Tuesday, April 05, 2011

My Guitar Wants To Heal Your Karma

This year I played an April Fool's joke on myself. I decided that I would stop punishing myself for things that aren't my fault and reward myself just for being alive. That might not sound like a very funny prank and it really wasn't, nor was it intended to be; it was meant as a parting shot at a hateful demon that I hope is cast out of my head forever.

 It's been a long time going, that demon; my exercise in exorcism began in a hospital ER nearly six years ago and ended in a guitar shop last Sunday, where I bought myself the reward pictured above.

It is not as if I don't still love my old guitar. I do. But I need some time away from it and its rather demanding and exotic nature.

A new guitar is like an exciting new lover, it is difficult to keep your hands off and in the first days of your new relationship you will most likely find yourself sneaking into work a wee bit late in the morning, if not calling in sick altogether.


Those of you who know me probably think the demon I refer to is alcoholism , but it is not. I've not really struggled with my alcoholism at all, to tell the truth. My experience in hospital was so painful and traumatic that I knew, were I to survive, I would never drink again.

No, this demon was born the day my childhood ended and although it has certainly contributed to my career of addictions, it itself is not an addiction. I wasn't molested or sold into child slavery or anything like that, nor did I torture animals or any such horrid thing, my trauma was emotional and intellectual- well, as intellectual as a precocious child can be, anyway. I hardly ever think about it, and although there are people in my real life that I could tell, I'd just rather not.

So I told my therapist instead. I spilled it all out in a few minutes, it is a short, ugly story and telling it made me cry. I figured my shrink'd  be jaded and hard to faze after twenty years of listening to crazy people, but she told me that , coupled with what she already knew about my past, that it was amazing that I could function at all, much less thrive and be happy. But I was, and she was unabashedly impressed and told me so. I could swear I saw tears in her eyes as well.

I do have friends who have been very supportive of my 'new' self, but hearing it from an objective professional really helped my self-confidence. Friends will almost always say nice things to you, but your therapist won't. Some lessons were painful, but worth the pain for the insights and glimmers of hope. That feeling of worth and value.

That burst of self-confidence has served me well already. I don't know how long any of it will last, but I'm in a good place at work and I have found that I have a new friend in the upper management level, one who really likes me. I mean really likes me. Job security for me - as long as they keep their job, anyway.

That Thing That Was has been exposed to light and has lost its crippling, guilt-inducing grip on me.  I'm stronger than sorrow and better than guilt and by Godzilla, I deserve something nice for a change.


Judy Bracher Carmichael said...

The wisdom is permanent. Demons may come to haunt again, but what you've learned about them and their effect will always be in place, henceforth. imho ...

Susan said...

By godzilla--can I steal that phrase?

My demons came in a different package, but I totally get this--yes.

billy pilgrim said...

don't let your guard down. those demons can be real tricky.


did you say shazam?...

I love you.

Craig D said...

Ahhh! Therapy can be great with the right therapist.

Congrats on the session, the guitar* and the job!

(*A red tele with humbuckers? That's about as far as you could possibly get from your "pointy driftwood" axe, I'd say...)

Allan said...

J- I've no doubt they'll return in some form, hope my spells still work.

S- Sure, I 'borrowed' it from my old pal Jerky.

B- Voice of reason.

JS- No, I didn't

C- That was the idea, why have two guitars that look, sound and play the same?

Angel said...

Oy Al... I shudder to think of what it could have been that even your shrink was shaken.
You already know I am proud of you.