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Guest ~Jamie~

I Think I'm Ready

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Guest ~Jamie~

I don't nessasarily need a responce to this. Sometimes it just really helps me to put pen to paper, so to speak, and share it with people. If I don't, I may lie to myself about it later, say "you never really thought that, never really felt it, calm down, it's ok, just $50 and a phone call and you'll feel alright."

It's christmas morning, 1am here. I am supporsed to be at my mom's in seven hours, but I still haven't gone to bed yet. I'm sitting here, by myself, lit by christmas lights and my computer screen, and posishing off another bottle of Smoking Loon. There's a packed pipe at my right hand, waiting. So often I reach for it. It's a beautiful peice really. Cost me just over $200, hand made, seventeen seals, rare and hard to use glass made by a now retired glass blower. It gliters like the clear night sky on a moonless night, stars within stars. Truely, it looks like one of The Gentry smoking it's own tail and it fits my hand like the devil itself made it for me and me alone. I've put it away so many times, but soon enough she's once more full of rose water and ready to light. We've come a long way the two of us. There was even a time when I would have sworn to god that she'd saved my life.

Stress was killing me then, I had no release, no way to cope with the world around me or within me, no friends. Lady J took that edge off, helped me settle, but that was just the first year. I'll never regret that first year, the changes I went through and the honestly better person I became. But I didn't stop, while calmer and more out going, I didn't socailize well with sober people anymore. When most of my friends left for the military or schools out of state, I was left behind, alone. Drugs were a quick way to make friends. After all, who in the druggie culture will turn away one baring herbs and luxury smoking devices? It doesn't matter that they want your things and not you, at least you aren't alone, right? See being alone is most terrible because if you're alone, the only person to talk to is yourself. And often, I had some very crule things to say to myself. Things I deserved, things I needed to hear, but all things I refused to listen to. Heh,"I often give myself good advice that I rarely ever follow," right Alice? Heh, if only I'd listen to myself.

"Tired of your pipe tasting like resin and ash? Run some opium through her, you'll never lose that flavor." Ten years later hear breath still tastes as sweet as the fruit on the vine. "Sore after hiking the waterfall trail and back, well I do have some vicodines I could spare.." Now I wonder how many nights I spent numbed to the world and how many were just dreams within dreams induced by that very numbness. "I know you're feeling down but we can get away. Ever wondered what it's like to escape, no no, I mean really escape it all. Here, chew these, it's pure magic." And just like that, ZANG, I'd found it. My weakness, my biggest weakness. That desprate need for the world to be diffrent from how it is. Not just a little diffrent, compleatly diffrent, and not later, but NOW.

I can't tell anymore, but I wonder if my opinions that reality is subjective were always how I veiwed the world or if that came about after mushrooms and acid. Oh, and morning glories, heh, even grew my own for a while. Five years I drifted in and out of the world, damaging my brain every step of the way. Suffacating the little voice inside me telling me no, distracting her with sounds and lights even she couldn't turn away from. It was one of pot dealers who confronted me about it first, saying she was worried I was going to far. I was foolish, even uttered the words "Hey, at least I'm not like [LSD Dealer's Name] she'll down twenty tabs and trip a whole week away." To which she countered "Oh, comparing yourself to a compleat and utter burn out, good job." Yeah, it did take some impressive rationalizing to make that one ok in my brain space, wasn't easy, but I pulled it off. Good job, heh.

Then I got this idea you see. "What if I never come back from the journy? Maybe then I won't have to hurt anymore..." I'd been trying to kill myself for a few years prior. Heavy drug use, gender issues, and chronic back pain had been making my life unbarible. Never could do it through... my Ab-Psy proff made sure to teach us all the best well to kill yourself, the quickest most painless way. A method I will not be sharing with you for the fear some might use it and I would in part be to blame for their death. But with this knowledge, killing myself became a truely final thing, not a cry for help in any way, just the absolute end. I couldn't bare the thought of forcing my mother to sit through a closed casket service... But there had to be another way to stop the pain an confusion, right? With Lucy caressing my nurons though, well, I didn't care what gender I was and I couldn't feel pain, let alone register the damage my substance abuse had been doing to me.

