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The World Through The Eyes of a Sober Person- First experience with plant medicine (San Pedro)

Posted on 2 May, 2017 at 7:00 Comments comments (1)

The way this entire experience transpired had to be documented…..so I’ll go back in time just a little. I am going to do this in 2 parts as to serve both parts of the story equally. The way it came together and the journey itself.


So, I have had my conscious awareness on plant medicine ceremonies for quite some time. Having had many conversations with friends over the years about their experiences with San Pedro and Ayahuasca I was intrigued, yet not pushing for it. I knew it would come when I was ready.


Having experience with mushrooms many years ago, and more recently a DMT experience I was just waiting for things to align for this doorway to open for me. And about 6 weeks ago it did just that.


It was a Sunday arvo and I was at work when all of a sudden I felt the urge to reach out to a few people and ask if they had any experience with San Pedro and Kava. One friend in particular had not heard about either of them. However, it was a timely question for me to ask I found out later.


That following week I connected with another friend who had a ton of cacti at his home and said ‘Come over and check them out and we’ll chat’. So I did, and the main thing I took out of the conversation was that when you are ready and the plant is ready for you, it will all transpire before you even consciously know it, like any co-creating or manifesting process which I’m quite familiar with already. I didn’t realize how true this would be from the plant medicine perspective also….


So about a week and a half later I received a phone call from the original friend saying ‘Dude, you’ll never guess what happened. I was in a spiritual store having a healing session when the dude asked me if I’ve ever had experience with San Pedro or Kava! He is running a sacred plant medicine ceremony at the end of the month and I’m going!’ We were both floored. I replied that I’d have to check my work schedule and let him know but I’d love to do it if I can. We left it at that. I was thinking it wouldn’t happen due to the timing. It of course then got delayed and turned out to be perfect.


It was a Sunday a couple weeks after that my wife, son and I went to the same spiritual store my friend had been and I saw the plant medicine ceremony upcoming dates written on the wall. It wasn’t when it was supposed to be and was actually pushed back a couple of weeks, which meant it landed in the middle of my 2 week holidays. When these things arise, they are for a reason. Carl Jung called these experiences ‘Synchronicities’ and believed they are more than just chance coincidences. I too believe this….


So the weekend and the time to traverse this path arrived and I was ready. I had no real expectations, which I knew was important. Yet I also had another equally important tool. My intent for the experience. This is everything in life and if you trace intent back to the point it began there are teachings you can’t even imagine……

The World Through The Eyes of a Sober Person- Sobriety, Spirituality and my honeymoon

Posted on 28 March, 2017 at 20:55 Comments comments (0)

The time around my honeymoon was the most incredible, expansive and life-changing periods of my existence. Having gotten married to my amazing wife and trekking to one of our favourite places on Earth together for our honeymoon, I had no idea how much my life was going to change in such a short period of time. The 3 most significant changes of my life happened in the span of 3 weeks and altered my trajectory so significantly that I cannot comprehend how my life might look like at this moment had I not taken these paths……


The first was obviously getting married to my soul mate. We both had said when we were first hanging out that neither one of us wanted a commitment, yet here we were getting married to each other just 2 years later. It was an incredible weekend long ceremony and celebration in a beautiful place at a perfect time of year for weather.


2 days after that we took off to stay in a million dollar house by the water between Cairns and Port Douglas for 2 weeks of wedded bliss. After kicking around and relaxing for a few days we decided to head into the city and do some shopping. We happened to walk into a spiritual bookstore called ‘Crystal Ball’ and as I was having some neck issues (potentially from all the headbanging I’d been doing in my band for the previous 6 years or so) and my wife suggested to have a Reiki treatment. I was keen and went and spoke to the lady in the store who in turn had a chat with this French Reiki Master, or so I thought…..


When we walked in to the room we sat down and he got out Tarot cards and spread them on the table. ‘I don’t really know what Reiki is yet but I didn’t think it was this’ I thought to myself. But rather than say anything, something told me that what was happening was or a reason and was what I needed. So he laid the cards out and did his thing and I knew this was what I’d been waiting for my whole life (in this incarnation). He was incredibly intuitive and smashed me with some serious truths and insights about myself up until that point and questions I had had for many years and shone the light of clarity on them.


