Unmanageability Doesn’t = Alone

“Is there anyone out there ’cause
It’s getting harder and harder to breathe
Is there anyone out there ’cause
It’s getting harder and harder to breathe”

~Harder To Breathe, Maroon 5~

What would you define in your life as “unmanageable” or the parts you don’t want anyone to see? Or even better yet; what do you think is the definition of unmanageability?

I have had a few conversations with people in various people with different places of their lives of where they felt their manageability of their lives was at the moment. We are all human. Some are good. Some are bad. One was celebrating 30 days without a drop of alcohol. Another was feeling alone, isolated, and yet thought it was all kept together. One was in a life changing and air-grasping for God type of situations. One is making a life career move for their family, wife, and work life balance.

It made me think of my own place in life, my own definition of the word, and how…at times…that term unmanageability was my own damn existence. You see alcoholics and our very core of our program teeter to the very brink of survival around this word. The funny thing is, most of us like to be in control and have a character defect of being in control. I know I do, and I have to daily let the reigns go and let God!

When I think of what unmanageability is, its not being able to exist or cope with your own personal choices anymore. Something or possibly someone is now holding a control, a compulsion over you that is hindering every decision you make. When I am under the control of picking up my first drink, I am no longer myself. I am no longer in control. All I care about is where the next one is at. I will lie, evade, manipulate, plot, scheme, and even literally run miles to a liquor store to get my hands on the next one.

The beauty of the creation of the human mind is we do have free choice. I get to curse a situation out, go for a walk, say the serenity prayer until I am blue in the face, or write another to do list (control defect still under warranty…) before I stare down that first drink ever again.

The gift I have with that definition and the sainthood of alcoholics anonymous is that I know I have freedom of choice. I also know the monster I can create within that choice.

I have memories. Memories of sprinting to liquor stores in the dead heat of summer and inhaling my drink. And then, this is so gross, running back home buzzed. I have memories of holding one hand steady to put a contact lens in or guide a mascara wand over my lashes because my hands were shaking so badly with morning withdrawal. I had to appear I had it together though, right.

Because we can’t let anyone in to know we have problems we can’t manage.

Guess what folks, God put us here on this Earth to put together a we solution, not a me problem.

We don’t have to manage life perfectly, we can share in things together so when these choices lead us to the miserable unmanageability feeling of hopelessness-we know we are not alone.

So be kind. Make the first right choice. Celebrate those beautiful milestones. Relish in the last outdoor days of Summer.

As always, if you need help, please know you are loved and I am only a phone call away.

Thank you, Jimmy Kimmel!

‘Til it happens to you, you don’t know
How it feels
How it feels
‘Til it happens to you, you won’t know
It won’t be real
No it won’t be real
Won’t know how it feels”

~Lady Gaga, Until It Happens to You”

 

The country is divided, picketing, marches, passionate advocates, mean tweets, slander, racism, bigotry, fear, arguments about equality, privilege, and healthcare are the back drop. Does this sound like narrative to a post global war book or film? An early episode of the tv series the Walking Dead? You bet it does. The sad reality is that it IS the reality of the United States. Our harsh, cruel, scary, twisted reality of 2017. Yes, I said 2017! We have the advantage of technology to fuel our arguments, passions, beliefs, and suffocating 24/7 news (sometimes FAKE) news feed. One of the biggest topics fueling the world of Washington is healthcare. You are either for the Affordable Care Act, or you are eager as a kid on Christmas morning when you see/hear a member of the GOP speak of “Trumpcare.” (Cue Paul Ryan in a Santa suit…creepy isn’t it….)

You might have already deciphered which way I am partial to by my underlying cynicism in the above statements. I avidly read up on all issues pertinent to politics in the law and could argue why I feel the way I do. Instead I will put it simply in layman’s terms (and use something my Papa taught me years ago.) “Put yourself in another person’s shoes before judging them.” It’s simple, follows my beloved character Atticus Finch’s mantra, and why I align myself politically the way I do. Until something happens to US directly, it can be easy to overlook how debilitating something can be. Then it, that awful thing does happen to you (or someone you know.) Job loss, cancer, death, bankruptcy, sexual assault, heartbreak or I could keep going. Then we care, we rally, we advocate to something we believe in. Something that has effected us directly. People of privilege use their platform to help the cause at hand. The news today is swirling with reports of late night talk tv comedian, Jimmy Kimmel and his raw, vulnerable, on air speech about his newborn’s son life saving surgery-and how passionate he now feels about healthcare being available to ALL new parents. (cue the clapping!)

A healthcare hell of invasive surgery I would wish on no parents. I hate hearing stories like this. Who does? I am elated to hear that baby Kimmel is doing very well. I am further elated that Jimmy Kimmel used his platform of a white, cis, wealthy, celebrity status to put a face to the healthcare debate going on in Washington. (We know he could afford the surgery, but he saw beyond his story.) He humanized something people are arguing about, mean twitting each other about, friends aren’t speaking to each other about (still) post election recoil, and he did it with the raw vulnerability of a new parent. Any parent I know would trade their own life to have a healthy child. He used his platform to put face to the fact (and something he realized) that there might be another family with the exact same situation….without the proper healthcare to save their baby if “Trumpcare” goes through.

I’m hoping for those that didn’t get the passion behind this had a slight aha moment. I hope that those not understanding the passion, activism and more reflected on this thought. What would they do in that situation with no healthcare?  Humanizing something that horrifically happens to us makes us connect, reach out, reflect, and understand. I admit to carrying  around guilt about not “caring enough” about causes I was not aware of. Ignorance can be a catch-22 of bliss. I have a laundry list of things I was not aware of (fully) or in action towards.  I will annually run a 5K to support a local (and acquainted) family I know that lost their oldest son to childhood cancer. I feel for them. I read up on what companies discriminate against LGBTQ communities and do not purchase their items. I think of my friends in this community. I even have a streak of teal in my hair as advocacy against sexual assault, as a survivor, inspired by those who were using their platform to raise awareness. People I now call my friends.

We need people like Jimmy Kimmel to put a face where we cannot. We need reminders that we don’t walk in everyone’s shoes and cannot possibly understand their sorrows, fears, and quest for equality. We also need to live in a world without so much fear. I have the fear. I just found out that as a sexual assault survivor, I am consider to have a “pre existing” condition that could deny me healthcare if the big, bad, “Trumpcare” goes through. I took necessary medication called Truvada post assault to prevent the horror of contracting HIV from my assailant. Therefore, from my understanding of what I read, I may have to prove I’m HIV or AIDS free for up to three years to obtain insurance if the ACA is overturned. If this happens, should a future assault survivor turn down the medication and just “risk it” in terms of contracting something? (Seriously, Justin Trudeau and Canada keep looking better and better…)

My what a slippery slope those who side with perfection of health, wealth, privilege, and well….what rhymes with orange undertones, pave!

Where do you fall on the slope? What has happened to you that could be deemed “preexisting?” Let’s face it death and taxes are the only things certain in life (oh wait, the last one doesn’t apply to the very person selling us on this kool aid of health care.)

We deserve to be healthy. We must understand what it is to walk in another’s shoes. We must use what resources we can stand on to advocate for what is right. We must have activism. We need people like Jimmy Kimmel to stand up and put a face to, have us walk in their shoes, humanize, and understand the importance of things. We need more of this.

Thank you, Jimmy. You used your tragic, real life happening to bring many of us back to reality. We needed that.

Thank you.