Author’s Note: With regard to this “series” on WYSB, I must reiterate that the original idea was to give people an unfiltered platform to express how they honestly feel about themselves, and if they would like, the world. The idea was that one could send their own version of “How’s Your Now,” anonymously if they choose, to the WYSB email (email@example.com), and I would post it on the site with the belief that although each individual is unique in their own right, we are very much the same. Without further ado:
I guess I figure that if I don’t pass along an update that it leaves too much room for somebody to speculate on whether I made my way to a liquor store or not. Good news; I haven’t. Last week I eclipsed the year and a half mark without booze. It’s a miracle, really. A miracle that I owe to the One True God, the people I have met in the rooms, and all of my family and friends that have supported me along the way. People aren’t so lucky to have that support. Some people have family that have given up hope on them, and render it useless for them to even try. What an unfortunate circumstance that is. Fortunately, I don’t have that problem, and I am forever grateful for it. Let’s do this the following way:
Physically: I just absolutely de-fucking-stroyed three items from Taco Bell, but other than that I feel pretty damn good physically. Probably better than I have ever felt physically before. I’ve played basketball practically every single day since I’ve been out of treatment, the politically correct way to say rehab. If I skip a day, the next day I go back out there, I resort to all the bad habits I came into the game with. Body goes before ball, hand isn’t underneath the ball, pulling instead of pushing, among many other issues. A bit analogous to life, that. If I stop practicing whatever it is that I want to become better at, if even just for one day, then I did not get better that day. In fact, I probably regressed. But, anyway, I feel good physically. My lower back is on the way out, but I got plenty of spring left in me.
I’m kind of snitching on myself here as it’s possible only a select few would notice this, but my teeth have taken a turn for the worse. Maybe everyone has already noticed, but if they haven’t, they will now, won’t they? Oh, well. I will sacrifice my insecurities at the altar of WYSB. Whatever gets the clicks, I guess! In all seriousness, I kind of get pissed at God over it. When I see people out here in Tennessee smoking two packs per day without any dental repercussions, or without even caring about the dental repercussions it makes me wish that I, too, could carry on through life with such a lack of conscience. However, the other side of that coin is the California way of living, which is becoming so self-conscious that people end up dripping with insecurity and insincerity. In the end, I suppose I prefer the Tennessean way. Fuck it. “Cause in the end they’ll judge me anyway, so, whateverrrrrrrrr!” But I would like to be able to smile again. A lot of you really do bring me great joy, and I would like to be able to show you all that instead of having to tell.
Mentally: We talk about “surrender” in the rooms quite a bit. A friend of mine that I still maintain contact with once asked me, “What the fuck is it that we are surrendering to?” Verbatim. Well, in war, you surrender to the enemy. Who or what is the enemy? It is not alcohol; it is the mind. The greatest enemy of man is the mind. At least it can be. I remember the therapist I was seeing in California recommended the book “The Imp of the Perverse” to me, which I read about four pages of before I closed it, but I’ve been meaning to read it again. Anyway, the book dealt in combating ‘intrusive thoughts,’ a struggle for me that was infinitely worse about two years ago. Continual use of alcohol had warped my mind. What I’ve learned is that I am not unique in this respect. Phew. Thank God. This realization was the same feeling of failing to do my homework, getting to class, and finding out that at least one other screw-up of a kid had failed to do his as well. We are not alone. Gautama Buddha and Mara share a similar story to Jesus and Satan. The story of Buddha inviting Mara in for tea was a bit of a turning point for me. Attempting to fight the thoughts, we can call them demons, does not work. “I see you, Mara. Come, let’s have tea.” If I shut the door on the divine because some negativity stepped inside then I have shut the door on God just as well. “What an unfortunate life,” says Sadhguru. This is all spirituality, though, isn’t it? We’ll get to that.
