April 15 of last year I was checking into a 30 day treatment center because my drinking had gotten out of control. I don’t remember much of the first week because I was sedated with Librium, sleeping around the clock, waking up only when the nurses came to check my vitals. Trays of food would show up and disappear, mostly untouched. The only thing I really remember is trying to wake up out of the stupor but unable to keep my eyes open. I was still asleep, dreaming that I was trying to keep my eyes open but I couldn’t. I didn’t realize how bad my drinking had gotten until I checked in and after only having one drink that morning, my blood pressure was 160/90. For reference, I checked it last night at work and it was 115/76 after drinking two caffeine drinks. Night shift…
After a week of sleeping off the withdrawals and detoxing, they let me come out and interact with the other clients. Before every meal we would line up, girls on one end of the hall and guys on the other. Say our name, that we were an alcoholic or addict, and then follow it with I am…smart. motivated. Sober. alive. A good father. A good mother. Worthy. Somebody. And everyone else would say, yes you are! Repeat this 3 times a day for 30 days…People would come in, meek, heads down, beaten. 30 days later, they had hope.
This is one of the biggest things that has stuck with me since leaving treatment. The power of the spoken word. How many times a day do we say, “I am so stupid…so lazy…” So whatever negative thought we have in our minds, we say out loud and it completely changes our demeanor. Yet our words carry vibrations that speak our thoughts into existence, and we don’t realize how powerful our words are.
Navigating this world for the last year after everything I’ve learned in treatment has been interesting to say the least. I’ve said a thousand times I truly believe so much of what I learned in treatment should be taught in high school. Letting go of shame, of expectations and controlling behaviors, realizing what codependency is, learning coping mechanisms…that by saying we’re “fine” we’re really admitting that we’re fucked up, insecure, neurotic and emotional and that we were anything but okay.
Working as a nurse and meandering through the dating scene, I can’t help but repeat others when they inadvertently state a positive affirmation, “Yes, you are!” Honestly, watching people’s reactions to my positive reaffirmation is like watering wilting flowers. I can literally see their spine straighten, their eyes lighten.
The power of the spoken word is unreal. We are literally manifesting our thoughts with every word that we speak.
Ironically, when I was trying to find my way out of that abyss before I went into treatment, I stumbled on Wayne Dyer and I vividly remember listening to his podcast one night in bed, I Am that I Am mediation and feeling an amazing sense of peace. Synchronicity…