SECRETS

Almost 11-years-ago, when I was addicted to Crack Cocaine, someone said something to me that has stuck with me through my recovery and to this day I don’t believe a wiser statement has ever been made.  They told me that addictions hide in our secrets.  The sad thing is, I have no idea who told me that or even in what context the comment was made.  The even sadder thing is, I don’t know if I was trying to get sober at the time or if it was said while I was in my addiction and I held on to it because I knew it was the way out.  Since I am pretty good with information and where it came from, I would have to believe that it was something said to me while I was in the heart of my addiction.

I have been sober for 10 ½ years now; and when I see someone struggling with addiction, I often want to run over to them and ask them what is it they are running from.  A couple times, I have come out and asked … and most of the time, the receiver looks at me as if to say, “What?” or “Who do you think you are?”.  What they don’t realize, even after I explain it to them, I know what I am talking about.

Other times, in fear of being rejected, I simply wonder to myself and never say anything to the person with the addictions.  When I get home or the next time I am alone, I often kick myself for at least not mentioning it, I mean, one thing I do know is that my rejection is not nearly as painful as their addiction.

I am reading the book Shattered Silence: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer’s Daughter by Melissa G. Moore.  In the preface of the book, she makes the statement:  you’re only as sick as your secrets.  I am sure there are plenty of situations out there that she finds herself wanting to tell people this little nugget of truth and I am sure during those times that she has, she has seen the same rejection I have with mine.

What are your secrets?  If you think about your secrets, they cause you to do something to keep them hidden.  What are those actions for you?  What will those actions lead to?  Maybe it isn’t the first actions that you are doing that is going to be the harmful one(s) … your initial actions might only be the “gateway” to the harmful one(s).  A lot of times, as was my case, the secrets were merely a matter of one’s perspective.  It was a standard that I held myself to and when I realized that others didn’t perceive me that way, I became lost.  I no longer knew who I was or if I was ever the person I thought I was.  I began to think, if I was never that person to begin with, then I have nowhere to return to … however, if I only got lost during the last few months, then how do I get back to it.

My self-perception wasn’t so much that I was perfect, but that I held myself to a higher standard because I didn’t want to be a failure.  I went through a court battle that made me realize that there were people that viewed me as a failure to some degree.  This perception by those few, that were in no way my family or friends, made me begin to hide parts of my life from my real family and friends so that they didn’t get the same perception.   I have always been a family person and I shared anything and everything with my family; but, slowly I began to withdraw from everyone.  It no longer mattered what others thought, so there was no reason to keep everyone in the loop.  One secret became another secret and before you know it, I met someone (who by the way, my family didn’t approve of) that wanted to introduce me to the really big secrets … the ones that lead to addictions.

There are a lot of “what-ifs” here that one could say was the cause for the addiction; I think it started with the secrets.  In my life, my family is my rock.  The first red flag to me should have been when I started hiding things from them.  I couldn’t let them know how I was feeling because that too could be a failure.  I couldn’t let them know who I was thinking about dating because that was a definite failure in the making.

I can tell you the very night that I first knew that I was headed for trouble and did nothing to stop it.  As I said earlier, I had started to date a guy that no one would approve of, but no one really knew about him at this point (I just knew what my family expected and what they didn’t), I didn’t see any reason to have that argument up until this point, so I never shared that with them.  Also, up to this point, he hasn’t introduced me to anything either (just thought I might need to add that).  I had this guy over at my house when my sister called me to babysit for her (another thing I did without question … and never said “no” to).  I was to go to her house and pick up her kids and bring them to my house.  Well, I had this guy at my house.  This guy was also in the dark, I didn’t need anybody thinking I couldn’t act like an adult and think like an adult when I am in my 30s.  I tell my sister that I was busy at that moment (which she never has in the past heard me say), but I would pick them up momentarily.  I then explain to this guy, that I must go get my sister’s kids.  I had to convince him to come with me because I didn’t trust anyone in my home without me present (sound familiar … another secret).  Everything was fine … I mean, he was good to her kids and we ate dinner like they always did when they came to my house … it was merely the fact that no one knew about the other because I didn’t need their opinions about how respectful or disrespectful I was of their opinions.  I laid in bed that night thinking about all the secrets.  They were driving me crazy already and that was only the first night of it.

