If you’re of a certain age, or if you’re a Country Music fan, you know my title today is from a Kris Kristofferson song, released in 1970. Kristofferson has had a lengthy career, a successful one, not only in music, but he also starred in the 1970 version of “A Star is Born.” He was the Bradley Cooper to Lady Gaga’s character. In 1970, Barbra Streisand was the Lady Gaga character to Kristofferson. Got it? Good. It was a great movie, but I have to say, I thought the 2019 version was the best. Judge for yourselves.
The song describes a guy waking on Sunday morning, pretty bad hangover, can’t move without hurting. He makes the genius move of having beer for breakfast, and another for dessert. The smell of frying chicken triggered a memory of what he’d lost, his bad behavior caused a lot of losses. This is very common with people deep into addictions with alcohol or drugs. And it’s very sad to see.
There was a special on some obscure Direct TV channel last night about drug addiction in New York City. A man they interviewed described his heroin addiction. He detailed how it felt as it worked it’s way from the needle in his arm, down to his feet and up to his brain. He said it’s what he lived for. It’s all he had left. How he never thought it would be so addictive. How sad.
The one addiction our society overlooked for so long was that of alcohol. It used to be socially accepted as a “boys will be boys” activity, but not any more, thank goodness. I never drank in high school, and did rarely until I was 30. Yes, I’ve overdone it at times, but not anymore. It’s something I can do without, so why? I’ve never understood an addictive personality, and there are many, many people who have one, some in my immediate family of origin. I find no shame in that. Admitting is the first step towards education, assistance, and healing.
There are so many who think, if a little is good, then more is better. Doesn’t matter what it is since the human spirit can be addicted to many things. Phones, gambling, alcohol, drugs, sex, television, and many, many more things. Some of us become co-dependent and it wrecks our lives until it’s treated, admitted, and handled. I didn’t realize I was co-dependent, I thought I was responsible for a lot of things. I always wanted to make things better. By doing that, you enable bad behavior.
I’ve learned to say “No.” I’ve pulled back from people who are toxic to me. The ones I loved don’t exist anymore, as long as they are practicing their dysfunction. They are totally foreign to me. Their addictions have made their values, patterns, and what they love different than my memory and image of them. And just to answer the questions ahead of time, no it was not my current husband. He is my rock. We are blesssed to go through this life with each other.
And it’s ok. It’s better for me, and for them. I know in order to protect my mental health, I need to use my caring in other ways. It’s one reason I’m happy to be involved with helping Veterans. They are working to get better, and so am I. Everybody wins that way. Everybody does right things and feels good doing them. It’s how love is supposed to work.
I reveal these things not so you feel bad for me, I’m good. Why I reveal it is there is help for everyone on both sides of addiction to get help. You both need it, believe me. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and tell someone, “No” if it doesn’t serve either of you well. Don’t sacrifice yourself for someone who wouldn’t do the same for you. It’s taken me a long time to learn, and I’m so glad I did. You can do it, too.
If you are a survivor of any type of intergenerational trauma, this is a book from which you will learn a lot of things. It’s “From Generation to Generation. Healing Intergenerational Trauma Through Storytelling,” by Emily Wanderer Cohen. It certainly hasn’t been a “light read” for the weekend, but in between rests and naps these last two days, it’s opened my eyes to a lot of things I can now understand. Life is a continual lesson. Take the things it teaches you, and improve everything around you, starting from your soul outward. It will make a huge difference.
We have cleaned up the house to be ready for the next week. It feels good to have a fresh start for a brand new, shiny week ahead of us. Who knows what it will bring to each of us? Each day will be as good as you make it. Choose happy, grateful, productive. Thanks for reading, I appreciate it. See you tomorrow! It’s virus-y out there. Be Safe. Mask Up. Be Careful