Terminally Unique


I’ve been honoured and flattered to be asked by The Holistic Wayfarer to contribute a piece to her blog, A Holistic Journey. If you’re unaware of that space, consider this your gateway post! (Sorry, addiction humour.) HW has created a wonderful, inviting space and is surrounded by a community that is disarmingly gentle, soulful and supportive. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to have my first guest piece posted.

The piece is a part of a series called Belonging that the HW has created to highlight the struggle that we all have in trying to be a part of, not apart from. The want and need to belong seems hard wired in us, and there is great internal strife when we feel that we are the outside looking in. That was my own experience for oh so many years. Some wonderful bloggers share their own stories in this week’s series, and am excited to be given the opportunity to be amongst some fantastic writers and folks. Please check them out.

Blessings,
Paul

A Holistic Journey

I always had a secret mission. In it, I took notes on the Earthlings and reported all findings to the mothership. The assignment seemed simple enough, but it was a long, lonely ordeal. You see, living as an imposter wasn’t for the weak-minded. To do what I needed to do – survive – my goal was to stay as separate from the hominids that populated this planet. This sort of science-fiction mentality saved my life…until I found the one true thing that would skyrocket me to my own private Krypton. Alcohol.

Whether it was the bullying or the apathy in the aftermath of the shoving and name-calling, I never felt quite at home in my own skin. Even as a child, I felt that everyone except me had gotten a manual for living – a set of volumes outlining what one needed to do to thrive in life. How to…

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11 responses to “Terminally Unique

  1. As already stated on Holistic Wayfarer’s that was a good job, and I have suffered from the same thoughts. Your posts always seem to hit right at the right time of my struggle, thank you and Thank God†††

    • Thanks, brother. And your comments always do the same for me. They hit me right when I need them, at the right place. Thank God indeed. It’s just that simple, frère 🙂

  2. OOPS!!
    must have hit reply by accident….let’s start again….
    it was very recently (I said embarrassingly above!) that I understood the concept of “terminal uniqueness”.
    I got that I am not unique, that idea that I was not so special, so alone, so sad, such an alcoholic, and all the other ways i isolated myself and allowed myself to feel different from everyone else and stay sick. That part I understood and accepted and worked toward changing, with some success.
    Only very recently did I look at my friend in wonder and say “OMG..terminal!”. I finally grasped that word terminal, that means death, basically, and how if i continued to hold on to those places that I wanted or needed to feel separate that I would, in fact, die.
    I only understood it, finally, because I was in place where death looked….if not good, certainly interesting for a moment.
    So thanks for this post, for making me hear that again, for reminding me that I am not alone, ever.
    Terminal indeed

    • I too sometimes take a cavalier attitude towards the whole “terminal” part. I sometimes forget what this illness is capable of. That’s what the meetings do for me, M. They remind me that I am just one of, and not the one. And that when my mind gets into self big time, or get too comfy, terminal is where it can end. I have been hearing and reading countless stories lately (God nudging me, I think) about guys and gals who have gone back out after long time of sobriety. And most of them die, namely because their minds are set back to where they used to drink at, but their bodies are not in any way used to it.

      So I sit here, a common slug of a person, glorious in His ways, but still common. Common problem – common solution. Fellowship. Communion. We are never alone…and thank you for being a part of my own recovery, dear friend 🙂

      Paul

  3. Pauly
    Great post dude.
    Garden variety is the antonym of terminal uniqueness, no?
    I so identify with: I’m fine, now just leave me alone.
    Back in my day I became afraid to walk down the street (in the day time) as I might meet someone I knew and actually have to talk with them. I always wanted people to like me, but I was afraid, if they knew what I really thought about myself, they wouldn’t like me either. The wack part is, the things that I KNEW about myself, most turned out to be false, and others were just normal. The wheels turning, directed inward, was not a good place to be then, and is not a good place to be now.
    If you knew what I know…….you wont like me. This shit carries on in life. You gotta wonder: Why are people so terrified of AA meetings? Why?
    They say we are only as sick as our secrets.
    Sometimes, Im sitting in the car in the parking lot, and I don’t want to go in. The fear is still there.
    Write an inventory? Madrone, I’d rather crawl over broken glass.
    Now dig it,,,,if it were a money, power or sex thing, especially Raquel Welch lol, I might be tempted to go the glass route.
    Anyway bro, yours was a good post -as always.

    • Garden variety…that’s how I like to think of myself. Just another page out of the Big Book as they say. What you say in your comments is truth, kind sir. I so desperately wanted to be liked, I either had to hide out (rejection was too much to handle) or I had to play the clown / chameleon and do what I think you wanted me to do or say (people pleasing). It’s just because I didn’t know how to deal with the real problem – me.

      I was laughing (and sighing in relief) about the AA meetings and being terrified. I do the same sometimes. I have to talk myself into going to them at times. other times I breeze into them. But lately it’s been the fear gripping me. What if they don’t like me? What if I say somethind dumb? But in the end, and I mean every. single. time. I walk out on a cloud. Because I need constant reassurance that I am not alone in this, and when I hear others say what I am thinking…wow. What a relief to my mind and spirit.

      And that’s the relief I get when I read your words.

      Rachel Welsh…dude, you just dated yourself there…ha ha.

      Peace,
      Paul

  4. Got to keep that door open bro. We are only as sick as are secrets. Sometimes the stuff we do, doesn’t automatically stop when we stop drinking. That search for connection and or intimacy, can lead us in different directions. In my early 20’s alcohol and sex were my go to things. I used to blame drunkenness for occasionally crossing the male/female line. I felt tremendous shame. When I got to AA, a few years later: (stopped drinking and went through the steps), I told my HP and sponsor everything. It was a tremendous relief. But like I’ve said in other post’s: some things change faster than others. Others things take a while.
    The key to sobriety (from alcoholism) is admitting to ourselves, god, and another human being……”whenever” we mess up-or feel shame, either for a thought or an action taken. And hopefully make amends ….if amends are due. If not, there is only so much shame an AA’er can handle before we start to isolate, then maybe drink or walk in front of a train. If we want to survive this thing and find happiness, we have to try and be an open book. The way for us to find true intimacy and connection is by going through the steps with a sponsor and then becoming a sponsor to someone else. Easy to say, can be hard to do.

    Take care bro.

    • You are right what you say, Mikey. The first true intimate relationship I had, in terms of being an open book, was with my sponsor. And he was a male, obviously, but that was a big deal for me because I never wanted to do get close to anyone, especially a guy. They were the enemy in many ways, and all that chit chat on a park bench at night seemed…odd. At first. Now I love our chats on the park bench, late at night, listening to the traffic whiz by nearby.

      I have a few outstanding amends. Some guys halfway around the world, but in my professional circles. I have my index cards ready with my amends, always on me, so if and when I see them, (I believe I will run into them in my life) I am ready. Frankly, I have them all memorized. I don’t carry shame with me. I don’t need to look over my shoulder. I don’t need to screen my calls. I don’t owe money. These are the things that have come as a result of amends.

      As for sponsoring – had lots of guys through years 1-2 1/2 but haven’t had a guy in almost a year. Put my number out there, chat with the newcomers, call my old treatment center to see if they have anyone (I am a contact as well on their list) and do alumni meetings when I can. Gonna have to try harder, and keep praying to have the guys cross my path. I know it made a huge difference when I sponsored, Mikey. Miss it.

      Paul

  5. Hey DUDE.. what’s UP with your FUNKY blog..! Loving the new look.. you rock.. I’m so pleased you didn’t up and leave us like you were going to a while back.. great honest post as always.. sending love xxx

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