So I concoted a plan. A horrible mish mash of a plan, full of plot holes and spelling errors. I would labotomize myself with LSD. I would make it real and forever. I saved my money and purchased a large quantitly. I took it daily in increasing doses. My mind's eye was forced open an I stared into the heart of every twisted reality I encountered. MY body worked on auto pilot, like NIN's Every Day, my body didn't need me to compleat it's tasked, just rote mussle use. Smile, hand them the change, clean this, mop that. I think, what bothered me the most was that no one could tell. I went to work, I went to my parent's, I spent time with friends. Unless someone looked me dead in the eye and noticed that one peupil was larger than the other, or I let slip the fact that I was tripping, no one knew. No one could tell the diffrence between my sober Mask, and my twisted Mask.

My plan didn't really work. How could one expect it to? Born of madness and limited by my lack of funds to finish the job, I ran out before I could cause sevear brain damage. This is not to say I walked away unchscathed. In the fallout from this I learned two things about myself. One, that little voice saying "no" all this time was Jamie. So pacient she gave my Mask all the time in the world to come to his own realization that this life was not working, but could be changed rather than ended. As much as my Mask was ready to drift away, Jamie had no intention going anywhere. Two, I had succeeded in damaging my mind, just not the part intended.

Deep down I think the plan wasn't to trip forever, it was just to kill Jamie. If I didn't have that voice screaming for life, then maybe I could end it. It took months before I started to feel in any way "normal" again. It was a very confusing, cloudy time. Hard to remember most of it. I spent a lot of time alone, thinking, or trying to at least. Just putting bits of myself back together. I finaly reached a point where I could feel the world around me again, new hardwood floor at my feet and ceiling fan blowing on my upturned face. I remembered myself, and where I was and things began to get better.

I look unharmed, I sound fine, but I'm not. I picked up a scar, not jagged and red from wrist to elbow, nor neat and mesured an inch apart each like other's who truck in self harm. No, this scar is inside. Now when things are quiet, or if I hurt too much, or if I am tired as I am now, thing happen. Things slip, shift, vibrate ever so slightly. If I let my eye's unfocus, patterns begin to... I don't know how to explain it to someone who hasn't seen it, I guess the term I'd use would be "let go." At times, if I close my eyes, I even feel myself rushing forward at great speed, though I know I am remaining perfectly still. It is not unbarable, I am a smart person, I have a firm grasp on reality now. When these things happen I know it isn't real and I continue on as if nothing were wrong. My ability to do anything is not impaired, but he sees it.

You see this mental scar is quite literrily a large crack in my mask. It has been increasingly difficult to hide behind him since this happened. He knows what he almost did, and he is forcibly reminded of it every day, every time my back hurts, every time I stay up to late. He begs forgivness and I grant it daily. how can I hate him, he was a tool of my own devising. A thing I needed for a time in my life before I could deal with some of the realities of what it means to be me. But his way of doing things, some are still with me, though they are begining to fade. This is good, and scary, but mostly good.

So here I sit, one hour and forty minutes after starting what was meant to be quick and painless. It's christmas day and I am supposed to be a my mother's in five hours and twenty minutes, but I still havent gone to bed yet. My bottle of smoking loon is now quite dry. There is a packed pipe at my right hand waiting. Such a beautiful thing, I could lose myself in it forever. I think perhaps this time though, I will pass. Leave it out for my room mate, a christmas gift of herbs to one who's life isn't ruled by substances and fear. I think I'm ready for sobriety now.

My name is Jamie, and I will be the Tumble-down Prince no more.

Psycidellics: 7 months clean

Pain Killers: 4 months clean

Weed: 16 hours clean

Alchohol: In progress

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Michelle 2010

Merry Christmas Jamie! Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life?

What a great Christmas present it would be to mark your first day of recovery as Christmas Day. I know a couple of folks who stopped then. Certainly at 2:53 AM of the 25th you held a key to a new way to change Reality. Those in Recovery recognize that "Willingness is the key that unlocks the door...." Without Willingness there is no chance, for the biggest obstacle to life changing paradigm shifts is a thing so simple.... an open mind. Usually the cracking open of an addicted mind or one sickened by the disease of alcohol and drugs is preceded by large quantities of Pain, hence the phrase "pain is the touchstone of spiritual development".

