Well, I’m an alcoholic. Not that I’ve been hiding from it everyone who knows me knows my truths.

But, I’m an alcoholic searching for that very thing. We walk in mountains. In AA classes, I learn about the higher powers and the things like prayer and all of intimacy makes me cringe. My brothers go with me, and that makes all things better.

I don’t post often on my blog, because usually, when I get home from work, I’m drinking. Travel? Lol. Only if I’m sober enough for driving, which is rarely. Today, I talked my sister into hiking. This is rare. I almost never see the out of doors. Isn’t my dog the best? Wouldn’t it be nice if I could get my shit together?

It would be nice to feel clean. Those of you who do, what is that like?

Even as I write this, I hope my boyfriend will forgive me. For falling asleep too early. For drunk adventures far before the hour of 8. I’m working on this memoir, and it makes my head feel every sort of sadness.  I’m learning how to cope with the memories that haunt me–just not in all the right ways.  On my floor, passed out, I can’t recall what living’s like. I don’t remember love.

Tomorrow, I will hike. Remind me. Tomorrow, I will hike. I will be better. I will saturate my life in freshness; be better than I was before. Tomorrow, I’ll take it a step at a time.

But for tonight, I’ve ruined all the little things that matter. Tonight, I feel the things like shame. Tonight, vulnerability seeps just at the surface.

What is it about our world that demands such vibrant escapes? Why am I not happy with the way my life portrays itself?  Why do we demonstrate so little kindness?  I find it hard to be a human here.  We’re all a sad lot.

I do love you, each of you, in turn. But, sometimes, living hurts. And I find it far too much for me to bear.

Edit: thanks for all the love!  I had too much wine and posted something super vulnerable and I’m not sure how I feel about it but hey–here’s for transparency.

32 thoughts on “A.A.

  1. Brad Livingstone

    Dear Shayleene,
    Coming from an alcoholic family and attending more Alateen, Detox Centers and AA meetings than I can possibly count, I want you to know Victory is possible. And at the risk of sounding cheesy, Victory’s name is Jesus. Not baby Jesus or church statue Jesus but the Risen Savior Jesus who conquered death and rose from the freaking grave sitting at the right hand of God the Father Jesus. The Jesus who takes us where we are and gives us the power, the AWESOME power, to take us where He wants us to go.
    You know this Jesus, Shayleene. He awaits your surrender to self and trust that He is who He has proven He is to the world and to you. The Great Adventure awaits, Shayleene. Time to go hiking with our Lord!
    “but as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to be children of God, to those that believe on His name;”—John 1:12
    Blessings and grace, my Friend,

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dear Shaylene. Thanks for your beautiful honesty. My dearest uncle was an alcoholic. He was my favorite. His problem grew so big he just had to give up drink or die. He gave up drink and lived to a good old age. For everyone it’s different. Allow me to tenderly ‘hold you in the Light’ as we Quakers say. We will never give up on you. Peace, Friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shayleene, thank you for sharing your pain and your volnerability. All of us struggle with something. It’s the great human dilemma. Even those who appear the strongest. The great mistake we make is that we think we are alone with our struggle. It’s good that you are going to AA. As the first step tells us, we are powerless to overcome. Thank God, there are those who love us and care about us. Only through their support and the help of a Higher Power can we overcome the challenge we have before us.

    I am sending good thoughts your way. You are an extremely gifted person. And I wish you all the best. Take care of yourself. The path you tread is a lonely one. Please remember you are not alone.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. And remember life is like baseball. In baseball, each April it’s a whole new season. No matter how crappy you did the previous season or how great you were, you get a whole new year. It doesn’t matter how well or how poorly you did last year. Only the 160 games ahead matter. So when you get up each morning, we’ve got a whole new day for a fresh start. What we did yesterday is the past and doesn’t count. So much of healing is all about that. We have to forgive ourselves. We’re only human. When we carry around the expectations we carry around with us, they are so burdensome.

