Desparado

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Long before I had anything to be desperate about, I used to play this song over and over again. Years later, the words of the song seemed to perfectly describe my own separation from love, and into more harmful things instead. From the lyrics: “These things that are pleasin’ you can hurt you somehow.”
Here’s a link to a recording (no official videos when this song was popular).
Desparado by the Eagles.

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
You been out ridin’ fences for so long now
Oh, you’re a hard one
I know that you got your reasons
These things that are pleasin’ you
Can hurt you somehow.
Don’t you draw the queen of diamonds, boy
She’ll beat you if she’s able
You know the queen of hearts is always your best bet
Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But you only want the ones that you can’t get

Desperado, oh, you ain’t gettin’ no younger
Your pain and your hunger, they’re drivin’ you home
And freedom, oh freedom well, that’s just some people talkin’
Your prison is walking through this world all alone

Don’t your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won’t snow and the sun won’t shine
It’s hard to tell the night time from the day
You’re losin’ all your highs and lows
Ain’t it funny how the feeling goes away?

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, open the gate
It may be rainin’, but there’s a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you, before it’s too late.

Love Yourself Now

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During one of my drinking days in one of the darkest periods of my life, I remember being crushed under the weight of guilt and shame because I had, once again, despite all of my resolve and great intentions, had too much to drink. I can’t remember what had triggered this awful state of mind … maybe I’d fought with one of my children or my ex-husband, but I felt completely defeated. I locked myself in my bedroom, and took out the journal I had hidden in the drawer of my bedside table.

As I lay on the bed, pouring my self-loathing onto the page, I suddenly felt the unmistakable presence of someone surrounding me with love … some wayward angel sent to comfort lost causes. But the feeling was powerful … much stronger than I’d felt before. The loving energy overwhelmed me, running through my mind and down into my hand holding the pen.

Love yourself now, the presence urged. I felt a wave of compassion wash over me, and I was overcome with the meaning behind the words.

Love yourself now, when you feel least worthy, when every indication from the outside world shows you that you are nothing, when you feel no one could love you in the condition you’re in, when you doubt that even God, if there is one, could forgive you for making such a mess of life — yours and those entrusted to your care.

Love yourself now.

Through the eyes of this incredible compassion, I saw myself as filled with light … as beautiful and as innocent as a child. I could see how wrong I was to ever judge myself as lacking or injured or inadequate or not enough. I was wrong to see myself as anything less than a perfect loving child of God.

I am here because I have been called. I am here because this is where I am supposed to be, and the only thing I need to do at this moment in time is to gently lift myself up, open my heart, and let the truth of who I am be received by me.

The Truth About the Wine Lovers’ Club

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Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

For anyone who follows Belle at Tired of Thinking About Drinking, you know she’s got some great podcasts and resources for people trying to give up drinking. Her post today caught my eye because she’s talking about people who say they love wine online but are secretly struggling with their intake. It gives you a new perspective on all those holiday posts of your friends, raising a glass of wine on Facebook. Here’s the link:

Stated Out Loud, In Case You Are Mistaken: You Are Not Alone with This

Ghosts of the Lake

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The lake is spectacular this time of year. In the early morning, the cool air creates misty ghosts that rise from the water and wander in circles with every swirl of air. Sometimes they march right past the dock. Other times, they circle off in the distance.

I’ve never been able to capture them in a photo. They are as elusive as a smoke, burning off as soon as the sun rises above the tree line. But while they’re here, I love to watch them wander past like the souls who lived and breathed before me, now hurrying off to who knows where.

I’m only hurting myself.

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I am reposting this because I just read a blog where a man wrote, “but I’m only hurting myself, really.”

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“I’m only hurting myself.”

These are the words I used to justify drinking. In the sober light of day, and with a clear mind, I can see how twisted and deluded and tragic these words are. And completely untrue. They are the words of a sick mind, overtaken by alcohol. And alcohol will lie. It will train the mind to attack itself, like a cancer of the soul.