Emotionally: My cousin is getting married later this month. It brings me great joy to see him tie the knot, and to be able to see my family again. A bit envious, though, I must say. I wish I was doing the same. An old friend of mine was essentially telling me the other night that never again does she want to put the required amount of stock it takes into another human being for a relationship to work. That was lengthy. Here is the condensed version: Putting too much stock into somebody else is setting yourself up for a massive let-down. That’s a reasonable take. Will Hunting tells Robin Williams (Sean), “And some people will lose a big hand like that and have the sack to ante up again!” While I can recognize the logic in her thinking, I just fail to see what the alternative is. Sit alone and pontificate to myself about how there is nobody out there for me anymore?
I say all that to say that I feel that I have a lot of love to give. Perhaps a byproduct of holding on to so much of it in my previous attempt at a relationship, but that matters not at this point. It’s almost as if I am just itching to give it away to the very next person who pays attention to me – OR – maybe I need to start paying attention to more people. This is something I touched on in “Bugs Bug the Shit Out of Me.” (https://whatsyourstorybro.com/2021/10/01/bugs-bug-the-shit-out-of-me/) It is untrue that I am not being paid attention to. Something or someone always is paying attention, but it is up to me to recognize it, or not to disregard it completely because it wasn’t the something or someone I want attention from. Alexa! Play “Close the Door” by Teddy Pendegrass. Baby, I got so much looooove to give!
Spiritually: Recently, I bought a ‘Buddha Backflow Incense Burner’ in hopes to intensify my meditation. It’s basically a small Gautama Buddha statue. Yes, I hear you. That does seem a little sacrilegious, but when you think of meditation you immediately think of Gautama Siddhartha underneath the Bodhi Tree. All I am really trying to do is emulate the master of meditation, but with the actual process itself being centered around “Him.” He might hate that, but I really don’t know. If He does, I figure He will tell me. Christianity and Buddhism might be far apart as far as how the people aligned with those respective religions see the world, but the men themselves, Jesus Christ and Gautama Siddhartha, in my personal opinion, are not far apart at all. In fact, my contention is that they are very similar. But humans don’t like that. We want war and conflict, so any coming together of the two is out of the question it seems. Anyway, it has indeed intensified my meditation. It is this feeling that I truly have entered some kind of different realm, and with eyes closed I don’t have any idea what is floating around me. Could be angels; could be demons. I guess this is where I was going earlier with the story of Gautama inviting Mara in for tea. There is no reason for me to be afraid. The negative spirits of the divine took the biggest L in the history of existence on that third day, and in turn I – we, were handed the biggest W. So, “Come on in, Lucifer. Let’s have a little tea.” Nothing you want to happen can happen so long as I don’t shut out the Sunlight of His Spirit; therefore, the door to the divine is open.
I heard a definition of prayer the other day that I quite liked. Prayer is having a problem or situation, and you are willing to accept any answer that will manifest itself. Any answer. Typically speaking, the answer is counter-intuitive to what I originally want to do. The opportunity for growth, spiritual growth for that matter, lies in taking action that goes against the grain to what I want to do. What that signifies is the death and the resurrection. This sounds harsh or morbid, but you kill a part of yourself so that you can become made anew. We let the parts of ourselves that need to die – die.
I’ll end with this. I’m going to be attending school again pretty soon with the hopes of becoming some type of counselor, although I do have a persuasive friend of mine who is pushing me to take philosophy classes, which would mean abandoning the counselor route. When I envision a future that involves me being a counselor, I know that I’m going to use a 3 Step Questionnaire repeatedly. A 3 Step Questionnaire that is the answer to any problem:
1) What is the truth?
The catch is that there is only one answer to this. If you know what the truth is then there is no need to continue because you already know. However, it does beg the question that since you know the truth already, why do you still have a problem? If you don’t know what the truth is, continue on with the questionnaire.
2) Who is the truth?
If I don’t know the truth, that means I need somebody to tell me. But, who?
3) Where do I find it?
Once I figure out the answer to number two, I need to figure out where to find it..
Complete this questionnaire, and I don’t have to worry about that particular problem ever again.
Thank you for reading. Keep coming back. We need each other.
How’s Your Now: Joshua Nourse – 11/02/21.