?
Do you remember building those fortress walls?
A wall of protection, are you looking for an opening?
Are you happy living in your empty, echoing halls?
Are you trying to find a way to freedom, escaping?
How dark and lonely are your clouds, cliffs, and hills?
No use running, happiness is too far away for running.
In every life there will be some troubles.
Recently I was pretty ill with the flu. In between feeling very poorly, and very tired, my feverish mind wandered to some very strange places. I vividly remembered things from the past, and some of those memories were false, but even the false memories had a lesson for me.
In my fevered imaginings I realised that I had often been judgemental, unforgiving, and aggressive. That I measured people by my own standards, morals, and mores. If I thought a person had hurt me, or intended to hurt me, or didn’t measure up to what I thought was acceptable standards of behaviour, then I was quite likely to attack that person. I could become a real Mr. Hyde character. That applied especially if I told myself that I cared about the person concerned.
In my fevered imaginings I realised that my judgemental, unforgiving, and aggressive behaviour was totally unacceptable. Not only that, it didn’t achieve anything good, and it didn’t make me happy ~ it didn’t make anyone happy.
In fact, being a judgemental unforgiving perfectionist made me so unhappy that from time to time I would try to escape my misery by drinking far too much booze. As you would expect, getting drunk didn’t make me happy either.
In fact, drinking just made everything much worse. Every single time I’ve touched booze in the past few years something extremely, irredeemably bad has happened. Every single time I’ve had even one drink I began a downward spiral which inevitably lead me to becoming Mr. Hyde.
It didn’t take fevered imaginings brought on by the flu to make me realise that I needed to make a new beginning. On December 11th last year I had the worst mental, psychological, and spiritual day of my life. My mind was broken and my soul was destroyed. I knew back then that I needed to change or there wasn’t much point in my being anything other than a lonely recluse. If I wanted a good life, then I needed to begin a new beginning as a kinder, stable, more reliable, more likeable man.
My mental health was at stake, I needed to change or continue on the downward spiral to the rock bottom of total lunacy.
I have changed, and it was both very difficult and very easy. The easy part is that all I need to do is stop being a judgemental unforgiving perfectionist. Stop thinking the worst of people, stop imagining that the people I care for are trying to hurt me, and stop dwelling on the past. As I said easy.
The very difficult thing is that making a fundamental change to one’s own personality means overturning one’s core beliefs and values ~ and that’s hard. It means reconsidering what’s important in life. It means letting go of old attitudes, old habits, beliefs, outdated goals, even one’s old Life’s Purpose. It means changing how we think about relationships, love, and life.
However, we can create anything we want, if we want it enough.
Einstein said; the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.
I needed to do things differently. I needed to begin a new beginning. I firmly believe I have started on a different and better road. I don’t think I’m a lunatic anymore.