Skip to content

Dearest P.

Dearest P.,

I’ve been fantasizing about leaving M. to be with you. But I much prefer the fantasy, the “idea” of it all. The reality would be very difficult and painful in this very crucial time in my life.

And the truth is, I can’t leave someone until I know it absolutely can’t work with them. Only then can I really truly start from scratch with someone new. I love M., and our relationship is salvageable at its worst. Leaving him would still destroy me.

This is what I’ve come up with after a couple weeks of torment. I’ve been so bothered by my thoughts of you and what they could make me do. I don’t want to hurt anyone, and coming to you like a broken toy, as you’ve so eloquently said before, would just fuck me  and you up even more.

P., my thoughts and heart seem to keep coming back to you… The desire to live our love out, to its fullest potential, will never leave me. It’s a beautiful thought, really, as tormenting as it is to live. The reality is, perhaps, that I will always want what I can’t have.

I love you P.

Him and her

Now I know through this social media platform called Facebook that he’s openly in a relationship with a girl I used to be friends with. I’d requested her to be my friend on Facebook and she never accepted me. I just went to her profile and noticed her relationship status. My heart jumped. Yes, it’s him. It’s him. Betrayal, frustration, and depression flew through me in a matter of a second after realizing I was being ridiculous for being upset. It’s ridiculous, but I still feel it. Nostalgia is a big character defect. That’s why I’m here. I need to talk. I feel so sad and small.

It’s been three years that he’s come in and out of my head. Nostalgia invades me once in awhile. It’s pathetic.

I tell myself he was ‘the first’. He was my first lover in sobriety, in my new life. The relationship’s intensity was disproportionate. I thought I’d never loved or been loved before him. He was the one, and I told him I loved him. He said he was scared of not being able to love me. He was scared I would ask too much, now that I loved him. He backed off, and eventually, he ended things. The end of that relationship felt like the end of love.

When he left me, I started to dig a hole in the ground around me with my fingernails, asking what it was all about and when I would ever find a man like him again. I blamed him, I blamed myself, and I fucked men with a desperate, sad hope that I would be with him again some day. In my grief, I gathered that by the time we found each other again, I’d be damaged goods. Slowly, I forgot about him. Others came and went.

Now, I can say that there has been love like his before… and better. But there will never be pain like his again. It feels so fresh, all the time, that it bleeds immediately, profusely, and forever.

Oh wow, I hate Facebook and I’m tired.

A little ditty for that heartbreaking exboyfriend.

What I’ll never get to say to A. (or to anyone else but you), purely for the fear of revealing the impact he’s had and still has, fearfully, shamefully, on my life and the love I have to give.

Painful love lessons, leave me be.

How can one feel so much from simple memory?

Loving you has left me burnt.

Your unforgettable sting still feels current.

And after all that was ‘us’ is over, what is my end result?

Remembering our despair and the common insult

Of sharing a love loaded with a toxic ego

And of having the unfortunate unwillingness to let go.

‘I love you, I love you, I love you’… all of which I’ll never tell you.

My heart is broken and can’t seem to start anew.

The Willingness to Move Forward

Having completed a moral inventory of my resentments, fears, sex conduct, and other misconducts and having read it to another AA member as I am supposed to do in Step 5, I was initiated into one of the more covertly difficult steps in the 12 step program.

Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Step 6 of the AA program is about getting humble (knowing you can’t conquer your defects alone) and surrendering/giving up old habits and ways of thinking (your defects of character) to your higher power, be that God or something/someone else. Taking the time to read a lot of AA literature about this step has allowed me to discover my own baffling resistance to getting better, changing old patterns, and not living my life like a suffering alcoholic-drug addict.

I sat down today to write a list of my character defects. This may seem a bit morbid, but from what I understand, if I am able to accurately identify which character defect is making me suffer at a given moment, then I can ask for it (specifically) to be removed. I assume it would make the process of prayer seem less futile. Everything is futile when it’s too general.

