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Finding My Voice

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Because of the traumatic brain injury created by electroconvulsive therapy—shock treatments, I can’t give you a timeline in any order. I know at the bottom of the pile of crap I’ve dug there’s a pony somewhere. Growing up in an abusive relationship with my father set me up for a whole slew of “I am not good enough” bad choices. Not a good enough mother, friend, sister, etc.

These “choices” lead to mental institutions, rage, abusing my kids, organized religion, psychotropic drugs, alcohol, two marriages…trying harder didn’t work until a bunch of sober drunks said I could have a better life. This has been hard.

There is a happier ending. When I got together with these sober drunks, I still had the desperate need to belong. I couldn’t identify with daily drinkers or those who had lost everything. My losses were due to mental illness. Then I learned that alcoholism is a physical, mental, and spiritual disease (less shame).

It didn’t matter how much or when I drank, what mattered was my inability to predict my behavior, that my emotional illness was present long before I took my first drink at 20 years old. Drinking brought relief from the feeling of not being enough, not being heard, etc. But, I began to understand that those feelings were all part of the disease of alcoholism.

I’m not sure when I began to experience my value, but I do know how; by finding a loving Creator who cared about me, by relying on that power to help me see how my perception of the way I saw myself, and others, needed changing.

I have had some powerful spiritual intervention in my life, women who have guided me to be the lovely human I am—by listening, not judging; by being honest when the old me is trying to control my life; by giving me a way to deal with fear and shame, and leading by the example of their own existence. I have learned that failure is not guaranteed if I am open, honest, and vulnerable–living a wholehearted life.

I live in my car having new human experiences, handling situations that used to baffle me by pausing and asking for guidance. I have values and principles that give me sacred ground where I find my voice.

This has been and is my experience. I honor yours and am excited to hear it.