I walked out of there on cloud 9! Nicole had left the store already with a couple of books and was waiting for me out the front where I pretty much floated out with the biggest smile on my face! ‘What happened in there?’ she asked as I tried to put it into words. ‘I’m not even sure but this is exactly what I have been waiting for my whole life’ I replied.


After that we talked and talked for hours about how incredibly instrumental and healing Nicole’s spiritual work had been when she was a teenager and after 2 and all the synchronistic experiences which lead us to where we were then. It was amazing that after 2 years together sharing so much of ourselves to each other and an endless stream of conversation about what I thought was pretty much everything, I had never known of Nicole’s spiritual side.


My life totally opened up right at that moment as I found what I’d been on the cusp of my whole life….then about 3 days later, on the last night of our honeymoon, I made the decision that I was done with alcohol. ‘I can’t do this shit anymore’ I said, and grabbed the remaining booze which we had in the house and poured it down the sink. I had tried numerous times over the years but this time was different. That ritual sealed the deal and here I am nearly 8 years to the day without a drop.


I didn’t know how I was going to go with it, but it didn’t matter. I was coming back from our honeymoon a married and sober man. My wife said she’d of course support me through it and said she’d be sober with me for at least the first few months. I was grateful to her for that and thanked her for her support during which was going to be an interesting period of time and integration. After a short while I said I was ok to fly on my own and that Nicole could return to the bottle if she wanted, yet she opted out also for quite a lengthy period of time herself, before finally giving it the boot now 6 years ago in May. Our relationship was forged on some serious foundations at this point and has gone from strength to strength. It hasn’t been without its struggles of course, but both being sober and clearheaded, aswell as on the spiritual path has been absolutely instrumental in that. I can’t imagine where we’d be otherwise…..


Until next time

Christian L Doherty

 

The World Through The Eyes of a Sober Person

Posted on 12 February, 2017 at 21:55 Comments comments (0)

When people ask me what I think is one of the biggest components of sobriety, my response is something which doesn't always necessarily sit well with most people (I think because it conjures up a certain image in people about what it looks like). A hugely critical component is to put yourself and your sobriety first. I can already hear the objections from people, haha. But seriously, for you to remain abstinent, this will need to exercised to some degree.


 

I have often stated many a time that it is the best thing I've ever done. That has been met with the question 'What about your marriage, your child, your achievements etc' and I always reply back with 'Without sobriety I wouldn't have those things or anything else great that I have in my life'. If people don't understand it's ok. There will be things they value that I can't fully understand either. Such is the dance of individual value system hierarchy’s, human acceptance and understanding.


 

I understand why this seems to be contrary to what we are taught growing up. Yet if you truly value this journey though then you have to be selfish about it. Does this mean being an arrogant bastard to everybody and being completely self-absorbed about it? Shutting everyone out of your life and leaving your relationships to wither away? Being completely egocentric and placing you above your partner or children at all costs? Not at all! But you will need to use your discernment to juggle the delicate balancing act of life. You have to bend and move with the sometimes howling wind of this journey, especially in the early stages because it is the most critical time, while tending to the facets of life which you can't just let go of. It's all about building new resources. You want to set yourself up for success and if you have a good support network then they will want to help you with that.


 

It's taken me a long time to learn the art of balance.....and unfortunately on the path of sobriety there will be times where you may need to shed some relationships if they are toxic or detrimental to your sobriety. We all have examples of those right? You decide to make a change in your life and some people discourage you or try and interfere with it? If that happens then so be it. As I said, if you have a good support network then they will be happy for you to make the change and try and support you in that.


 

Until next time, value yourself and your journey along this path!


Christian L Doherty

 

The World Through The Eyes of a Sober Person

Posted on 29 January, 2017 at 7:25 Comments comments (0)

When giving up or even cutting down on alcohol I believe it's very important to have things to replace the habits....most people I've talked to over the years say things like 'I don't know what else to do if I can't drink' or 'What do you do with your time'. Completely valid questions and if you spend a lot of time drinking as I did, then you'll have a huge gap to fill fairly often. 


Having a 2 year old now takes up a lot of time but I was sober 6 years before he came along. So what did I do to replace it? Lots of things...studying, reading, working, playing guitar, training martial arts, working out, catching up with people for coffee or dinner, meditating, watching my favourite tv shows, sleeping and spending as much time with sober people as possible which thankfully included my wife. In the first months after I really had to find a way to not be around it and that had to include letting go of friends and acquiantances. It often is a natural step.