With the risk of going off on a tangent and losing the focus of this post, the following are roots of my defects and my most commonly experienced character defects:

Sex-related defects: selfish pursuit of sex, lust, flirting, jealousy, suspicious, manipulation, and vanity

Pride +ego: unwillingness (stubbornness); perfectionism; power thirst; know-it-all attitude; envy; pettiness; intolerance; all-or-nothing attitude; having a judgmental attitude

Laziness: forming judgments on assumptions, entitlement (feeling like something is owed to me), carelessness toward responsibilities, procrastination

Dishonesty: overt/covert lies, deception

Selfishness: self-obsession; self-pitying; negative thinking; self-destructive habits (smoking, drinking, drugs), nostalgia, being dramatic, talking but not listening

Are there character defects that I possess that I like having?

I’ve often considered that my sexual character defects made me more powerful; that sleeping around (being lustful) gave me a powerful and independent character, or that selfishly pursuing my sexual needs outside of a relationship (by cheating) was once again a sign that I was taking my destiny into my control.

In retrospect, my sexual defects have caused my pain, despite having given more desirable effects at the time of my acting them out. The effects were short-term and led to heartache in ways I didn’t imagine possible. Sometimes I still get caught up in the potential ‘short term’ effects of acting out my sexual defects, as if being suspicious, jealous, manipulative, and vain could put me in a position of power over my partner…

Am I afraid of turning into someone I don’t like if these parts are removed?
Yes. I’m afraid that I won’t be as appealing, as driven-looking, as competitive with other people. I’m afraid of losing what I have (a relationship, career path, financial stability, friends, etc). I am afraid of losing the only predictable parts of myself, even if they are negative ones. I’m afraid of losing what I know.

What do I think will be removed?

I’m not sure, but I’m hoping that my sex-related defects will be removed since I am in a relationship with someone I value very much. I also hope that my self-obsessive thinking and nostalgia are removed, since they also have the potential to damage my present-day relationship and the life path I’m on. I also hope that my self-destructive habits such as smoking will be removed, and that drinking and drugs will stay out of my life.

I believe that my dishonesty is a character defect that will be removed. I’ve seen evidence of this in my daily life. I appreciate transparency in communication a lot more than before, and I try to clarify myself when I feel I may be holding something back. I feel bad about it, at the very least.

I hope this is my higher power’s will to have these removed, since I know very well I’m not the one who chooses what will be removed.

On ending things.

A long time ago, I read a message written on a scrap piece of paper I found in a library book that said, “You don’t know how much you love someone until you’re faced with losing them”. Recently, I lost that someone. For the first time since our turbulent relationship started, I found myself at peace with a decision I’d come up with all by myself, a decision that would end everything I’d built with my partner.

Falling out of love, the easiest scapegoat to a breakup, wasn’t the issue between us. I still loved him even if I ended our relationship. How did I know it was over? I had a gut feeling about it. My partner and I were set to move in together, and when we didn’t get the apartment we wanted, my reaction surprised me. Relief. The feeling of having a second chance to evaluate the relationship and my willingness to become more committed. In the span of 48 hours, I went from being sure about moving in with him to being sure I would be ending the relationship. The idea that I would end the relationship came quietly, as though by a rational process of evaluation. I’d broken up with my partner before (and gotten back together), but it’d never felt like this: emotionally quiet, simple, and final. When I accepted that this would be my decision, I knew that I’d been ignoring this option for a long time. I’d chosen not to trust my gut feeling to end it in the last few months, but at that point and time, I couldn’t ignore it anymore.

Reasons. There are too many little reasons that built this solution. Basically, I was living in a state of uncertainty relative to whether or not I should keep moving forward with my partner. I would constantly deviate between a state of complete faith in the relationship and wanting to leave him. Between oscillating between these two states of mind and out reoccurring problems, I reached an emotional bottom in the relationship. After ending it, I realized that I had been searching for peace within the relationship, which was a place where I would never find it. Ironically, I never could have known this without taking a chance and ending it.

Obviously, taking this decision was a desperate last resort. I was experiencing a lot of anxiety and pain. As an addict and an alcoholic that aims to maintain the status quo and feign a normal life, it takes a lot of anxiety and pain for me to shake up my world. I understood and constantly considered how ending a relationship with someone I still loved would be extremely risky. I was afraid of being upset after the break up, afraid of disruption, afraid of nostalgia. I was also afraid of going on a sexual rampage to help quell my grief. Up to now, the only thing that has affected me, if only for relatively short moments, is nostalgia.

