It does me every time I think about how I lived.
I kept men in my closet, yes I did.
I would have someone over and if someone knocked at the door then I would push him in the closet to hide.
Sometimes I had a friend come to the door and I had one in the closet hiding. I was really insane in my head and in my actions.
I had my alcohol in the closet and my food.
The funny thing is when I was a little girl I would hide in the closet and as I grew up in my teens, I used to go in the closet to get away from people, so I guess that was normal in my head to hide people in the closet.
I laugh at that every time I think about it. I was a mess and when I think back, I am grateful for my life now. I used to just live my life in my thoughts. I did what I thought would feel good. I did not do what was in the best interest for others or myself.
I did things that were degrading. I was ashamed of myself and I made myself more ashamed by the actions I continued to do. I went through life like an animal doing only what feels good. If you think about it, animals have sex with almost anyone and have no morals. Some people act like that. It is sad but some of us do, I did. I didn’t know any better at that time. In my mind those behaviors were normal, I had done them for so many years and got away with acting like that. Then came a time when I realized I had to change and because of loving people in my life and the twelve steps I know better now, I am not acting like I used to. When I got sober, I still had behaviors I did not stop, like running around with men. Eating, using food as a fix and that problem with food I still have.
I think back on how lazy I was. When I got sober when my clothes got dirty I threw them out and went to thrift shops to get new ones because I hated to do the laundry. I was working, so I did not think about how I was wasting money. I was really in need of professional help when I got sober.
You notice the word need. I say the word need because that is what I got, needing not doing.
At that time I did not do, I just continued needing help. What I mean is I did get help on my drinking and drugging, but I needed to accept help in the other aspects of my life but I did not at that time. I finally did get and accepted the help. I learned to do the laundry, which helped a lot. I was able to wear clean clothes. The thrift shop is not a place of substitution for the laundry, I am laughing as I am writing that was pretty insane thinking I had.
I had to learn how to live. Let me change the word “learn” to experience. I had to experience living life in a different way than what I was used to. Some of us could use a little more help than others. I did. As soon as I thoroughly believed in a higher power and became willing, it did not matter how much I changed. What mattered was willingness on my part. I had to be willing to change and become honest and then everything seemed to fall into place for me a little at a time. I did things and changed things. I decided to re-choose my thoughts and actions and I decided to admit to my inner most self that I needed help. The reason I tell you all this is because it is the truth and this book is about my life, my beliefs, and how I got help. As you can tell from reading this book I was a lost soul. I wanted to live life to the fullest. I did not know how to go about living life. I wanted to stop my insane behavior so I asked for help. I wanted to stop doing those behaviors because they were not in my best interest as you can tell. I had to change if I wanted peace.
The saying in recovery is get the things out of the closet, meaning those deep seeded secrets that we keep inside and pretend they are not there.
Those are the things that are destructive to me.
I had to let those secrets out, I am grateful I did. Today I can honestly say I have let them out. If I find other memories, which I remember from my past in drinking or past in sobriety, or childhood, I write it down and let it out with a friend I can trust. I believe this is all a process, memories may come back and I will have to let them go as they show up. When I do inappropriate actions; I will have to let go.
That is why I have the people who love me around me to help remind me. That is how it works; I have God and others to help me let go. I believe I have to get all the things out of the closet and be honest with myself within myself. I may be able to fool you, but I cannot fool God or myself.
The twelve steps have helped me to let go of those deep secrets, get them out and let go. Secrets are like poison to me, if I keep them hidden they come out in a rage, and they can destroy others or me.
This was not what I had in mind to do when I got sober, to tell others my secrets. But after I did and really got honest with myself, I felt so much better. I believe I have to let out my thoughts with someone so I do not have to act on those thoughts. Some thoughts are ok to act on, but a lot of my thoughts are negative, so I have to let them go and learn to laugh at them and change what I think. It is like when a child thinks he or she can fly, so the child goes on top of a building and tries to fly but falls instead. The child acted on the thought and should have changed that thought. I had to do a lot of changing in my thoughts and actions.
The rewards I have received from changing my thoughts and letting go of my secrets, have been over flowing. I have received so much from within myself. I have a freedom, a peace I have never experienced and a love that is all a gift from the Spirit God. A confidence I never thought I would have. When I got honest and completely surrendered my will and life to God, I received so much within, it did not happen over night and it still is happening. I cannot stop surrendering for me it is an every day process and I have to or I can loose it because if I do not keep myself centered with the Spirit then I may forget and repeat my old actions. Just because I surrendered does not mean I do not make mistakes.
The difference is I know God is with me and I can start my day over anytime I choose to.
My mistakes can be learning experiences that I don’t need to repeat. I can get to the point of not repeating the same mistakes over and over and I can make new mistakes and then choose to change those. Life is all about experience. Since we are spiritual beings having a human experience we make mistakes but the more we stay centered with the Spirit the faster we can change the mistakes. Masters seem to change faster. They make mistakes, they are not perfect, they just are centered with the Spirit and can catch mistakes faster and change. They can catch them before they become an action. We all have so much potential within us to experience, what a gift and what a life we have thanks to the Spirit within.
Going within helps me to be centered and helps me to see what I need to change within myself. I have found out a lot about myself from being quiet and going within. I have found things I need to change, but also things I posses and need to keep.
I also find I can catch myself in my thoughts so those negative thoughts do not turn into actions. I have found my talents and my love. I have found parts of me I did not know existed.
I have experienced God by going within. I have experienced love within me that I did not see. I have found out I am not so bad after all; in the beginning I had a fear because I thought going within I would see a negative and an evil. I saw the opposite I saw all love and goodness and the things I saw that need improvement were not evil.
I saw that there is no such thing as evil. I saw that life is just an experience, not good or bad and how we can choose and re-choose. What a gift I got from that. Now I enjoy going within. Going within can be a stress reliever and a peaceful experience. It can calm the day to take a break for a few minutes even two minutes and breathe and just be. Letting the Spirit flow can make a difference in a day.
I am finding that God is experience. I can experience God in many ways.
I can feel the experience of going within and looking at a sunset and just being myself.
I found that when I was thinking of God as in a religious aspect, I felt as if I was on stage, so now I think of God as a loving God. I do not have to perform I can be myself and experience God in all ways.
I got rid of the judging God and have a loving God and I feel more centered than I have ever felt. I believe we are all God’s children and we have a gift.
The gift is God the power within We can use that power to help ourselves and to enjoy life. To give to others and to love each other. We can give back what we have received.
That is why I choose to share a part of me with you in this book. I enjoyed this experience and I enjoyed every moment of writing this book. My wish is! If this book can just touch one heart then the book has done what I intended it to do. I know that God loves you just the way you are and I hope if you get anything from reading this book it can bring joy of gratitude in your life or it can make you glad you did not make the mistakes I did so either way this book did good. I am grateful to have lived the life I have and I am grateful to write this to share a part of me with you.
Here is one last affirmation:
I am the place where God shines through. I am full of gratitude. I am one with the Spirit. I am healthy. I am full of abundance in all aspects of my life. I can do anything my heart desires and so it is.
Love to all and thank you for being here.
Reach out your hand and let the Spirit touch you and then you touch someone else and so it goes on and on the Love of God through and through.
Copyright © 1999-2006 by Denise Contreras