Some say that replacing these habits is still not addressing the core issue, and they are right. But if you are going to replace activities and essentially 'replace the addiction' then if it's at least productive rather than self destructive then how could that be a bad thing!? Especially when you are in the begining stages where you are completely raw. You can look at the nature of things after you get through the embryonic stages of one of the biggest life changers you may have made. 


So how do you go if you are still active in the music scene such as myself and my wife are and were while maintaining your sobriety? Drive to the gig, hang for a little bit, play your set, hang for a bit and then go. Staying around booze for 8 hours and people drinking and having fun was kryptonite for me. Not anymore but certainly early on. You don't have to justify your reasons to leave to anyone. You have to value the journey and your decision first and foremost (that is the topic of my next blog).


What did this look like when I first gave up? Constant nightmares about people holding me down and pouring alcohol down my throat. Therapy to try and work through some of the reasons why I engaged in the kind of self destruction that I did. Having to let acquaintances and friends go. Despising alcohol and judging those who engaged in it. Shutting myself off from the world while I adjusted to this change (I'm aware I did what I don't recommend, haha). It was tough and yet once I was through that initial period I came out the otherside a totally different person with incredible awareness and insight and a sense of balance I had never had before.


So that's it for today. I know it was a short one but sometimes that is the way it comes out. Much love to those reading and I'm always happy to answer questions or chat about it.


Christian L Doherty



The world through the eyes of a sober person

Posted on 1 January, 2017 at 22:45 Comments comments (0)

So as I was sitting in a bar with my wife the other night waiting for our friends to arrive and I was observing my surroundings and the clientele as I usually do. I have always been a 'Wallflower' I guess you could say....always an observer and often a quiet one. Not totally introverted (although that's my usual nature), but certainly periods of it interspersed with epic conversation and friendly exchanges. Even in those periods of engagement I'm still very aware of my surroundings and any potential situations which might be in the early stages. I have been like that since before I studied human behaviour or trained in martial arts. I guess somewhere along the line I felt it was what I needed to do. Not always looking for danger, but just trying to make sense of what is before me.


 

So as I surveyed the scene I became a little envious of those who were drinking and having a good time. Now they may not have been very intoxicated at this stage but they sure were having fun. Just to be clear it wasn't the booze I was envious of because after nearly 8 years of sobriety that doesn't even enter my radar. But I was envious of just being able to let loose and have fun. I felt like such a cynical and jaded bastard and I often have in these situations as someone who has a large percentage of control going on because of the lack of substances I guess you could say. Like everything, there are healthy and unhealthy aspects and it can become a wonderful and paradoxical dance between wanting control, yet badly wanting to be out of it at times to loosen the control.


 

So then I thought about how my life has changed since becoming sober 8 years ago as a musician in pubs and clubs all the time and thought I might start this fun little blog where I reflect on these things....as someone who was an absolute drunken wreck, who now views the world through sober eyes. It will be fun but it will also have times of rawness and depth. I'm ok with that and is generally how I roll anyway.


 

So I guess I had better elaborate on something before I wrap this up for now. When people ask me, and they often do, the first step to creating that change I always tell them that the decision to stop or at least cut down must come from you first. I have seen it countless times where someone is wanting, hoping or praying someone close to them will stop and they don't, or do for a short period of time and fall back. Any decision in life must come from your decision to do it because you are the one who has to traverse that path. You may have supporters on that path, but it is yours. You must wish to tread it, and own the journey.


 

I had so many people worried about me for so long because I was another level of self destructive 'crazy'. Even some of the 'looser' people I know thought I was out of control. And they were right. But my reasons were for it were many and they all had to culminate in my integrating all the reasons and deciding on a solution. My support system was able to reap the benefits of my sobriety, as did I, but they couldn't until I decided it had to change. Now I'm not saying that it must be done one specific way, because there are many relevant paths to traverse. But I will say that the decision lies with you....


 

Much love to you all until next time. I'll actually try and make this a weekly thing because with so many projects on the go at once it can be hard to keep up, however this one is nice and short and fun.