Several things you said resonated with me...

I had no release, no way to cope with the world

In recovery we learn that, in the beginning, drugs and alcohol were the solution not the problem... The ISMs of alcoholism exist in a true alcoholic and addict before the substances turn on the user. Substances do for us what we could not do for ourselves. Without them we are stuck in ourselves with no escape

I can't tell anymore, but I wonder if my opinions that reality is subjective were always how I veiwed the world or if that came about after mushrooms and acid.

I spent years thinking I was changing Reality when I used.... Reality never changed...I simply found a way to change my perception of reality...drugs and alcohol

And just like that, ZANG, I'd found it. My weakness, my biggest weakness. That desprate need for the world to be diffrent from how it is. Not just a little diffrent, compleatly diffrent, and not later, but NOW.

Jamie,Iused for years thinking I was escaping from Reality when in fact the only thing I was escaping was myself and my painful existence. I simply did not have the ability to change how I felt without the use of liquids, vapors, or solids...

Soooo,If after Christmas at MOm's, if you still feel motivated...

and don't think you overreacted in the wee hours, what to do... right? :)

For normal people the answer is that the drugs and the alcohol were the problem so when they are put down, the problem disappears, eazy peazy...

But for a person suffering from the disease of alcoholism, we put down the thing that used to fill the hole in the soul, and what happens? It gets worse rather than better!!! The solution to the problem has been removed rather than the problem itself... Now that makes life really interesting... White knuckling life is a hard row to hoe for the rest of ones life... So a different solution is preferable.

My AA sponsor was from Maine,btw, ( he was the first person to ever utter the words "mud season" to me, lol)! My journey into healthy funloving sobriety required learning from people who had been there themselves, who knew the path through the woods, knew of the false trails and dead ends, and knew where the pot of gold could be found. I couldn't do it by myself. I needed help. Its available if you want it. I couldn't deal with being Trans until I was sober, and yes, that issue will be waiting for you if you learn a new way of life.

Best wishes, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Michelle

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VickySGV

Jamie -- I hope the trip to your mother's was safe, and that your decision is firm. As Michelle has said, you do need friends who can sponsor and guide you to where the emptiness and need are filled and you can see the world in peace. You are giving yourself a wonderful holiday gift in your decision. In time you will see it was a gift to others as well, but as i said, in time. Good call, I hope you can make it. Sobriety is hard to win, but wonderful to own at last.

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Guest ~Jamie~

-hugs you both slightly too tight- Thank you for making what I wrote more real by reading it. I still feel strong about this, though it has only been a day. I don't really know any sober people anymore, and I've met opposition to my quitting before. My current roomie is my best friend and I know he won't bail on me or tempt me, so that will make things easier I think. I just, just, I don't know what to say right now. Thank you for your support.

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Michelle 2010

Hey Jamie, if what you were doing in December is working for you, congratulations.

If it isn't....consider trying something else??? Like maybe catching a meeting?

As they say "let this circle represent what we can do together that we can't do by ourselves... :friends: "

Best wishes

Michelle

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Guest Brenna_Peach

Hey Jamie,

The beginning of my story is a lot like yours. I used truck loads of drug among other things to try to get rid of my inner self. Meth was the drug that finally push me over the edge. Although i have been on this journey since birth, I am finally listening to Brenna now. Kind of like you said. I'm just now starting this transition roller coaster and dont really know what to expect, but this time I'm so ready for the ride. I'm actually moving to the Portland area in Sept of 2012 to go full time. So I still have quite a bit to work on.

But anyways. I just wanted to say that when it comes to staying clean its all about you. You have to want the change in yourself before anything will happen in this area of your life. Its hard at first but it gets easier with time. At first you dont have the coping techniques for handling your problems but if you are ready to be proactive in your life you will start figuring out your triggers and avoid them. This is a fun time though because you get to really figure at a lot about the person you are. The old you and Jamie :). Just remember you thoughts are only 6 seconds long and anything after that is just you thinking about it. That's just what they told me but it helped when i quite smoking cigs. But i have to admit that knowing that I was going to be on HRT helped me a lot. Just one foot in front of the other. And dont take on too much at first. It can be over whelming at times but just know that it gets easier and your brain will kind of do things on its own. I can just think about being high and what do you know, I feel HIGH right now.