It’s normal to feel this way” was my mantra for the first two weeks after the breakup. What I meant was that it’s normal to feel sad sometimes, for no apparent reason. It’s normal to miss him, sometimes. In reality, I’ve consistently felt at peace with my decision to leave him, and when it strikes, I am able to calmly and quietly wait for the nostalgia to pass.

Being newly single again is quite different from how I imagined it to be. When I was still with my partner, I’d have intense crushes, bordering on obsessions, with other men. In a true addict style, I’d produced a cross-country road map of partners I wanted to revisit or experience for the first time. I thought I’d want to gorge myself on the list of men I’d created, a ‘hit list’ of sorts, once I was single again. Up to now, no flights have been booked, no train tickets have been bought. It’s become all too clear how my level of desire for these other men was totally skewed by my unhappiness with my boyfriend. In retrospect, these men don’t really live up to the image I’d created of them: the attentive, loving, sensual saviors that would rescue me from my unsatisfying relationship. In reality, I’ve lost interest in pursuing them. All but one of them.

Yes, one. Although I managed to, as my therapist aptly put it, ‘maintain the integrity of my relationship’ at the time I was in one, I started hanging out with a man that I’d seen in the program rooms. At first he fascinated me since he sort of reminded me of an ex-lover I’d had two years ago. I pawed at this replica like a cat with a catnip toy, playing with the idea of having a chance to relive history. Since going out to dinner with him a few times and enjoying his company as a friend, I’ve completely disassociated him from the ex-lover that originally drew my attention to him, and I’ve appreciated him as a new romantic possibility. And well, let’s just say he’s more than just a possibility at this point. After respecting a time period I’d allotted to mourning my previous relationship, I started a new adventure, which has been light, fun, and very satisfying up to now.

No, I’d rather not waste time wondering if this new relationship is right or not. I want to feel my way through this one, learn to trust my gut feeling, and let it develop without over-analyzing it. I’m done with over-thinking for now.

High Fidelity

I’ve been away for far too long. Imagine what happens in two months.

A pregnancy scare, ‘scare’ being the key word.

The phone call to an ex-boyfriend. The ex-boyfriend, that I could dramatically state I’ve been chasing through other people for the last two years. Don’t get excited; he didn’t answer the phone nor did he call back. I’m forgetting it ever happened, and perhaps someday, I’ll forget he ever existed.

More interestingly,  there was the man I met at the cafe.

My therapist commented, rightfully so, “He’s the only one you’ve referred to as a man.”

To which I replied, “He is a man, a much older man. P. could be my father.”

I would like to write about this some more when I have a chance.

In the last two months, I watched a great movie called High Fidelity, in which the main character very much resembles my personality: a neurotic, over-romanticizing depressive who has trouble looking at the obvious. The movie ends well, and I’d like to watch it again before doing a full review of it.

Obviously, there’s more to come. For the time being, I’ve been keeping up with my personal recovery through AA and CA meetings, talking to other women about my problems in the program, and keeping out of trouble, if only by a single hair. Hey, what can I say? I’m an addict. I love trouble, feeling the rush, and cutting it close. So close, that my therapist asks me, what would you have done ?, an alarming amount of times.

I’d either wish it had happened, or wish it hadn’t happened.

I am an addict. Living a normal life is just never enough.

Closer

Shaw is driving to my city as I type this. We both always loved music, and he’s coming for a show with a car full of friends. I bought my ticket so I could join them. It took me a lot not to ask him in a message,

How far are you now?

I entertained myself with imagining his reply.

Just a couple hours.

That’s just like Shaw. Keeping me waiting with an ambiguous response.

Sooner, or later? I’d ask.

Sooner than you think.

You’re killing me.

Who is Shaw? He is an ex-lover for whom I still have a soft spot. He was a speck in the timeline of my love-life but he retains an inexplicable power over me. It baffles me. When I stopped seeing him, I started seeing him places. I’d catch a whiff of his scent on the public transport and whip around trying to find him. I’d moved away from him; he was in a completely different province.

