Welcome back, friends and followers!
Last week, I kicked this blog off with a short story of a memory from my childhood and a short introduction to what's in store here. Many of you in the world of addiction recovery, or those who have known or followed me in the past, know much of what's to come. For those who aren't so sure, please know these posts won't always be uplifting or easy to read. For those who do know me and my story, I'm certain there will be things even you have never heard me share about.
Having said all of that, the level of triumph that has filled my life will only land as powerfully as it can with all that background knowledge. Sooooo, here goes...
As I shared last week, the little boy that came into the world did so without fear, worry or concern for what others think. I think most young children have that figured out. They're bold, don't care about what others think, and will continue to fight for what they want, regardless of how many times they're told no. I was that young child, free of worry or concern, but lost that along the way.
I can remember some of my first years of elementary school, full of desire to show others I was good enough. I grew up in a strict home, full of chaos at times, and most of my days consisted of making sure I was doing everything right to avoid more trouble. It's important for me to share that I believe today most of that experience was in my world, not the environment I was in. By that, I mean the mindset I carried was only ever able to experience or remember the bad, and because of that I missed out on what good I could have known. Nonetheless, I was left with this drive to get everything right, and quickly. The drive for perfection was on. At different times in my life, it's been one of the most helpful assets, and one of the most harmful defects I've possessed.
I remember being in the third grade, racing through math tests to be the first done, and only being satisfied if I was indeed the first done AND if there were no wrong answers circled. I ended up in my own math and spelling classes that year, working ahead of the rest and continuing to strive for better. Almost an addiction of its own, school became my way of proving something to the world. I didn't have many chances to play school sports, go on the trips others did, or do some of the things other kids did, so I had to find a different way to be seen and heard.
I can't stress enough how the battle for fitting in began to shape my world as an elementary student. All I ever wanted was to belong. I had to settle for knockoff clothes, sub-par haircuts, and showing off my athletic skills only in gym class. It was hard, very hard, to fit in. It was even harder to make everyone in the world, especially my family, happy. Like somehow it was all on me. Today, I know that's not reality, but it was my reality. A reality that had very little satisfaction or happiness.
That reality was hard, and I wanted to quit early on. I remember being about ten years old, standing in the kitchen. I grabbed one of the big kitchen knives. I held that thing to my heart and thought "I wonder how much pain this would cause before it ended." Ten years old. Already succumbing to the demands in my head, wanting to call it a life. That was the beginning of a decade and a half of those kinds of thoughts.
I know today that my childhood and those thoughts and desires set me up PERFECTLY to fall into the troubled world of addiction. You see, by the time I tried each and every drug I did, I experienced more and more of what I had been searching for all along. Relief. Relief from the thoughts, feelings and desires that crippled me as a child. Relief from living up to the world that needed a perfect Jason. Relief from always falling short of all those demands. And so it was. The journey into darkness had its start. And it will continue, so stay tuned...