        In the movie, “The Mission”, Robert DeNiro’s character kills his brother in a moment of anger. He cannot forgive himself for what he has done. He joins a group of missionaries who are going up a mountain to reach the Indians. To work off his guilt, one of the priests gives him a huge bag of steel plates and metal junk that weighs a lot. The group with DeNiro are climbing a steep mountain. As he’s climbing, the bag gets heavier and heavier. There comes a point where he can go no further. It’s death if he does. Finally, in a moment of desperation, he lets go of the bag and reaches the next plateau. He falls on the ground crying. From that point on, he is a new person.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It takes strength to be so honest and vulnerable with the world and mind you, not everybody can admit their flaws like you’re doing right now. Like I already said, it takes immense strength. Massive amounts of courage.
    And you possess that. It’s evident.
    Rooting for you. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Life sure isn’t easy. I think most of us ‘use’ something to help us through our day, whether it is work, busyness, food, substances– legal or not. It takes a lot of strength to resist and keep the body clean. You are a braveheart and it is there that your strength resides. It only takes a decision to access and activate it. Sending you love and hugs. Namaste.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s the thing about opening ourselves up, showing our Selves to others, we fear the worst, but somehow the best shines through.
    You are a brave and honourable woman. Don’t let go of those things, no matter how low you feel, they will still be there. 🙂
    P.S. facing our demons sucks! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m a mini alcoholic, if that’s a acceptable label. I drink, and I drink, but in small amounts, so I don’t get drunk. I hide my desires and habits and obsessions, which go well beyond alcohol. Not that the effects are as bad; it’s pretending that I’m in control and knowing that I am not.. And it makes me want to say almost exactly what you wrote, though my internal words are limited to a few not-so-nice ones. But I am learning from a priest friend that the illusion of being in control is almost more dangerous; I mean in areas that really count. So here’s my hope for you today, right now: hang on, hang in, above all don’t hang up. Your friends are listening to you talking. They are talking with you as well. It’s a life conversation. We can have it all the time.


  8. Proud of you for being honest! It’s easier to be honest online, than with people we know. Somehow it feels safer. Hopefully you can find someone you trust that can help you. My prayers are with you! Hang in there! There is hope.


  9. Jen Witten

    Shayleene, I’m so moved by your courage and vulnerability to share what is REAL! You have my FULL support on the road ahead! Seriously. I’m holding you close in my prayers, hoping God’s love feels bigger and stronger than the demons within. . . Wondering if you’ve heard of Celebrate Recovery? Moorpark Presbyterian Church is offering this starting in the Fall. xoxo


  10. Melanie Solomon

    Thanks so much for being vulnerable and not letting fear of not “being perfect” prevent you from speaking out. I recently have been struggling, and had to stop all my writings on social media…everywhere, and have yet to share my story. But I know, from my experience speaking out, that if more of us admitted when we were NOT OK.. the more we could relate to each other and not feel so alone. We ALL have our own struggles…and our own unique stories, but I’ve been discovering that our pain, and our fears are all very similar, and when we are not at our best, for whatever reason, we tend to isolate and the pain and loneliness just expands. But when we can just let our guards down, and admit, “yeah…I F*ck up, or I’m not ok” the greater we feel connected and our capacity to heal gets enhanced. So again, thank you…feel free to contact me on twitter @aanottheonlyway or LinkedIn, if ever you need to talk, or just want to reach out to someone who KNOWS first hand, what pain is and can relate to WHY you would want to use alcohol or drugs (or really ANY unhealthy behavior. I find that MOST PEOPLE are actually “addicted” to something…not just drugs or alcohol, but gambling, overeating, over spending…NOT because we are bad people, but because we want to make the pain go away. For example, when I decide to use a substance again, it was not to party, or get totally F**CK up. I wanted the pain…the anxiety, the depression, the loneliness, to go away. That does NOT make me a “diseased” person who then needs to go to 12-Step meetings for the rest of my life. Hey, if that works for you…and you are enjoying your life…great! But I don’t get sober to feel miserable! I can feel miserable loaded, and actually much prefer to feel miserable on something, rather than suicidal sober. No thank you. I would just lie in my bed wondering, “WHY am I staying sober, wanting to kill myself, instead of lying here happy, a little messed up ON something??” I’m not hurting anyone and plus, all the anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds that I was taking BY DOC’S orders, was doing nothing, making me worse and worse. I am not a martyr. I am not here to tell anyone “the way” to get sober, or decide to use in moderation. That’s because there is no ONE WAY…what works for one person, may actually harm another! So, we all must find our own paths, and stop judging each other. We are all in this together, and I am here to say…If I can help you by sharing my story, and my pain, and therefore you can really feel that I “get” you…fantastic! I often talk to people who have contacted me by social media, which is something new for me…I swore I’d never do FB or Instagram…I never understood any of it. But it’s allowed me to reach out to more people and realize I can often help people when traditional therapists or doctors have been unable, because you can get all the degrees that you want…but unless you’ve been to Hell and back…it’s just a different kind of helping. So if you are reading this, I want to let you know, you are NOT alone!! If nothing else, feel free to contact me if you need to vent or talk to someone…I am here!


  11. I know life can be tough. It’s during those depressing times, we depend on these type of addictions. Travel more, spend more time with your dog, write more reflections on your blog, hang out with friends rather than spending the night alone. You are less likely to binge drink when you are with your friends. I love your post:)


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