 

Until next time

 

Christian

Turning personal hell into hope pt 2

Posted on 23 August, 2016 at 22:00 Comments comments (0)

I started to realize there was something really wrong when I spent my 23rd birthday in the hospital getting my head stitched up after smashing a pint glass on my head at a bar the night before....that's right. I smashed a pint glass on my own head. I spent the sunday on my own driving around looking for someone to stitch me up before I had to front up home for birthday celebrations and explain to my parents what made me do such a thing. It would come as little surprise to them though. My intense self destruction had become so common that they couldn't have been more worried about their unstable and highly self loathing and destructive son who would leave for days at a time and come home after benders of booze, drugs, very little food and some kind of injury or wound. Then disappear into his room for 3 days struggling to limp through life from day to day. 



In a 1 month period I managed to break my foot (kicking a metal pole as hard as humanly and drunkenly possible), split my own head open (the aforementioned pint glass), get my cheekbone cracked from a brawl (after snorting a gram of Speed in a bathroom I walked out to some dude's fist in my face for something I apparently did) and bust my AC joint and not be able to lift my arm for a month (betting my mate I couldn't leap over a 6ft high fence), all while being completely off the planet under the influence.This shit still continued for some time until I met the most beautiful, loving, caring and kind girl on the planet who is now my wife. Yet it still continued even after we met, just a little more toned down.



So those monday morning reflective periods of time after a weekend were a great source of 'What the fuck even is this life!?' For a long time during these periods of wanting so badly out of the vessel that was my life, I was engaging in a process I now know as Creative Visualization. I had no idea that it was a thing, but I used it to make my present reality more bearable. 



I dived headfirst into alcohol to numb the pain I'd succumbed to on many levels years before, even though I technically shouldn't have been due to the Roaccutane medication I was finally taking for my acne, and the glandular fever which knocked me down for about half a year. My liver had already taken a battering as it was so alcohol would certainly contribute to the damage already caused. But my 'Why' was stronger so of course it didn't stop me.....



I'd caught up with some old mates I hadn't seen since high school and then began to jam with them so of course, after not having a social life for a long time due to isolation, I jumped at it as best I knew how. The problem was I was a wreck and it would always show more heavily when I was drinking....the first time I saw a mental health professional I was there to get medication basically, and I did. I drove to my appointment in my mate’s car still drunk from an insanely hectic night the night before seeing on of my favourite bands at the Palace (Lamb of God). Sacrament tour it was so it must have been 2006 (only 10 years ago, wow). This amazingly astute professional (I’m being sarcastic) had no real idea of the mess sitting in front of him. Probably because his eyes were closed most of the time. Here was this mess of a person sitting in front of him still slurring his words, reeking of booze and vomit which I had unleashed in the cab that morning. My mate had kindly cleaned it up with the cab driver as I was in no state for interaction by that stage. I then went to sleep in the back of my mate’s car for a few hours before he was due to go to work. I awoke at his work a few hours later, took a leak outside his work while his bosses watched on, asked to borrow the keys and took off hoping I didn’t get pulled over as I was still pretty much smashed. So when I arrived I assumed some sort of deeper intervention than the surface level work I got. But I got my meds so I was happy. I was on those for roughly 8 years and have now been off for 3 years. They were beneficial to a point, and I now say they were a help for transitioning from where I was to the point where I had done enough work to not rely on them for my states of being. That required 8 years or rigorous self-work, devouring as much content as I could and entering states of reflecting often as I could aswell as some modalities which have been hugely beneficial (kinesiology being one which I'm now trained as a practitioner in the emotional realms).



That is one of many stories which obviously I use for contrast, but there are so many more that I forget them, until I’m with some mates who were around for that period of time and they remind me. It's stuff I don’t always care to remember a whole lot of anyway, as it was a different time and not always so fun, but also I was rarely sober so the memory is foggy on most of them anyway. Something which resonated with me at one point in time was when I realized just how bad you must be, when you have people who are also like I was, self-destructive and crazy loose units, telling you and your friends and family ‘I worry for this one’ then you know you must be bad. I now understand that as I’ve seen people like me many times over the years, and I worry for them and hope they can come through safe and well. I barely got out of it alive and was blessed to make it through instances where my self-destruction almost did cause me to no longer exist. I used to fantasize about ending my life so often that it would take so much of my thought space there was little room for much else. But I also knew it had to be better than this. I would hope I could just drink myself dead and certainly tried. I did make attempts to end it a few times in various ways, and I still wear the scars from the self harming element which I would go down when I was in a really bad state....how did I get through this period? Divine intervention? Sheer will? The need to be here to type this blog and be doing the work I am doing now? There were a few factors certainly, and I am fucking grateful for every day on this beautiful planet and rarely go a day without affirming that.



