I Should Have Seen The Pattern

I should have seen the pattern years ago, but I thought I did. I saw a pattern, sure, but it was the wrong one.

Addiction is a funny thing. Funny to everyone except the addict, that is. Because the thing is, the majority of the time, the addict is the only person who can’t see the problem.

I have a different kind of addiction–or had, I should say. I’ve decided to go into rehab. The 12 steps are a little vague at this point, but since I’m the one writing them I guess I have some leeway.

Hi. My name is Alexa and I’m an addict. (Hi Alexa.) It’s been about 24 hours since I’ve tried to change someone before they were ready.

If you don’t think I’m nuts by now, I’m going to refer you back to the intro post on this blog. (And again, Gram, if you’ve somehow found this, stop reading now before I start inappropriately swearing. Love you!)

Ever since I can remember, I’ve witnessed people make what I judged to be shitty, stupid, detrimental, harmful choices. And it was so obvious that these choices were bad! Like so so so painfully obvious that the only solution I ever came up with was to talk to them like they were the most fucking inept human on the planet in the most condescending maternal tone I was capable of. Or, I’d pick them up off the floor, whisper there, there it’s okay, you’re okay, you’ve got this…and dump a bunch of advice and stories of strength, grit, determination and inspiration that I could spew in that moment.

And they’d say thank you, you’re so right, I know I’ll fix it, etc. etc. I’d go to bed happy. I’d go to bed feeling like, wow, I’m so glad people can depend on me. I’m so glad I can help. I’m so glad I can fix them.

But within the next day/week/month/semester/whatever, they’d relapse and fall back to the same habit/relationship/vice. I’d sit there and get so pissed. So frickin pissed, that quite literally, I wrote letters. (If you missed that reference, please stop what you’re doing and go watch White Chicks. You’re welcome.)

Anyway, I wrote letters, I hosted friend interventions, I boycotted activities with these beautiful souls. For years. Years. And when I would grace them with my presence, my protective brick wall of judgment was really fucking mean. Perfect example–we know I love to use colorful language. I don’t function well if I can’t say fuck. Just a fact of life. However, I have always had an issue with the c word. I don’t like it; I think it’s toxic; I think it pulls power away from the person using it; it really just gives me the heebee-jeebees.

I called someone the c word. I believe it was the “stupid c word.” I’ve never had my husband call me out on my language, but he looked at me and goes, “You must be really upset.” Hell fucking yes I was.

I was mad at others for not figuring it out, for not taking my advice, for not learning from my mistakes. I was mad at them for not taking the heart-felt advice or comfort or support I was offering them. I was mad at them for choosing to fester in their pain instead of facing it and letting me help them heal. So I’d find a way to step out of their lives. I thought by leaving I was doing the right thing to protect myself.

Years and years of this and I could not figure out why different versions of these situations kept happening to me. And up until very very (literally less than a full day and a half ago) recently, I could not figure out why people who needed help kept popping up. Was it my destiny to torture myself putting all of my energy into helping people who didn’t listen or want to be helped?

Who’s the asshole in hell pushing the rock up the hill every day just to watch it roll down? Yeah, I just Googled “guy who pushes rock up hill.”

Encyclopedia of Greek Mythology: Sisyphus. Sinner condemned in Tartarus to an eternity of rolling a boulder uphill then watching it roll back down again. Sisyphus was founder and king of Corinth, or Ephyra as it was called in those days. He was notorious as the most cunning knave on earth.

Thanks, Google.

Am I the millennial version of Sisyphus? WHOA IS ME, I AM #SISYPHUS.

End sarcasm.

So, you see what happened right? You see my addiction–my addiction to dumping my own shit on other people and trying to fix it. But that’s still not it, not exactly.

I thought it might be an addiction to helping people who weren’t ready, but that’s not it either.

True Life: I’m addicted to helping people who don’t need my help.

We’re all on our own journey here, right? What I know and the things I’ve learned may help you, it may not. But it’s not my job to figure that out. My job on my journey is to live in the authentic truth of my soul–the hokey feel-good version of myself that makes me feel like I’m prettier than Cinderella smelling like pine needles with sunshine coming out of my face. (Thank you, Bridesmaids.)

That’s my job. And your job, their job, his job, her job, is to follow your/their/his/her path.  Read it again, it’s ok, there are a lot of forward slashes.

(Hat tip to my coach, Marisa, for helping me really get this and decide to write myself into this 12-step “get off your fucking high horse” rehab [my words, not hers])

It’s just not my job.

It’s my job to believe that the Universe fucking provides. And Universe lets you hear the things you need to hear, feel the things you need to feel and love the way you need to love. And if that weirdness does not line up with my weirdness, guess what, it’s still love. It’s still the right path. It’s still the right choice. It’s still the right way to do things.

“I do my thing and you do your thing. You are you and I am I. And if in the end we end up together, it is beautiful.” While Topanga may have had a lot of wisdom (and if you’re missing the Boy Meets World reference, good luck trying to find the seasons because I’m convinced the Disney Vault lost the footage.)–I think she’s missing something here.

