An Organized Plan of Attack

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The artistic mind is rarely organized. When I found myself at the jumping off place a week ago, I had simply come to a place where everything that was “wrong” in my life felt too overwhelming to deal with. I can say that the blog is helping me so thank you for reading it. I think that even if no one were reading, it would still be helping. That being said, the encouragement to keep it going and knowing that people are pulling for me has made me feel like I’m not in this alone. I was deluded to think I could ask for no one to talk about it with me. People care about me and want to help. I get that. There are others who can use another’s distress to help them not focus on their own shit. I get that too. I’ve been there. I apologize that, if I am to pull this off, there’s simply not time to respond to all the messages, texts, and emails. I’ve let things dissolve into quite a shit soup and it’s going to take a while to sort things out. I didn’t get into this mess overnight and I’m not going to get out of it overnight. I welcome you to comment on the Facebook link if you feel like there’s something you must say. Sometimes I read them; sometimes I don’t. Even the ones that piss me off give me things to think about, even if I think they’re full of shit. Responding to the messages will sink the mission. I’m sorry. The stakes are high here.

 

As I mentioned day-before-yesterday, I do think that being of service is, at least for me, the best way to pull myself out of depression. When I’ve found myself at the lowest points in my life it has always been because I am consumed in trying to self-medicate my pain and blinded to what I can “pack into the stream of life” and also blind to the copious blessings I enjoy. I think that writing and acting have been my most efficient and effective ways of helping not only myself but also others. For example, talking one-on-one with other veterans has proved invaluable to both them and me. But writing and performing the play (that ultimately many hundreds saw) and through the documentary about the play (that ultimately over a million saw) has reached many more veterans than I could have ever reached out to one-on-one. Hundreds of them spoke to me about their experience in the military and of their impressions of the play. Whether they agreed with all my politics and opinions or not, I could see how I was not the only Iraq veteran who benefited from all the hard work we put into the play. That taught me something about the usefulness and incredible power of art. The blog has, if nothing else, gotten me writing again. The pump is being primed. For this I am incredibly grateful. By your support I am humbled and awed.

 

I began today’s blog by saying that the artist’s brain is rarely a very organized place. This can present a huge challenge, even in the writing. For the sake of organization, I’ve decided to divide my life into categories and take an honest look at them individually. I am the master of my own fate. The areas where I am not living my life as my heart desires are not God’s fault or even the fault of those who’ve hurt me. My problems (and they are many right now) are basically, I think, of my own making. I am no victim, no matter what has happened to me in the past. That is not to say that there is not great value in my “coming out of the closet” and sharing some of the feelings that I’ve been swallowing over the years because of some of the things that happened to me. Pent-up and stagnate grief and rage often preclude one’s ability to move forward with the things that bring forth positive change.  That being said, I really have no desire for revenge. There are people whom I could destroy their lives if I were publically honest about some of the things they’ve done. That’s not healthy for me. I am, however now willing to let people take responsibility for their own bad behavior. They may not take responsibility. Many won’t. The point of the action is that I don’t have to carry that for them any more. Codependency is as insidious an addiction as substance abuse. Making sure that everyone is comfortable all the time no matter what it does to me is a sickness. Attaching my emotional wellbeing to the happiness of an abuser isn’t good for me, for them, or for the planet. People need to know they can’t shit all over people and slither away unscathed. Other people need to know they can be open and honest about the ways they’ve been hurt. It’s not always going to be pretty. But I am fighting for my life here.

 

One well-meaning person left a comment on the Facebook link to one of my earlier blog posts. It said, “The first step is to stop picking the scab.” That’s actually not right. The first step is admitting I have a problem. He should know that. One of my biggest problems has been keeping ancient injury a secret because I was afraid those who had hurt me would also be hurt. Sometimes the most loving thing is to stop carrying responsibility for other’s actions. Addiction and low self-esteem feed on secrecy. The fearful, stagnate state that is produced by years of dishonesty about how much I’ve been hurt has kept me in a cycle of addiction. Even in the years following my chemical “sobering up,” I have continued to fill that hole with codependency, food, sex, and spending. Active addiction in these areas has kept me from achieving my life’s goals. It’s time for me to admit this to my innermost self. Once again I find that I am powerless over addiction. Once again my life is unmanageable.

 

Here’s my attempt at organization. My life, as I see it, can be divided up into four categories:

 I. Emotional, Spiritual, Psychological

II. Health and Fitness

III. Sex and Relationships

IV. Career and Finance

In each of these areas I have goals. They are the desires of my heart and I believe they are divinely given. (I’ll talk more about that later.) I’ll revisit these categories individually in the coming weeks. I’ll elaborate on each of the goals and what the exact actions in faith I intend to take to see them come to fruition. I am acutely aware that, along the way, I can be given new insight. Some of the steps might not be working and will need to be reevaluated. Some of the goals in fact may fall away as I explore them more, not because I’m lazy or afraid (those won’t be acceptable reasons to ditch a goal) but because they may prove not to fit into the idea of the man I want to be, the man I am becoming already after embarking on this journey only a week ago. By delineating the actions I intend to take toward each goal here in my blog, I invite you to help me stay accountable. As I said, if something’s not working, I can discard it and ask for guidance for some new and better action to take. Through this process I believe I will change my life into something pleasing to my Creator and pleasing to me. I will no longer live in a way that led me to my deplorable state of a week ago.

 

If you are a praying person, please pray for me. If not, I’d ask that you keep me in your good thoughts.

 

Tomorrow I’ll tell you what became of Sonny. Until then…


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