September 10

FREEDOM MONTH: DAY 10: “Freedom begins the moment you realize someone else has been writing your story and it’s time you took the pen from his hand and started writing it yourself.” ― Bill Moyers

I let so many other people write my story. I went from one person to the next and never decided anything for myself. I was such a chameleon that I never knew so many of my personal likes and dislikes. If one man liked a certain kind of movie, so did I.

If my family always went to certain restaurants and vacation spots, so did I. It took me years to make up my own mind about my own tastes and preferences.

I really began to understand my own tastes when I was hitchhiking around the place, learning new things, meeting new people, trying new ideas on for size. I went to ashrams and communes and lived with groups of people, which was okay in some aspects. Not so much in others. Group think was hard for me, because I knew I had some strong misgivings about being a team player. Even then, I had a hard time being one of the crowd.

That was really true all my life before that. I didn’t fit in and felt bad because I didn’t; but I resisted being part of anything anyway. Very strange dynamic.

Anyway, I began to prefer places. Always the ocean and the West Coast. At first the Bay area, then I found other places I loved just as well.

I travelled to other countries and tried amazing foods and new ways of living and speaking and loving and all kinds of stuff. I was very curious and open, still am, really. I want to taste all the tastes (or most of them anyway); and explore all the different spiritual practices of the world. The food and the spiritual traditions are big for me.

I stopped allowing others to influence those choices. But I did begin to succumb to the peer pressure of the men I was with. I would allow them to tell me what to wear and how to behave, at least for a little while. I was very insecure in my identity as a person in those days. I let life flow and take me where it went. I seldom chose my relationships. I let them choose me.

And recovery has changed a lot of that. I don’t look for relationships at all any more. I want the one I have to be the most intense. The one with me and the spirit that inhabits my world. It is powerful and lovely. I have enough friends and others around me. I am happy with my own company and what I do with me. I love to do things that are important to me.

Not even most of my friends are interested in doing what I love to do. That is okay. I am. So, no one has been writing my story for a long time. I am glad. I have little restraint on my days. I do what is in front of me and don’t push too hard. I am happy and I love what I am getting, so I will keep doing what I am doing.

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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