I would say, go to some meeting to get a plan going but i find with this being a gender related issue NA and AA don't work as well. I found a gender counselor and being honest with MYSELF and the ones closest to me has helped the most. Don't get me wrong, i went to rehab and to a 3/4 way house for like 6 months and the program showed me a lot about who I am when it comes to handling issues in my life. But its hard to not use when all you think about is not using. And that is what a lot of the meetings are about. You can sympathies with what they are saying but you still feel like your situation is different from theirs. So its good to go to NA and AA to get some of the materials to start your new foundation. Because counseling is more about your feelings were the program tells you about your triggers and how you handle things and how to avoid them. Just be as proactive and nurturing toward Jamie and remember to putting yourself into the uncomfortable places that you have been hiding from. I'm not saying that you should do any of this at all. This is just what i have been doing for the last year of my life and I'm only 24 years old. So i still have a lot to learn. This is just what is working for me.

You should keep venting on web sites like these and get into some transgender meetings in your area. I find that you have to release all this that you have been keeping inside all of these years. At NA and AA meeting you just dont get the sympathy your soul needs to forgive yourself and truely relate with others. I found my self being half truthful at the meetings and it really didnt help me at all. I was still walking around the bushes if you know what I'm tring to say. But thank God I had the internal want to figure out what is going on with me with a clean sober head and body.

I think the thing for me that is the hardest is loving myself and doing what is right for Brenna. I now alway put myself first on my plan unless its a life or death situation. But its hard sometimes to go into the unknowns in life and do it with you emotions running wild. That's why I believe we get addicted to the drugs in the first place. It is a feeling we know and can control. Don't get me wrong there are few unexpected mood swings if you even care. But with time your mind gets use to handling yourself, situations, and people without the drugs. You just have to put yourself in the uncomfortable places to get over the fears and crap we put ourselves threw.

If i can be of any help to you, just email me sometime. I'm not sure how but if it was meant to be. It will be.

Take care of Jamie now. She needs you more than ever,

Brenna

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Guest ~Jamie~

My apologies, I haven't had a chance to sit down at my computer in about a week, I've been keeping myself busy. The posts I've made have all been a line or two from my phone and little more. I have indeed been true to my conviction in this, though it has only been a short time. It has been about as difficult as I expected,doubly so on New Years. It was weird, I even took on an extra shift that night to have an excuse to bow out of parties, but customer's ended up buying me drinks, leaving me beers from their thirty racks, Mike's tall boys and such. By the time my shift got out I had twenty drinks of varying types stashed under the counter.None for my co-worker, but that's what you get for being rude to people. I ended up giving them all to my roomie. I can't keep the alchohol out of the house, that's unfair to my roomie, I hadn't decided to be sober yet when I signed the lease and he doesn't have a problem, so I can't ask him to stop. Same with smoking, though we did have a good argument about blowing it in my face.

Besides that I've been avoiding temptation rather than testing my will. I have started to get a few messages from people asking whereI went, and I've ignored a few phone calls that I rpobably should have answered, but.. I just still feel kind of weak. It's been hard, quiting my vices, changing my diet, starting exersize, dealing with my back pain, and coming to terms with my gender issues all at once. It's taking all I've got energy and will wise. I figure though, that I've said the same thing before about keeping my head above the water when I'm depressed and repressing my feelings. So if it took everything I had to do that, and I feel it is taking everything I have to make these changes in one lump, then I should be able to do it, I've been running myself at that strength requirement for fifteen years now. To borrow a line from The Departed: I'm Irish, I'll deal with something being wrong the rest of my life. Oddly enough, I feel really no diffrent now than I did one month ago in reguards to stress. I'm not blanking things out with drugs the way I have in the past, but as I said, I'm sort of keeping myself busy with work, doctor's apointments, exersizing and reading. Lacey recomended a few books to me at my request and being able to read most of them from my phone has been a big help in keeping my mind active. So I think I'm still applying just as little thought to my problems as I have previously. At least right now I'm ignoring my issues by doing positive things that will actually aid my body and prepare it for the coming storm as opposed to blatently self destructive behaviors.