If “I’m only hurting myself” is true, then it has to follow that “I don’t matter.” Who cares if I hurt myself? It’s not like I’m the president or in charge of great things. I am just someone who drinks too much, and my life reflects that. Even if I can put up a good front, and my life looks OK from the outside, inside it’s chaos and depression and humiliation and regret. And who wants to save that?

The thought “I don’t matter” means the alcohol’s job is complete. Well almost. Because ultimately it wants you dead.

The thought of death didn’t really rattle me either when I was drinking heavily because it seemed to be a fitting end to what I came to believe was a wasted life. Maybe people would be better off if I died. And it would end the pain of life led by drink once and for all. Just like passing out and never waking up. Tragic, but fitting.

Alcohol causes suicidal thoughts. One-third of people who commit suicide have been drinking.

Alcohol says, “You are worthless.” But ultimately we don’t blame the alcohol. We blame ourselves.

How does that happen?

A young person, say you, goes out with a group of friends. You are a bit shy, unsure of yourself, like everyone is at this difficult age. You want these people to accept you, and think you’re cool. They drink, so you do too. And it works! You become someone else. You are so less inhibited. You tell jokes! You are funny, attractive, and free.

But then one time, you do something really stupid while drinking. Something completely out of character. If you are a young woman, maybe you sleep with someone — someone you had no intention of dating, much less sleeping with. If you’re a man, maybe you start a fight with one of your friends, and it gets really embarrassing, and you yell and cry in front of a group of people.

Or use the scenario of your choice. There are an infinite number of ways to suffer humiliation while drinking.

When you wake up the next day, you still have to go to school. But now, your self-esteem has suffered a horrible blow. You don’t want to see anyone. You’re not sure exactly what happened because you can’t remember, but you know it was bad.

You have just suffered the first of a series of blows that will keep occurring as long as you keep drinking. And your place in the world, what you think about yourself, what you try to believe is true will be devastated in ways both big and small, and they will take a huge toll on how you perceive your worth.

To face this new reality that has been created by alcohol, you have to drink. Then things don’t seem so bad. You can face people again — start anew, you think.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. You now have the perfect cycle for accelerating drinking. It is your best friend and your worst enemy.

But right from the start, you blame yourself for feelings and events that alcohol caused. You don’t think, “I drank a substance designed to lower inhibitions, incapacitate, and addict, and that substance took over my brain and caused x, y, and z to happen. I have learned from this. I blame the substance itself and I will never drink again.”

You blame yourself, like most victims of abuse. That is where the real devastation of alcohol lies. It tells you you’re worthless, and you believe it.

But it lies. Because the truth would stop you from drinking. The perfect trap can continue as long as your miserable life can last unless you start to examine your relationship with alcohol and decide you are worth saving.

Because that is the truth. You are worth saving. To feel this for yourself, you have strip away the years of drinking and everything that came with it. You have to forgive yourself and let it go, no matter what the voice of alcohol tells you, and remember you before you took that first drink. There you are … just a kid really. Shy, insecure, and hopeful for a wonderful future, ready for adventure. You have to take this child by the hand and remember that this is the real you. Worth loving. Worth saving. Worth anything you can do to ensure that you will honor that child by saving her life.

I love to read books about people who have gone beyond the thin veil that hides reality from us — people who have had near death experiences that come back completely changed. They assure us that we are magnificent spiritual beings despite any illusion of ourselves as being weak or guilty. Anita Moorjani, who was healed from a devastating cancer diagnosis, says this:

“One of the biggest lessons I learned from nearly dying of cancer is the importance of loving myself unconditionally. In fact, learning to love and accept myself unconditionally is what healed me and brought me back from the brink of death.”

Self love has also been the answer for me. Loving myself enough to save myself — no matter the cost, no matter how many times I have to try — has made all the difference in my quest to stop drinking. I no longer listen to the lies that alcohol still tells me. I listen to the truth — that voice of love and strength that I was born with and can never lose. I let that voice tells me who I am.