You are you and I am I. And if in the end we end up together, or don’t, it is beautiful. It is beautiful because we have learned what we needed to learn from each other. You’ve continued on your path and I on mine. That is beautiful.

I should have seen the pattern, but I didn’t. And that, my friends, is beautiful.

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I Should Have Ignored Your Text

I probably should have ignored your text, but I responded anyway. I don’t know what made this time different–it was my birthday, but I was able to ignore the last four birthdays, Christmases, graduations, etc.

I could have avoided the flashbacks, the pit in my stomach, the repeating what if, what if.

I could have avoided the anticipation, the fear, the grief, the calories, the nervous way I forced myself to the front of the counter to pay before you could.

I could have avoided the memories I’ve been stifling for three, no four, years. I could have stuffed the pain back inside. I could have saved my savior from the bullet I couldn’t dodge.

But this text was different. It came after a new foundation in myself and my purpose and for whatever reason, I decided to say Thank you! How’s the job going?

I could have left it there, but there’s a fucking reason for everything, right? There are people who are supposed to be in your life because fate and the universe and ten years of your life and everything lines up with one big lesson during the bonus scene of the credits, right?

Right. 

And I found out why, sitting there at the overpriced sandwich shop, pretending to be interested in stocks, projections, clients and an array of acronyms I didn’t bother to ask the full meaning of. I watched you paint your perfect future–a future you’re building quite well, I might add–and did nothing but smile at the fact that there’s no way I could ever be a part of that image enclosed by a white picket fence.

And seeing it clearly–the house, the dog, the fence, the 2.5 kids, the Caravan, 401k, the fence–I was genuinely happy for you and for me. Knowing that finally, after all of the pain we endured together–whether it was caused by one another is irrelevant at this point–we’ve both are energized and passionately pursuing our happily ever afters. Separately.

What a relief it is to finally know that we can be happy for each other without a caveat or a what if. What a beautiful energy I feel for myself–faith in my choices, passions, desires, love for those who helped along the way.

Most of all, I feel healed. Truly. And grateful for the time apart to cement myself in who I am and the path I wanted, and still choose each day, to follow.

I should have ignored your text, but I didn’t. And if I had, maybe I would still be sure in myself, confident and motivated in my journey forward. But maybe deep down, a part of me would have held back.

I Should Have Brought Your Glasses

I should have brought your glasses and looked you in the eye.


 

Lex, I don’t have them, can’t see a thing.

These damn bars climb so high.

I won’t tell you how I got here,

Didn’t realize I was so close to a school.

When I put that needle in my arm,

It couldn’t mask the pain.

The high, you’ve seen, but never known,

Will comfort me the same.

I just can’t see, now that I’m here, please, kid,

can you stop by?

Just for a minute, I won’t take long,

They wouldn’t let me if I tried.

I can’t tell you why I’m here,

A secret I’ll take to the grave.

But, please, bring my glasses soon,

Before my judgment day.

It’s coming sooner than you think,

I’m sure but I won’t tell.

That this life I live between each hit

Won’t last the winter now.

Alexa Rose, I love you so,

You know I mean it true.

But when you bring my glasses, please

Just tell me what to do.


 

 

I Should Have Peed Before I Left & Other Afterthoughts…

Four years ago, a green college graduate, I found myself in my first full-time job that required a lot of time on the road. After my first day, actually, I don’t even think it was noon, I sent an update to my best friend:

If I ever write a memoir, it would be called, “I Should Have Peed Before I Left.”

She responded, “I would read the shit out of that memoir.”

And four years later, in blog form, it’s finally time for me to write it. This is the part where I introduce myself and say, “Hi. I’m Alexa and I hide emotions with sarcasm.”

While that may have been true four years ago, or even one year ago, or honestly, five minutes ago, I want everyone reading this to know that my intention is not to be snarky, sarcastic or funny for the sake of clickbait. “I Should Have Peed Before I Left, and Other Afterthoughts,” began as a 22-year-old belittling herself to gain attention and emit the persona of the stereotypical twentysomething: I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing, guys, but it’s fine, there’s probably a meme for that.

This is the part where I say, “Hey Grandma, if you somehow found this, I’m sorry, you’re probably not going to enjoy reading it. I love you, now please stop here.” Because while I love that the interwebs keep us connected, I also love swearing.

(Extending the disclaimer–this is a blog about some fucked up stuff that’s happened, some silly stuff that’s happened, some inappropriate stuff that’s happened, and how I’ve managed to bounce back, shake it off or make it into a joke/lesson.)

Now that we’re on the same page, I’ll tell you why I’m starting now. These stories are, again, a mix of silly, inappropriate, horrible, hilarious and awkward moments that have molded me into who I am. And I’m here to tell you how grateful I am for every single one of these moments, no matter how they played out. My stories that I’ve been called to share are discoveries of gratitude. I have discovered, and continue to search every single day, for how to be grateful for each moment the Universe has blessed me with.

So, if you’ve found your way here, thank you. I sincerely hope that these stories I’ve chosen to share can help in some way, even if it’s just to put a smile on your face.

I should have peed before I left, but I’m grateful that I didn’t, because it lead me here.