“Dear, it’s no good feeling sorry for yourself. You’re gonna have to overcome these difficulties. And you might as well do it with some style.” – Doris Mann (played by Shirley MacLaine)
Shirley MacLaine is my girl. I’ve loved her ever since The Apartment, and when she rocked Doris Mann in Postcards from the Edge, my adoration exploded.
Doris Mann bubbles over with the type of moxie only movie screen legends seem to pull off. Such is the beauty of cinema. Somehow a morning vodka-banana protein shake doesn’t seem that tragic in the land of make-believe within the context of dry humor.
Denial is fun. Until it’s not. Kinda like when our “fuck it” switch goes off when we chose curtain number three, against our better judgment. And when you’re an addict, well, all bets are off. What’s fun about making the right choices? How will my brain be stimulated with such vanilla flavored normalcy?
The older we get, the smarter we’re supposed to be. In theory. Then there are times when when our fuck ups are so epic, it’s hard to believe we’ve evolved past term papers and learning permits.
It’s a well known fact that the age we start using drugs is where our emotional and mental capacity shuts down and stops evolving. In many ways, I’m still very much a teenager on the verge of a mid life crisis. The moment life tends to feel like it’s normal – like everything is as it should be – I whip up a huge batch of chaos in my favorite flavor of denial.
My non-addict friends are left scratching their heads.
“If something or someone is bad for you – why do you continue to go there?”
“Is hurting yourself fun?”
“I know. It’s fucked up.”
“I’m fucked up.”
“No, your’re an addict.”
The hardset part about an addcit falling on our ass is owning the fact that no one tripped us. No one forces us to fuck up. Our brain is sick and we tend to make all sorts of fun choices when faced with the universe’s temptations.
Ever taken a piece of birthday cake at the office because your co-worker is passing them around – and you’re trying to lose weight? It’s the same thing. Sort of.
So chaos is created, and we fall on our ass. Now what? Feeling sorry for ourselves is the usual modis operati quickly followed by self-hate and shame. How could I be so stupid? I’m old enough to know better! Once we get that out of our system, the real work begins.
It takes a lot of balls to talk about the elephant in the room; especially when you’re the one who keeps welcoming it back. The good news is that we can learn to switch the wiring in our brain. We can choose to treat ourselves with kindness and love. No one’s really buying our bullshit but us anyway – so we may as well come clean.
The sooner we get real in knowing our chaos is self-induced and understand why we create it in the first place, the faster it will go away. Drama doesn’t equal fun. All it does is create a distraction from the kind of life we all deserve.