A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Song: Been Hurt Before

Been Hurt Before

So I’ve been hurt before
So I’ve been hurt
Like so many others.

I acted out with someone
And faced my own annihilation.

I don’t want to be just another
Statistic
Maybe lying on the floor
Lifelessly
While my lover’s standing by the door
In disbelief.

Don’t tell me that’s what he wanted.
Don’t tell me that’s what I wanted.

A gun was forbidden
Because I knew I might use it in the end
As a preamble to a crime
I knew I would have been out of my mind.

How could I live if I had taken his life?

So I’ve been hurt before,
So I’ve been hurt.


2015


Play Song

Sunday, February 15, 2015

We Are Animals On A Planet We Call Earth



Part of why we are in denial about being a mentally ill, addicted species is that we are in denial about being animals.  Animals are to be domesticated or killed and eaten, or killed for sport or to be kept as pets.  Wild animals are to be looked at from a distance either because they are easily frightened or potentially dangerous.  Yet we seem to have amnesia over the fact that we are animals in the animal kingdom.  We seem to place ourselves somewhere between animals and angels or at the very least we say we are "higher" animals somehow greater than "lesser" animals.  And yet collectively we behave so much worse than mere animals because we have become unnatural.  And in our unnaturalness we have embraced as a species evil intent and evil actions.  We could feed all the hungry humans on the planet.  We could put an end to war.  We could house the homeless.  We could end the cycle of child abuse.  We could turn from the various cycles of addiction towards recovery.  We could become united instead of divided.  But we do not.

Most people do not want to acknowledge that we are out of touch with reality.  Our reality is contained within the natural world.  The soil and rock and water and air, the valleys and hills and mountains and oceans, the plants and trees and fish and birds and insects and animals are our basic reality.  Our bodies remind us daily and nightly that we are part of nature.  We must breath and eat and drink and defecate and urinate and sleep and find shelter just like any other animal.  But our more complex brains that have allowed us to create more complex environments and interrelationships are why we have become so unnatural as a species.  The basic instincts of fear, anger and sex are all out of balance, all over emphasized.  We overemphasize basic instincts and underemphasize the necessity of conditioning ourselves towards thoughtful responsiveness.  

I think the goal for our species should be to become enlightened mammals, but for many we have become addicted mammals who because of addiction behave deviantly.  Our deviancy shows itself in overpopulation, extreme pollution, rape of natural resources, the spread of diseases, poverty and war. There is only one way out of this world predicament and that is through raising awareness levels.  Without awareness, living habitual and addicted lifestyles, there is no way to change.  Those that are aware that we are addicts living in an addictive world, those that are in recovery from their addictions need to step up and talk or write about their experiences.  Engaging in our addictions is what divides us, but acknowledging ourselves as addicts and embracing recovery is what can unite us as animals on a planet we call Earth.



Monday, January 26, 2015

From Sadomasochistic Abuse & Addiction To Getting The Help That You Deserve



We ate the apple from the Tree of Knowledge a long, long, long time ago, at least according to our sense of time, which might be a split second in the greater scheme of things.  There are so many people calling out to God, crying "Why is our life this way?" and "Why must we feel so much pain?"
Too many of us want to point the finger at the Higher Power or at the other sentient species the Higher Power has chosen to help us on our sad, little world.  The Blame Game is the hallmark of practicing addicts.  It is too much sometimes to feel the depth of our own pain and so we try to shoot it out of ourselves at any available target be it friend, lover or foe.  In psychological terms that is called projection and anyone who has practiced it, which is basically everyone at one time or another, knows that it is a shallow sadistic pleasure to hurt others.  To hurt others is to hurt ourselves.  That is the real point in the cycle of self hating beliefs, practices and lifestyles - to hurt ourselves is to reject our true natures, to not believe that we started out in a completely innocent state, everyone of us.

Here is a quote from a book called SADOMASOCHISM: Etiology and Treatment by Susanne P. Schad-Somers:

"Sadomasochism, the confusion between love and hate, power and submission, is a uniquely human phenomenon.  It is one, though by no means the only one, of the inevitable products of man's prolonged dependency in early childhood, for dependency invariably mean inequality.  Since the human infant is born several years prematurely, physiological birth and psychological birth are roughly three years apart.  (italics mine)  During that time, the infant's emerging sense of self, and its external and internal reality are filtered through those of its mother's.  And what makes us human, and therefore unique, creative and capable of complex feelings and thought processes is the eventual resolution of the tension between the wish for symbiosis and the need for autonomy.  Only a perfect balance between holding on and letting go on the mother's part would permit complete separation and individuation--which is to say that it can never be fully attained.  What is more, for childhood to be free of lasting trauma, parents would have to be mind readers and utterly selfless.  Finally, since there is no such thing as a compromise between unequals, the subjective experience of oppression is therefore a universal part of childhood."   (Introduction, p. 11)

Because we are born prematurely, we endure three years of an unnatural dependence on our primary caretaker, often our mothers.  Being finite and fallible mammals on this planet earth, there is no way the primary caretaker could supply our needs to the point that we could reach a healthy balance between our inner and outer worlds, even in the most healthy of families.  We start out disadvantaged and totally dependent.  That is the core of our beginnings in this world.  As Ms. Schad-Somers writes, "the subjective experience of oppression is therefore a universal part of childhood."