So a couple of things in the next few years that followed this period completely changed the trajectory of my life. You almost have an intuitve sense that these pivotal moments will shape your life at the time it occurs, but you aren't able to imagine just how much. First though, I had to survive long enough for them to occur....

Turning personal hell into hope (and making it to 33 years old in the process)

Posted on 26 July, 2016 at 22:25 Comments comments (0)

This is my first ever blog entry and it's something I've been wanting to get involved in for a long time....I now realize that it was because the timing wasn’t right. There were some things I had to move through before the message could be laid out, and so I could revaluate the intent and message I wanted to convey. Intent and timing are incredibly important as I have discovered over the years, and I often ‘check in’ and reflect on both. What is my intention here? Is the timing right? The thing about timing is that the right time is always the time you have chosen and it could never be anything other than perfect. But you can ask the question to see how you feel about it anyway of course. I’ve come to realize that life is all about timing in one way or another…

 

So now is the time to do so. It’s a chance for me to lay my story out in one go (but in 3 parts because it’s quite long) and not have to tread back to the places I’ve come from and don’t wish to travel to again, other than to contrast and reflect on the learnings from those ventures. After the laying out of my dark spaces I will then be focusing on the posting tips, strategies and articles on different areas of wellbeing which I find particularly important and which have helped me get to the point to where I am now. Also because I’ve discovered that you need to focus on what you do want, rather than what you don’t. So it’s actually a miracle I’m even alive to write this blog years later because I certainly had no plans to be. I’ve described this journey often as ‘From Self Loathe to Self-Love’ or ‘From Disastery to Mastery’.

 

So why only go into my story once? Because when I traverse those dark corridors too often and put my attention on them, I tend to become them. To me there’s a reason people don’t wish to have to go to those places constantly and I believe it’s always about where you are going moreso than where you have been. Where attention goes, energy flows right!? So if you are constantly reliving those states then how is that going to benefit you long term?

 

I think it’s why I find the ‘let’s continue to talk about your deepest and darkest times over and over ad nauseum so you totally identify with them and play that story over again until one day in the distant future, we may see a resolve’ idea to be a completely backwards way to hope someone will heal. For contrast sake or learnings, then of course it is helpful to acknowledge it and learn from it and move forward. But you cannot drive a car looking in the rear view mirror. If you do then you are in for some serious accidents and you will spend your time trying to navigate the things that have already passed you by and will miss your entire journey and cannot make new memories in a new phase. Your history does not have to be your destiny! Though having said that, all of those negative experiences have made me the person I am today just as much as the positive ones and I am eternally grateful for all aspects of my human experience....but that has had come from a lot of deep insight, reflection and forgiveness to balance, harmonize and equilibrate. That took me a very long time to get to that point. When I stopped blaming everyone and realized they were just doing the best that they could, things changed.

 

So I believe that story and narrative make up a huge part of people’s identity. Depending which identity or aspect of yourself you attach to, will determine the story/narrative you lay out and live by in each passing moment. I’ve learned that the present moment is the time to make fresh beginnings and different choices which aren’t governed by what’s in the rear view mirror. That can take some work, but is absolutely possible and there are things which I’ve learned and now practice which can help facilitate those changes. In my experience it’s the clinging to the problematic and negative story or aspect of your ‘self’ which cause you to believe you are still that person, or which someone (who may even be a professional) tells you that you are also ‘this’ and it keeps you from truly moving forward and drawing a line in the sand. When I hear people say ‘I am this or I am that’ then it is no longer something you are experiencing, it is you. To define yourself as your past experiences or be steeped in the past instances of your existence can be very limiting, especially when you’re running the negatives continuously. For me to constantly go into my past, it takes me into spaces that yes, have gotten me to where I am, but don’t define me and can hinder my current progress and future trajectory.

 

In fact the other day I was with my beautiful wife and she wanted to take a video of me being interviewed by her just to go into my story a little deeper for some future video content, and to see where I would go when being asked specific questions about my past….just taking myself back to those spaces internally caused my entire demeanour to shift as I traversed those very dark corridors. It’s something I haven’t witnessed as I am only viewing the world through my eyes, so although I’m very self-reflective, I can’t physically see all the changes in my physiology, energy or demeanour. It was an incredible insight into what I already know (but got to see video evidence of), which is that the places that you go internally have the power to shut you down, or lift you up in an instant. Check out a book called Power vs Force by Dr David Hawkins if you’d like to know just how much….

