Stay Awake

I am always amazed at how different life feels when I am awake and conscious. 

 

I remember the day pretty well. I was three years old, sitting in front of the TV watching Grizzly Adams, pretty much unaware of the circumstances.  My father picked me up sobbing as he said goodbye. I cried too but did not understand why. I can see him standing in the door watching us drive away. Oh how he must have broken. He knew, but I did not that my life would never be the same as it had been growing up under his roof—whole. 

This is a chapter of one of my beautiful disasters.

Now, my oldest son lives right down the street from where I moved that day. I have always had a somewhat negative view of that townhouse—probably because it was the place where I eventually started to go to sleep unconsciously. Julian and Grace moved 2 weeks ago into their very first apartment. How exciting this is for them!

As I drove into the complex, I felt like something came full circle the moment I passed that townhouse and pulled into his driveway. A place that once meant sorrow now brings me joy. A gap in space that once meant an end now signifies a beginning. I am so thankful God is in the waiting game and wants to patch things up. Of all the places they could have moved, they moved to the very site of my 3-year-old beautiful disaster development.

Bigger picture still: Julian’s dad and I divorced when he was 3. That was the moment of my full blown sleeping pinnacle. The moment where my unconscious pain took over, and I changed his life forever. I did to my son exactly what my mother did to me. Something I swore I would never do.

Although I am awake now, it doesn’t change all the suffering. I want my son to know how very sorry I am for all he suffered with the divorce. Your dad and I truly believed if we just loved you enough you would be okay.  You’re on your own journey to awaken and I will be forever here for you. Suffering eventually will bring you to conscious truth. You brought me back to the apartment complex and I honor your allowing me to see the truth and bury the lie.

It’s time we all bury the lies and see the truth. You can’t live in the past or future and see the truth. The only truth is the present moment.

It is very hard to stay awake after a certain age. Past 5, you start burying yourself and go to sleep. It’s easier that way as you have not acquired the skill of mastering pain. Your tiny self figures out a way not to hurt and that works for a while—often a long while—but eventually you need more to stay asleep. Drugs, alcohol, food, sex. I chose alcohol. It wasn’t on purpose at first. I didn’t realize drinking would mute the thoughts in my head, and the pain in my heart. At 12, I attended a Greek wedding where wine flowed freely. One sip lead to many and culminated in my vomiting all over my new mauve carpeting.

That became my pattern. Drink till I threw up. Cry. Pass out. Pretty standard. This blog is not about what you use to bury your pain. It could be anything! Even loving your children to the point that you’re asleep to your own destiny. We all have something that keeps us asleep for as long as it takes for us not to feel pain.

I used alcohol for a long time.  I don’t anymore—at least not to stay unconscious.

When you’re little and in pain, you don’t have the skills to navigate through it alone. It’s time to stop beating yourself up for the shit you have done. You did what you had to do to survive at the time.

A lot of us blame the people who were supposed to protect us. But they couldn’t because they were asleep themselves, trapped in a delusion and completely unaware.

It’s a cycle.  Sleeping through life to avoid pain, then bringing kids into the world. Because you’re asleep, you raise kids to use the same skill set to sleep through their own life. No wonder so many people are addicts. We have so many things available to numb our pain and keep us asleep.

Are you an addict if you can’t get through the day without chocolate or Pepsi? Yes. You can dress your addiction up in pretty clothes, call it whatever you want, but if you are honest with yourself, whether a person or a substance controls you, you’re an addict. Sure you might not be in jail or getting revived by Narcan like some heroin addcts, but guess what: You are no further ahead. A heroin addict might have a better chance actually to awaken due to physical and legal ramifications.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to sleep anymore. In fact, I am on a witch hunt for truth. I will let my trapped soul out no matter what the cost. Learning to stay present and conscious is painful, but it is the only true way out of “pain.”  Remember the saying, “the only way out it through?”  It’s true. 

God will use whatever it takes to wake you up. Most western culture is taught to conquer suffering. We don’t like the suffering so we push it away, numb it, mask it. I get it. I still do it. The moment something feels uncomfortable I try to kill it.  Some eastern cultures teach you to embrace the suffering and live in the now. Suffering is sticky, but next time something gets you, don’t run from it or numb it, stay in it. Let it have its way with you. Cry, get mad, scream, do whatever you want, just FEEL IT. Stop pushing it away. It will just keep coming back and haunting you until it teaches you what you came to learn. Wake to the lessons suffering has for you. Every time I have suffered I have grown and so will you.