Sunday Homework

…A Path I did not Take

My (therapy) Writing class homework for this week, simply lists a dozen or more writing prompts.

Sometimes the more prompts, the less productive my brain feels.  So, I’m kinda struggling to get into this.  A prompt that particularly struck me, is actually the one that troubles me the most.  Oh yes, Prophet Doom and gloom!

I feel that life has been off-course for many years, sometimes I wonder if it ever was on-course. Maybe it was always destined for self-destructive rough terrain. 

I’ve had my fair share of heartache.  Memories that still make my own hair stand on end.  Things I will never forget; horrors etched on my mind for eternity.  Maybe one day, a number of ghosts will emerge from the closet.  For now, my writing class is all about focussing on My Story of Recovery

One thing I have always been certain of, albeit ashamed, is that I am Captain of my ownImage ship.  If life has been difficult, it was usually a product of my own doing.  The drugs, alcohol, and the dishonesty that accompany substance misuse.  The friendships disappointed and relationships tested to the limits – a limit that I often orchestrated to the end.

My emotional instability is still partial to those ultimate self-destruct moments – when you lose everything, including dignity and self-respect, it is difficult to have trust in yourself again.  I still anticipate a lack of self-discipline, and harbour gut wrenching fear of disappointment when I fail.

It has always been in the name of ‘self-destruct’.  Do I really hate myself that much?

At the turn of our new millennium, December 1999, I distinctly remember making that vital decision to break away from the life and lifestyle that had been pretending for too long. 

ImageThis was… “A path I did not take”.   

I thought, the best way of to get rid of the past, is to strip bare of family, friends, relationships, ex-relationships and cut off absolutely everything from the past.  The intention was a fresh start.

Rather than start a new beginning, I started to withdraw and found solitude in peaceful isolation….blissful isolation.  For the first time, I felt secure; no need to put on a face of pretence.  It was safe and a welcomed break from my crumbling social paranoia.

ImageThe “lost years” have not all been about stagnation.  There have been times of healing and transformation and periods of deep spiritual growth.  I am clean of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes AND co-dependent relationships.  Oh! And I am at a ‘healthy distance’ with my family.  My current problem is procrastination.

Somehow, my zest for embarking on a new journey/a new me is being supressed by a fear of moving forward – terrified of moving outside my bubble.  I may well have removed myself from ‘a path I did not take’ but I feel cast adrift with little enthusiasm for a compass.  My apathy for life is pitiful and I spend most of my days pretending I’m doing okay, but I know it is not what I want.

Attending this therapeutic writing class is a huge step forward.  Maybe this is paving the path I should take.

22 thoughts on “Sunday Homework

  1. ziggy40

    Thank you for sharing. I think going to ‘recovery’ is a big step, that’s fantastic! I’m also in a ‘recovery’ day programme. It does alot of things, that are challenging me. Wishing you more forward moment…lol
    love Ziggy


  2. releasing lunacy

    Cat, It sounds like you’ve traveled a long way to get to where you are now. It might not being a very exciting place, but it sounds like it’s safe and healthy. I don’t know if they have “rest stops” along highways in the UK like here in the US. But it sounds like you veered away from the self-destructive path in 1999 and then pulled into a rest stop. Now, it seems like you’re wanting to get back out onto the road and drive. That’s actually pretty awesome. You took time to pull yourself together and rest. Just like it can be a little nerve-wracking pulling back out into speeding traffic from the rest stop, it’s scary to jump back into life. I think you’re doing great with this blog and the writing class. I see you moving back out onto the road. You just have to start thinking about where you want to go!! -rl


    1. Cat Post author

      Hi RL…Your comment is very warm and encouraging. We call those motorway “rest stops”, “service stations”. You are so right…


  3. N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ

    Cat, you have the gift of articulation. You have come so far — overcoming the addictions. Wow. You have to be proud so of yourself — you should be. =)

    This writing class seems like it’s going to be very beneficial. Who knows what connections you might make. I’m happy for you and wish you the best as you embark on your new journey — your new adventure. You really are an eloquent writer.

    “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

    ~George Eliot


    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Victoria….wow, I love that quote…so app! You’re right, I should feel proud, but maybe I’m just too hard on myself

      I am so grateful for your support….. I have learned a lot from you. Thank you


  4. Susan Irene Fox

    Cat, solitude is a wonderful thing. Sometimes, one just needs time alone, listening to your own voice, or time with God listening to His voice, to get back in touch with your own heart. Not many people are courageous enough to take that road. Sounds like you have taken the “one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”


    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Susan. You are right, taking time out is huge – even terrifying – for many. Have you read the book, “The Road less Travelled”?


  5. brokenbutbeingrepaired

    Like others have said, Cat I am full of admiration for you. This writing class seems to be doing you so, so much good, too.
    You’ve taken huge steps forward, already….looking forward to following the next steps on your journey, wherever that takes you.

    Sending big hugs your way.
    ((( Cat )))


  6. myspokenheart

    Hey Cat, Keep on keeping on, remember every step, no matter how small, is still a step.
    Yes you are the Captain of your ship, and you have done a beautiful job of recovering from a mutiny. I know that when you are ready you will set sail on open sea and seek that grand adventure. It is scary but it is also invigorating.

    I just want to feel alive and full of purpose, and I think you feel that way too. But it is so scary, and so much easier to live that exciting life inside your head. But we both know that isn’t really living, it’s hiding, and setting ourselves up for a life of “what if’s” and “if only’s”…. and let’s face it regret sucks.

    ((HUGZ)) my friend – know that you inspire me.


  7. hubertwrites

    Hey Cat great post very open and descriptive!

    Man I get you so clearly It’d be great to just sit down somewhere and have a long visit.
    Keep up the writing your good at it.
    Some day I pray we all get the deep healing we so desperately need

    God did send his son into the world so that we could have life more abundantly, but somehow some of us have missed a thing or two along the way, but God hasn’t missed us and I believe if we keep asking he will come round with mercy grace love and truth and one day our stumbling blocks will be taken out of the way and we will be healed


  8. Gel

    I think periods of solitude as one end of a continuum, with full engagement with community being at the other end of the continuum is a great tool. It helps me remember that too much at either end is probably not healthy. The continuum has all kinds of gradations in between too.

    The cultural/social containers that we live in do not usually have much help to offer us when our mental health is in crisis. We shouldn’t take all the “credit” (blame) for our difficulties.

    It’s hard for me to see stagnation here…solitude after the clean sweep might have been the only way to make a new start and as you said…..”There have been times of healing and transformation and periods of deep spiritual growth. I am clean of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes AND co-dependent relationships. Oh! And I am at a ‘healthy distance’ with my family. “….

    All of that is HUGE HUGE HUGE!!!
    And now you are taking steps to build on to the new foundation by blogging and doing this writing class….OK so this is how it looks to me,
    You also wrote:
    “I may well have removed myself from ‘a path I did not take’ but I feel cast adrift with little enthusiasm for a compass. My apathy for life is pitiful and I spend most of my days pretending I’m doing okay, but I know it is not what I want”.
    I know sometimes when I write on my blog about things that are going better….I feel disonance because it’s still pretty hard for me in the moment to moment, day to day…..kind of like what you are saying. It’s a weird mix, to have overcome so much, but to still have so much to do and to have tough days….We are these complicated mixtures.

    I tell myself to just keep going forward and stay in connections.


    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Gel. You have said a lot here that I have been thinking over the last couple of days. I think that time of solitude was the right thing to do. We all seem to underestimate just how far we have come in our journey…in my case, I can be too focussed on the negatives. This writing class is a good move for connecting me to life again…maybe one day I will be looking for that compass



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