 

So as Eckhart Tolle said in his book The Power of Now: ‘I have no use for the past and rarely think about it’. For this reason I wish to only lay my story down once because I want people to have an idea where I’ve been, yet more importantly where I am at present and where it is I’m looking to go in the future. If it helps instil some hope in just 1 person who may be struggling with their present reality then it is worth it.

 

At times it felt like I was in a movie. In hindsight there were many things which weren’t all that healthy growing up, but when you are living in that reality and it’s all you know, you see it as ‘just the way things are’ and think ‘isn’t everyone’s reality like this!?’ You just assume it’s normal. You don’t always have the references for dysfunction when you are a child who is brought into an environment and raised in it without contrast of the other realities which exist at the same time. And even if you do, by that stage your reality is all you know, so even if you are in a dysfunctional environment, it is still comfortable, familiar and ‘home’. Other’s lives may look unhealthy to you, simply because they aren’t yours and differences can be confronting and scary. But everyone has their own idea of what functional is so it’s going to look different for everybody.

 

It also takes time to build you own individual code by which you will now move through the world and conduct yourself by what is acceptable and what is not in your worldview. However what can also happen, which did to me, was that I was viewing other people’s realities and being envious because they had what I didn’t and what I wanted wasn’t what I had. I’d stay at friend’s houses and want to stay forever. I became restless for a different reality at a very young age. Since I was a young lad I have always been reflective about myself, others and the immediate world around me as I tried to make sift through, structure and make sense of things just for my own benefit. Still now though the constant analysis of ‘what does this mean?’ or ‘where does that come from?’ does my head in, which is why the practice of no judgment (or analysis), quiet reflecting and meditating is so important to my overall wellbeing. I have ‘lived inside my head’ for as long as I can remember and the deep thinking and analysis was overwhelming at times. Most never knew though, because I wouldn’t verbalize it. Sometimes though people would notice my external behaviours and patterns and then question them. That made me hide it further.

 

So after years of fluctuating periods of ‘normalcy’ and ‘dysfunction’ I went through the deepest and darkest period of my life a number of years ago which took its toll on me in many ways. I refer to that period of my life as being in hell.....I was as broken and damaged an individual as I could possibly be. Self-loathing, self-destructive and praying to not have to limp around in this vessel on this planet for too much longer, I wondered what I'd done to deserve this horrid existence. This period lasted for about 8 years from about 15 to 23. Some days were good, most were horrible. I had grown up what I thought of as a fairly happy child other than a few instances of restlessness as I said. I was incredibly shy and quiet at times though and sometimes couldn’t look people in the eye while conversing.

 

I was without a dad for the first few years of life until about 3 years old when my step-dad came onto the scene. It didn’t seem to affect me until the later years where the crisis of identity and separation of family would creep in more and more, because my conscious mind had blocked out the first few years. I had ‘not known’ my step-dad was not my real dad until I was 26 years old. That caused a lot of issues but helped explain a lot. I’d always felt slightly out of sync with my family. Little subtle things I would question and say ‘Why am I so different in that way’. I also questioned why I was treated differently by my step-dad compared to the others. At times he was so hard on me and my behaviour that I wondered why I even bothered engaging at all. So I guess my unconscious was trying to show my conscious mind the thing it knew to be true with subtle hints. I just couldn’t take myself there at that point in time because I wasn’t ready. This was crucial because I believe that our minds only show us things when we are ready. It’s self-preservation. Had I known this earlier there is no telling how much more destructive I would have become.

 

Tortured is a word I would use to best describe my being during these times. Many factors had bought me to this place as they had built up over time, but I would say that ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ was a destructive relationship in my mid teen years. Everything seemingly unravelled during this period of time and it left me asking the not so empowering, endless loop question, ‘Why me!?’

