Your very first memories in life are a weird mix. You remember, sitting in Sunday School in that stupid frilly dress sometime in the late 80’s singing a Sunday School song that goes: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong, they are weak, but he is strong.” You have never liked this song, but never knew why, except that you thought it sounded so very fake. Your cynicism wants to say that most people are fake. Perhaps this is because that is because after you sang this cute sounding song in Sunday School, you went home to be beaten and told that you were a “dirty, rotten, filthy, sinner” and that you deserved to go to hell.
You establish right from the beginning that addiction is a fucking, lying bitch. But you know what else is a fucking, lying bitch? Shame. When you’re asked the question: what the opposite of love is, your answer is never hate. Your answer is always shame, because although you hate your shame, you know the truth is that you hate yourself. Hate is fueled by ignorance and prejudice on behalf of another person. Shame, however, is the thing that tells me you that you are not worthy of being loved. Your biggest enemies have never been the ones whose prejudices and bigotry and religious beliefs crushed your tiny spirit and abused your very soul. Your biggest enemy has always been yourself, the lies that you have believed, the hatred that you have taken on about yourself, the things that tell you personally that you do not even deserve love.
You know what addicts do best? You lie. You deceive. You manipulate. You try to control everything. You pretend to be someone you aren’t. You’re are so fucking good at it. And addiction feeds off your trauma, your shame, all those things that you hate and despise about yourself and think that it makes you unlovable…addiction loves them. It offers a shitty-ass solution, soothes you with a cute little tunes like nursery rhymes, except that you get the Korn variety of nursery rhyme not the lullaby kind. And as sweetly as addiction sings, and holds you, and hugs you, and gives you fake love, you still return time and time again for the rush and comfort of your vices.
Your vices have changed over time, to whatever suits you best, whatever you can get away with, or hide the best, but they’ve basically always been sex, or violence, or both. You know damn well you were wounded deeply before you ware old enough to walk, sexually abused, spiritually abused, physically abused, emotionally abused…your spirit crushed. You never got to know who you were created to be. You have never never had the chance to figure it out until now. People talk about you needing to go back to the person you were before they destroyed you, but they destroyed you spirit as a baby and so that person never existed. You have to discover now who that person is, who it is that God created you to be, instead of the person they were forcing you to be.
You end up being subject to a visitation of your own memories and the lies you’ve believed for so long about yourself that they’ve become who you are. You might try to go to sleep and suddenly be whisked away by a random guest to face yourself and your deepest shame, fears, and lies. Things that probably aren’t even yours to own. And then you have to live in terror of the nightly “visits” until you finally remember the other thing you learned in your first memories besides “you’re a dirty, rotten, filthy, sinner” was also “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong, they are weak, but he is strong,” which means it’s time to sing “Jesus Loves Me” that you learned as a toddler instead of singing “dirty, rotten, filthy, sinner” because the tune of “Jesus Loves Me” is just a much better song and it’s time you learn different tunes, the ones that sing the truth and not the lies.
It’s always in those moments when you have a lot to lose that you realize that your life is unmanageable and that you need to sober the hell up. Sobriety is a fucking gift and you don’t deserve it because you were mesmerized by the lullabies of addiction by the time you were four years old, but then again you want healing and so, with fear, and trepidation, and a lot of shame, you start to come clean…
“Jesus loves me, this I know,
for the Bible tells me so,
little ones to him belong,
they are weak, but he is strong.”