I'm still afraid of dealing with who I am, though I doubt that's an uncommon feeling for anyone here, or in the world at large really. -sigh- Well, I don't know. I mean, maybe I am dealing a bit. I've been reserching gender therapists, trying to find one in 100 miles that that my insurance will cover. Though it's been akward as I get my insurance through my parent's company and have had to ask poinent questions without revealing too much. I've taken to better hygiene and actually went for a manicure and a pedicure yesterday as well. Something I've wanted for years but have a avoided as, well, it's not exactly a manly thing to do. Even had them put on clear polish. Was going to wait another couple weeks, but the compulsion was too strong. I get the feeling the longer I remain sober the harder it will be to keep these feelings in check. Which is, I suppose, why I fell in to vice in the first place. Hmm, I feel I should say more, but at this point I'd like to think of something else for a while. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go have a bit of dinner and get in my evening jog.

~Jamie

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Guest Brenna_Peach

That sounds good. I think what your doing is really cool. Embracing. I'm in just about the same boat as you just got into the gender therapist about 6 weeks ago. They will help you out a lot in what your dealing with. For me i guess, trying to deal with everything at once was so overwhelming. I felt suck and didnt really know what to do. All the unknowns and all the coming out was to much. But as i started telling more people it wasnt that bad it was just right in front of me. Everything feels like it will work out as long as i keep the right attitude. I believe you said something about the storm that is coming. That is so funny because i was thinking about that the other day and came to the conclusion that the storm is all about me. I'm the one that creates it and the one that decides how big or how little it is. I over dramatize everything. But i was nice to notice that is only going to be what i make it. Nothing more and nothing less.

Anyways i just wanted to say as i do this and push into the unknown I have felt like i was pushing myself to do it. I dont know. I'm told this is normal. I dont really know why i'm telling you this but ya. Your counselor will help you out a lot. Dont worry about insurance stuff. It will all work out.

Glad to here your going to the uncomfortable yet not places,

Brenna

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VickySGV

Jamie -- you are in a very new life in many ways, and are doing OK, but it is still uncertain and shakey, that is a given. I am thinking about you, and maybe we can have you jump in Sunday night over in chat. Time is 9pm Eastern time.

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Guest ~Jamie~

-smile- I greatly appreciate your support. I think stopping in for additional support in the chat room would be a wonderful idea. Unfortunately, working in a service sector job, I just so happen to work 2pm-10pm est every Friday through Monday, so I won't be able to attend. I made the deal of giving up my weekends so that I could have a set schedule. Working random days/nights every week was more destructive on my psyche than anything else. It made all my days bleed together and made it impossible to plan more than a day in advance.

Still though, I just want to thank you for keeping me in your thoughts. I was able to spend a great deal of time opening up to my GM last night after the game ended early, the rest of the players having passed out drunk. He admitted to having had similar issues with narcotics and said that he'd be keeping an eye on me to help keep me sober. So I've actually got a sober friend at the moment. For now though I am off to work, I hope the meeting goes well.

~Jamie

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VickySGV

I am sure there is a 30 day chip in your computer some where!! :D Take it proudly!!! So good to hear!!

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Guest Svenna

Jamie,

Hang in there, you are doing great so far. Build on your successes and learn from your mistakes, but never give up, always begin anew if you slip...

I was a major participant in the drugs, sex and rock 'n roll culture. I am an alcoholic and have enjoyed multiple street and prescription addictions over the years.

I am now over 20 years sober and I gotta tell you, it will be hard, BUT it can be done! Most everyone that knew me in my younger years thought I'd have crashed and burned before I'd ever quit partying. I have now outlived most of 'em. I'm not telling you this to glorify my own efforts, but to share with you the truth that there really is life after drugs and alcohol.

Real life, joyous life, precious life!

You can do it, too...

Best to you in these difficult early days. Take it one day at a time, as they say...

Love and Liberation, Svenna

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