You Can’t Save Your Face and Your Ass At the Same Time

Given a choice, I’m going to choose my ass every time.

We are only as sick as our secrets. Some think I should save face and never ever mention how I’m feeling at any given time. That speaking out about my own reality is actually a show of weakness. That I am living in self pity when I do that. That I am undignified. That I am an embarrassment and inappropriate. Whatever.Ā  I disagree. Adamantly. I think judgment and intolerance and inability to allow me to be who I am, my own unique and wonderful self, an insistence that I be like someone other than myself, is very sad.

“Allah loves wonderous variety.”

I think stuffing my feelings and pretending that I’m not having them and only allowing myself to feel them in privacy, if then, is a sad state of affairs. And I think that when that is the path taken that it takes longer to process them, if you ever actually do. If I do that, stuff my feelings, I will drink for certain. And for me, to drink is to die. Suicide at least.

I myself find strength in truth, in sharing, in asking for help. And I know that my original motive for this blog, to share my life transparently with others, was well formed. For me it is a form of 12 step work. Through sharing my own experience, strength, and hope by showing that sometimes I have little strength but lots of experience does good in the world. I know that when I share, others find that they are not alone. That their trials in this thing we call life are not theirs alone. That they can, perhaps, gain strength from watching me go through my life honestly. That perhaps my tools can be their tools and that they too can weather storms that they weren’t able to before. If I am able to do that for one person in my entire life, then my life has been worth living. And I know that I have done that for many, that’s what they’ve told me at any rate. My life is full of abundance of purpose if nothing else.

And THAT? Makes it all worth while. But the fact is that my life is full of abundance in all its wonderful ways. My needs are always met. And sometimes I need a fucking hug. So what? At least when I ask for a hug I actually get one.

“It’s better to give a resentment than to get a resentment.”

“If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison.”

I am not a normal man. Nor a normal woman. Where would I be if I kept silently hoping that someone, somewhere, might give me a hug that I desperately need? Me? I’d rather you resent me for asking than I resent you for not reading my mind. Sorry but in the end the only life I can save is my own.

Today was a bit of a justified resentment day. Thank goodness I always go to several meetings on my sobriety birthday.

That’s right. Today I celebrate 14 years of continuous sobriety. No booze, no drugs. That’s all that is promised in recovery.Ā  That is the only step any of us can do 100%. The first one.

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives were unmanageable.

WE. Not me alone in my silent private life. WE. In rooms, forums, homes, where ever three alcoholics meet to recover it is always WE. WE can do together what none of us can do alone. To know my limitations, to ask for and offer help, is a beautiful thing. It is the best thing.

No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

And that faith in a higher power will restore me to sanity. Most days I’m sane. My About Me page makes it clear that I do not think I am all the time. “Decidely Not.” The tools I’ve learned have brought me here to this place and this time.

And those tools? Freak unrecovered alcoholics OUT. Completely. I’m sorry if someone feels that my sharing means that I am going through my life without dignity. But I have never felt as though anyone else really gives a rat’s ass about my dignity. The only one who can be a barometer regarding my dignity is me. We don’t have to define what diginity looks like in the same way. In fact it’s a good thing we don’t. If you really think I’m sick then I have to say that shaming me in public, calling me out in mean ways, isn’t really the way to help a sick person. But the truth is that no one ever thinks about someone else when I share about my life. Someone else never enters their minds. And they? The other people who really love me? Think I go through my life with great dignity, grace, bravery, and most of the time, joy.

So. I’m here to save my ass. Save your own ass. Take care of your own life. Mine is not your concern. My face? That’s what moisturizer is for.

As my dear friend Bobby D. (R.I.P.) says, “I’m not perfect but I AM excellent.”

4 thoughts on “You Can’t Save Your Face and Your Ass At the Same Time

  1. Speaking as another recovering alcoholic (happy birthday!), and as just another human as well, I can only say one thing here:

    I completely agree with this post.

    Terri in Joburg

  2. Agreed, whether alcohol, substances, or just general Human Nature, you speak no truer words. To yourself be true, and the truest friends will accept that, agreement or not.

  3. Congratulations on your sobriety AND on your sanity šŸ™‚ *Whoever* it is that that has been trying to shame you out of your own feelings, well, I hope you – you know. Told them to F***off! LOL

    Me? I have a right to my feelings, WHATEVER they are. It’s only when I decide to do something with them (for example, if I raged out at someone) that it becomes some elses business.

    I think your ability to tap into what you feel and express it is a gift šŸ™‚ not to be denied

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