 

I wound up in a relationship with a girl who was very possessive immediately and who I later found out had targeted me, fallen in love with me and been stalking me in the year prior to us even speaking. We went to school together and she was in a year below me. I believe I was about 15. I felt totally pushed into that relationship by her as she manipulated the situation and she played on my ‘nice boy’ aspect and made it really difficult for me to say no. I also found out she had warned other girls off me as ‘I was hers’. She later also spread rumours about me that I’d physically abused her and went around telling everyone so, thankfully which no-one believed I could ever do that, but which a group of older dudes she was hanging out with did believe because they didn’t know me, and proceeded to jump me on the way home and attempt to beat the fuck out of me. These were some hard dudes yet I was able to take everything they threw at me and still walk home with barely a scratch. I’ve always been able to take a hell of a lot of punishment physically, emotionally and psychologically. I actually owe my life to being able to do so because the torment on all 3 of those fronts in my life may have killed anyone else.

 

So she was definitely a girl with problems and had had a fairly rough upbringing, which of course I empathised with and then was sucked into a vortex of which I was forced to confront many learnings, not without some horrible times first. I felt sorry for her and that was part of her plan. I don’t allow that so much anymore as I’ve set my boundaries but it’s been a habitual pattern over the years and I’ve been burnt many times. More learnings until I finally get them as is how I believe these experiences are for everyone. Learn from it and do something different or keep facing it until you do.

 

So we would wag school, I would miss band practice when I was playing trumpet in the school band and missed other commitments because I was spending all my time with her and everything else just started to go to shit. At one point she even threatened suicide when she saw I was starting to have enough of the relationship and wanted out. I don’t know of any more horrific way to guilt someone into staying in a situation they don’t want to be in any longer. That is an indication of her reality at that time. She wanted me to ‘save her’ from her life and she was destroying mine at the same time. Eventually I ended it, after going through hell during that short period together. That was when the rumours about the abuse and the constant intimidation and warning to other girls to stay away from me began again. She tried to ruin my character with everybody she could and then make sure I suffered. And I did. I was harassed but it was to no avail. Also, for an analyser, talk about analysis paralysis! I analysed that period of time for years.

 

So obviously I was scarred by our ‘relationship’ and stayed away from ever engaging in one for years because of it. She also achieved her goal of cutting me down so badly that I limped around as the most worthless, useless and unlovable human on the planet. And my thoughts and behaviour reflected this. That is something I’ve had to work hard on and still sometimes slip up when my guard is down if someone says ‘that girl was checking you out’ and my first response is ‘why would she!?’ or ‘the manager’s love your work’ my response is ‘why would they!? I’m not doing anything that great’. I sometimes catch myself unconsciously responding this way and then have to pull myself back up on it.

 

Around the time this going on I was also struck down by glandular fever. I would sleep so much I couldn’t even go to school because I was falling asleep I class. So much of school was missed that I took the back half of the year off and then had to repeat a year. The choice ultimately was mine because the school had said I was more than capable of being able to go up a year even though I’d missed 6 months. But I made the decision I made and that’s all that could be said. I also developed a severe case of cystic acne which dermatologists referred to as ‘the worst case I’ve ever seen in 30 years of practice’. Not exactly what you wish to hear when you already have self-esteem and confidence issues. My face, chest, neck and back were covered in the acne which was so painful I would have to cry myself to sleep just laying on it and having to change shirts in the morning because of the blood. I also developed a staph infection in my back and needed immediate intervention to ensure it didn’t become even worse. I tried literally everything to help it without the very brutal medication at the time as the side effects were massive. Over this time I sank into a huge hole, went inward and basically shut off the rest of the world. I wasn’t attending school because I couldn’t stay awake and when I did I would get a whole lot of attention, by that stage which I wanted none of because it was all negative. I became a shut in at home and isolated myself further and further. I lost friendships and even venturing out into the world was difficult because people aren’t exactly the nicest or most secretive when it comes to appearance.

 

After years of this I finally went on the medication which had really severe side effects but by that stage I didn’t care. If one of the side effects was death then I would have gladly taken that. The medication did work and I wished I had have taken it sooner. However I wouldn’t have learned what I learned and I believe that timing is absolutely everything. The past is what it is, it’s what you do now that is important. I couldn’t change that so needed to focus on the present. The present was still totally torturous though, as the damage of a lifetime worth of issues which hadn’t been dealt with crushed me to dust. I had finished school and had zero idea of where I wanted to go, who I was or what I was ever going to do. I had no idea what this life even was or why I was even here. This lack of purpose and low self-esteem turned into further self-loathing and I despised myself. Once alcohol was introduced it became another tool of self-destruction. Then drugs came onto the scene and I got to experience joy for the first time in a long time. However the days following were some of the hardest days of my life....


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