I’d moved away from him. To get away from him.

As I imagine Shaw driving toward my city at 120km an hour blasting industrial music, muffled yet audible from the exterior of the car, I imagine what it felt like to have him come pick me up. I’d hear him coming down the street. Would he slow down to pull into the driveway? I never knew when he’d been drinking, but every time we met up, I reckoned he had. Eventually, I would taste the vodka on his tongue, tasting his love for what it was. Strong, gripping, and reckless.

Shaw was an alcoholic and we used to do drugs together. We were like two children who’d made up a language and spoke it together in secret, whispering obscenities that no one else would understand. Shaw and I understood each other in our altered states, where no one else could quite follow us at our speed, where no social, mental, or physical boundaries kept us from our greatest lusts.  It was he and I against the world, living that fucked up reality of ours. We built our relationship out of destroying ourselves and hating everyone.

It’s only after the relationship ended that I realized I wish I’d told him, just once, that I loved him. Even if I I slept with other people and I seemed to take what we had so lightly. I remember begging him to believe me when I said, there’s only you, at the height of intoxication. I loved him, whatever love meant for me at the time, it was all for him.

Then Shaw had a mental breakdown. Even now, the child inside me says sadly, he abandoned me. He wouldn’t return my phone calls and didn’t care to see me anymore. Since I couldn’t be away from him without desperately wanting to come right back, I left the scene of our crimes. I left the neighborhood, the city, the province, my whole life, just to get away from him.

I never said I ever got over him.

And I will ask later on this evening, How far are you now?

He’ll say, in his low casual voice with a tinge of mockery, Closer than two hours ago.

Facing little progress, and definitely not perfection.

I’ve come here, shamefully, to be redeemed. I have been distracted, I have been preoccupied, I have been exhausted. I have been doing everything but my program, everything but my recovery.

I know very well how it works: I work my program of recovery in AA and CA, the twelve steps to sobriety, and the promise of a life that is happy, joyous, and free comes true. I believe in the program. I’ve seen countless success stories, from the most hopeless of cases, come up from their grave and lead the kind of life I’d want for myself. I’ve also seen the change in myself. I am starting to resemble a person who I used to envy. I am healthy, busy, constructive, and driven.

The caution, in this frame of mind, is to remember that I am an addict and need my medicine.

Ironically, the more freedom sobriety grants me to follow my dreams and become the person I’ve always wanted to be, the less time I end up dedicating to the upkeep of my sobriety. I’ve become busy with wonderful projects, and my program of recovery is the first thing to suffer. Not even my ailing love-relationship suffers as much as my attendance at AA and CA meetings. This is strange and disturbing.

I’ve been craving substance. My life has felt so scheduled and regimented in order to stuff as much opportunity to pursue my career as possible, but I find myself wanting to put it all at risk. I want substance. I want its reward, I want its freedom and lack of control. The ego is covert and works in many ways to bring me back to my most desired state of being: intoxication. Total elation, or total depression. Hate, recklessness, and self-destruction. The more life puts on my shoulders, the more I desire not to be held accountable for the outcome of this new lifestyle, new responsibilities, and new projects. I just want to get lost.

When I was having a great time drinking and using drugs, I felt like the lead actress in a drama full of twists and unpredictability and excitement. And conversely, when I was having an awful time, I was drunk, literally as well as figuratively, on my sense of self-importance. I felt more important, feeling so much, getting into shit, and feeling like the world was falling apart because of what I’d done.

Beyond the delusions of my self-importance, in reality, I was an extra in the cast of typical delinquents at the bar. I had made myself unimportant to everyone around me, because, who can care about someone who doesn’t even care for themselves? I was simply the girl that partied a lot. I was the girl making a scene, being loud, being brash. I was the girl looking for the after party. And most profoundly, I was the faceless, non-descript girl, strung out and drunk, getting fucked by a guy at 8am in the morning whose name she does not know and that she never wants to see again. And the pain would hit me like a bomb in the foundation of a building, with the first split-second of awareness, crumpling my entire worthless life to the ground.

Here I am again, feeling drunk on my own self-importance, feeling like a hard shell that’s hollow inside.