One thing people don’t realize about a drug addiction, you’re not going to wake up the day after you stop using and be completely back to who you were before you started.  No, that takes a while … it takes a long while.  It would be better to not have to fight that battle to get back.  Be open with everyone.  Be honest and let people know who you are: what your fears are, what you feel, who you like and who you don’t.  I promise you, it probably doesn’t matter to them as much as it matters to you.  The young people today use the word “random” (ex.: “That was a random conversation”).  Today, I have a lot of random conversations with everyone I know.  If it comes to my mind, most likely, it is going to come out my mouth.

Some of you readers are probably sitting here and politely reading this blog and wondering, how on earth random secrets lead to an addiction.  Well, I am here to assure you, they do.  One way they do it, when we share a random thought with someone, most likely, they are going to share their opinion of that thought.  After hearing a lot of negative reviews of our remarks, we begin to shut down and that is the absolutely worst thing we can do.  Our thoughts and conversations are not going to be liked by everyone; but we must realize that doesn’t change who we are and what they mean to us.  What it does mean is that maybe we need to reassess ourselves and make sure we are in check.  Their feelings and opinions of us does keep us in check and that is what keeps us out of trouble.  So, my advice to you, the next time you have a decision to make about whether or not to keep something a secret … don’t.

Advertisements

Time To Deal With North Korea

I apologize for the long break in blog posts; I hope this one makes up for it.  In the news the past couple days has been Otto Warmbier; a college student that was enticed to go to North Korea “for an experience of a lifetime”.  That was a direct quote from his Dad that gave a statement to the news agencies on Thursday.  The parents are extremely upset at North Korea and our government for what happened to their son.

 

Warmbier went to North Korea because there was a travel agency that lures young adults to other countries and then they are mistreated.  As Otto Warmbier was boarding the plane to leave the country when the North Korean government apprehended him and charged him with the “war crime” of stealing a banner from a church.  He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for that crime.

Warmbier arrived home 3 days ago in a coma.  According to the North Korean government, Warbier went into this coma soon after being sentenced.  Not one time was he allowed to go home for medical reasons.  The government nor the penial institution would inform his family of his medical state.  His family found out last week the condition that he was in.  Warmbier has been in a coma for 15 months and no one bothered to inform the family.

Our government was telling the parents to “lay low” and “be quiet” because “we don’t want to upset the North Korean government.

Ok, I have a problem with this!!!  “LAY LOW” “BE QUIET” “DON’T UPSET NORTH KOREA”!!!  Really? If this was the only thing that North Korea was doing that might need addressing, then that would be one thing … but it isn’t.  It is time that the American Government and People start taking a stand and letting North Korea know that we are not going to tolerate any more of their shenanigans.

In 2017 alone, North Korea has shot off 16 missiles that we know of.  In 2016, the year that Warmbier was arrested and sentenced, they shot off 8 missiles.  Over and over again, if you Google it, the America has warned North Korea to stop setting off missiles and yet they keep doing it.  Warmbier was arrested in March 2016 and in August 2016 North Korea set of a missile that could have reached the US if they so wanted.  Could this be why Warmbier’s family needed to “LAY LOW” or “BE QUIET”?  Why was this necessary.  If we were making moves to turn this around and bring Warmbier home, then I could understand such actions.  However, I don’t think that was it at all.  I think they needed to be quiet because we were likely to get bombed by them.  I know, listen, my family and I live here too.  I don’t want to be bombed any more than the next person, but when one of our people are captured, we don’t “lay low” either.  We go in as one to get them.

Grant it, we finally got Warmbier home, but I would like to know exactly who brought him home and how long did they actually work on doing so?  I agree with Warmbier’s Dad, “North Korea does nothing out of the goodness of their hearts”.  With that being known, it had to be someone else who convinced them to let him go.  With North Korea doing nothing good at any time, that means someone had to be talking to them.  I want to know how many times they were talked to and I want to know the extent of the conversation.  I want to know when those conversations started and how long they lasted and in what form they were in?  Is this too nosey?  I don’t think so.  We are talking about a country that has repeatedly refused to adhere to our warnings to stop firing missiles and I know they got those warnings because the news was always so proud to report when they launched one and what our response was … which usually amounted to nothing more than a hand over our mouth while saying “oh no you didn’t”.  It was time to act then and it has been time to act for a while.  When do we take our country serious again?  When do we do like Toby Keith says and “fight when you rattle our cage”.

Shout out to Trump, you want to make “America Great Again”, start with North Korea and get your mind of the Russian Probe … “matter”.  Isn’t that what you want it to be called … a matter?  Well, get off the “matter” and start focusing on real President stuff.  Yes, I hope you are impeached at the end, but for now, you are all we have that can take care of North Korea.  Show us your muscle and quit talking about it.