And what of those who live in homes where abusive attitudes and behaviors towards children are the norm?  Emotional abuse and neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse are sometimes all intertwined.  These abusive expressions and behaviors from adults often are the result of one of the many forms of addiction that permeate our culture and therefore are supported by our culture.  And how do babies get born into this world?  Through mature, healthy, balanced physical love between two partners of the opposite sex?  Not so often.  More often through couples conditioned to buy into the popular culture promotion of romance and relationship addiction which can lead right into sexual addiction.  Of the three often interlinking addictions here, sexual addiction is the most pernicious.

A sexual addict is at the mercy of an unnaturally amplified sexual drive/instinct.  Containment of the urges is possible in the early stages of the illness, but soon progresses to excessive attachment to getting the sexual fix be it through animal or child or the use of other adult bodies or the obsessive use of pornography.  It is no longer about choice and ethics--it is about disease overtaking the body and the human spirit.

And yet there is a choice, the choice to acknowledge the disease within yourself as a disease and stop getting hooked into the torment of shame and guilt.  If you were told you had cancer, would you avoid going to the doctor and getting treatment?  Not likely.  Sexual addiction is essentially no different, but it is such a stigmatized illness.  Another hallmark of using addicts is the commitment to living a dual life, a life of silence, of not saying plainly what it is that is hurting you, your life and those you care about.  And so there is another choice that must be made, that of whether to embrace deceit or embrace honesty, especially self honesty.  You cannot break the cycle of abuse and addiction unless you get honest with yourself first and preferably with another safe person.  Getting honest is turning your will over to the Higher Power and it can open doors to getting you the help that you need and deserve.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

My First CD: Yin And Yang

Play Yin And Yang 

This collection of music is from the early to mid 1990s during domestic violence, after domestic violence and in the beginning of psychosis.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Song: Powerless

Play Song

Lyrics

The First Step is to admit to defeat.
It's the powerlessness that knocked me off of my feet
And I fell, I fell, I fell to the bottom.
I fell, I fell, I fell to the bottom
Where I crawled on my hands and my knees
It was a place where I could barely see.

I know that I made my choices
Walked the path towards the gates of hell.
I walked blindly like the fool
The fool that I was.
I was old enough to know better,
But I followed my sickness to the letter.

The First Step is to admit to defeat
I am powerless unless I come to believe
That I am small, I am weak, I am lonely.
I am small, I am weak, I am lonely
And I fell, I fell, I fell to the bottom,
And I fell, I fell, I fell to the bottom
Where I crawled on my hands and my knees.
All this pain is finally making me see.

I am powerless unless I come to believe.
I am powerless unless I come to believe.
I know that I made my choices.
I know that I made my choices.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Song: The Crossroads

Play song

Lyrics

Sometimes depression lays me low
Takes me places I do not want to go
Down to the crossroads where I must decide
Whether to stay here or to give up and die.

Do I really have a choice?
I've said Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

God's will be done
I am joined by heaven to another person.
His suffering is greater than mine
But he fuels that fire all the time.

It's his turn to make the choice
That I made a long time ago
To give peace and love a chance
To grow.

Sometimes depression lays me low
Takes me places I do not want to go
Down to the crossroads
Where I must decide
Whether to stay here
Or to give up and die.

Do I really have a choice?
I've said Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
In heaven
Thy will be done
On earth.

Song: The Core

Here's a new song I just uploaded to SoundCloud.  It's called The Core

Play Song

Lyrics:

Years after he was born
With his eyes closed
He ate the apple from the Tree of Knowledge
Including the core.

When he opened his eyes
He covered his nakedness.
In shame and defeat,
Eden was no more.

Out in the darkness
Where the sun doesn't shine,
Where it's cold, dark and dirty
And he is quite blind.

So many people around him
It was hard to breath.
No one had all of the answers
And he fell to his knees.

He fell to his knees
And started to crawl.
He called out to God,
"What's the point of it all?"

Years after he was born
With his eyes closed
He ate the apple from the Tree of Knowledge
Including the core.