I’ve been taught by some very experienced, wise people, the following mantra:

Today is always here. Life is daily; today is all we have; and anybody can go one day without drinking.

There is a solution. I will change. If not today, then gently, tomorrow.

The next time I come back here, I hope to be well-fed, well-rested, well-surrounded, and spiritually well.

Love and desire

“Deep contentment is the visible sign of love. Contentment, the deep satisfaction around him… his every breath, his every movement, his very being, content.

You may be surprised when I say to you that love makes you desireless, but desire comes with discontent. You desire because you don’t have. You desire because you think that if you have something it will give you contentment. Desire comes out of discontent.” (Osho, from Courage, 84)

Just thinking aouu yo!

June and July have been tough months for me, for several reasons. My program of recovery, which includes AA and CA meetings, as well as 12 step work and an occasional SLAA meeting, has taken a back-seat to the career sphere of my life. Career-oriented growth and networking have been taking up all the room. Most of the time, I feel over-worked but fine. Other times like yesterday, I crash and I cry and hole myself up in my apartment until the storm passes or I pass out.

Tonight I found myself saying to a close girlfriend, “I haven’t written on my website in awhile. Too long. But I can’t ignore Lisa Loveless”. Lisa is ever-present, ever-thinking, and assumes to be ever-knowing… in fact, so brazen is she, that she hasn’t asked anyone for help during an extremely physically, mentally, and emotionally draining couple months. Asking for help, as in: calling an Anonymous program friend, doing 12 step meetings, and meeting with an Anonymous program sponsor. No, Lisa chooses her own solutions. May I insert, ‘foolishly’ chooses her own solutions, the ones that keep bringing her back to suffering…

In late June, I had a minor operation on my cervix to have a lesion removed. I let my doctor at the hospital prescribe me Ativans without telling him that I am an alcoholic drug addict, a person prone to abusing this particular class of prescription drugs.

A potential rupture between my significant other and I was brewing within the few days before the operation. I told him he didn’t have to come with me to the hospital, that I would find my own way there and back. I tried to sound matter-of-factually, but could not ignore that this was simply another attempt on my part to prove something. Prove what? That I was independent from him, that I’d be fine and better off without him, even if he continuously offered to come with me anyway?

Since I refused his offers to help me, I ended being more resentful than before when my operation date came up. Why didn’t he try harder to help me? I wallowed in self-pity. On the day of the operation, I took a little more than my prescribed dose and as a result, was groggy for the rest of the day. The following text conversation is a direct result of Lisa Loveless and her solutions-oriented approach to stress, resentment, and discomfort.

It started off so innocently. Between that coworker M. and I, the one in my previous post. The following texts are  pre-operation.

LL: Did you listen to the CD I leant you?

M.: Finally, I’m listening to your cd, it’s great, I love it :) I hope everything goes well with your surgery, and I hope that it’s not serious as you said. I just wanna make sure if somebody gonna be there to take care of you after… Keep me posted and let me know if you need anything.

LL: I’ll be okay. Me and my ativans!

M.: Don’t take too many of them and all the best.

Post-operation, a few hours later, after the Ativans.

M.: Hey, how you feeling, How was the surgery?

LL: I have bewin bed,not sure wher I wake up I thinj alice in wonderlant is in my laptop buu unot sure where I got it

M: Cool… that’s what you’re gonna watch then, get well soon, I miss you :)

LL: li miss you. I bump into walls just thinking aouu yo!

Two days later…

M: Hey, still recovering? How you feeling?

LL:I’m ok, thanks, I went to work today

M: Cool, I’m glad, I may stop by tomorrow… You should call me when you’re done if you feel like hanging out.

Oops.

Lisa Loveless, who is currently in a monogamous relationship, made a boo-boo (in an intoxicated haze) with a coworker that she’s been fantasizing about lately. And yet, Lisa has not done an SLAA meeting, has not talked about this incident to a member, and is generally not trying to help herself.

Lisa is walking a dangerous line.

I haven’t drank, I haven’t used my drug of choice, but I’ve flirted to the point of discomfort with seduction and infidelity. In all seriousness, I wish I could take all this back. I promise, with all my cheating little heart, that I’ll do better next time… believe me, will you?