Days 7-9: We Behold These Truths To Be Self Evident

August 11, 2008

Good morning, good afternoon or good evening wherever you are, blog fans, and welcome to my nightmare.


It is currently 12:27am, and I am sat at my new laptop with a pit of anxiety well and truly in control of my emotions.


Friends, I have a confession. I have made a terrible mistake. I allowed my dark side to take a grip of me two weeks ago, and allowed him to something I consider the most pure – unconditional love – and reduce it to rubble. In realising this, I have become consumed by panic that I will never have the chance to rectify this.


I have fallen foul of my most hated patterns – self sabotage, ‘I am unlovable’, and intellectualising instead of feeling – and allowed it to break up a relationship I never wanted to finish. And, friends, as I sit here draped in a sheet, I will admit that the feeling in the pit of my stomach stopping from sleeping is all too clear – in my heart of hearts, I think I may have lost her.


And that, of course, makes me feel even more unlovable than before.


I know this person loves me, but I also know I wounded her. I did not, as I am asking her to do by forgiving me, show unconditional love. Instead, I used the future and hypothetical problems as an excuse to back away from her, disregarding her feelings in favour of my own, and allowed her to think that I was happy – nay, delighted – with this arrangement. I basically told this person that the effort wasn’t worth it, really – that, as they say, the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you love someone, if you love them truly, you put in the effort – regardless of time, or distance – because you want to. And I want to.


I believe this evening’s (Monday) first gathering of my Hoffman support group could not have been better timed.


It is now 12:45am. I am just so sorry for what I did, Lucy.


08:47am: Those were the words of a broken man, indeed.


I woke up this morning feeling better – much better, in fact. Then, I found out this:


Rock super-god Chris Cornell, front man of the epic Soundgarden and vastly underrated Audioslave has had his next album produced by… bloody Timbaland. Now, he sounds like a Justin Timberlake wannabe. That’s a black hole you’re heading into, son. (Did you get it? Did you? Black Hole Sun? No? Hello? Good grief)


Right… now where was I? Hmmm… regret, no done that… feeling better this morning… yes, done that… Chris Cornell is a 40-something wanna-be pop star? Yep, done that… ah yes, the weekend.


Welcome, welcome one and all to the non-suicidal part of the blog; the part where we talk about life, love, happiness, and discuss whether all the Scooby Doo gang were high – not just Shaggy. I mean… how else did they all hear him talk, eh?


And of course, as we always say, today’s blog is the most important blog of the course. No, wait, we don’t. I was just having a mental recall moment.


So, aside from nearly flinging myself off a bridge, this weekend was anchored by one major event – moving back to my parent’s house. Fortunately, this is far from a permanent measure, rather I am house-sitting for them while they swan off around the planet for one of what I am sure will be many summer breaks. In the meantime, I will (apparently) be viewing any number of totally unsuitable and unacceptable places to live. Hoo-bloody-ray.


Moving took two trips – one, on Thursday night, and second, Friday morning, and, after unpacking the basics and getting a haircut, Friday was pretty much a write off. I must say, when you’ve been living in rural Hatfield in what would be considered a very normal sized house, sleeping in a room which is probably larger than all the rooms of your previous house combined certainly takes some getting used to.


Saturday begun with a viewing of a very nice apartment in Highgate – sadly, without a wardrobe, or possibility of getting one – and lunch with my friend Ashley. Perhaps it was because I was about to go through the hells of my Sunday night, (see above) but I have to confess that I was… less than enthusiastic about the whole thing.


Ashley and I met in secondary school through my oldest friend, (though we have since drifted to the point where I wasn’t even invited to his wedding) Paul. We have always been close – I was Ashley’s ‘drinking coach’ at aged 17 – but never actually that friendly. I think, if I put my Oliver James hat on for a moment, that we were friends of convenience, rather than anything out. For years, we used each other to go out on the town, get plastered, and come home. Actually, Ashley plays a key part in one of my greatest escapes – something I hadn’t planned on writing about, but I guess I will now.


I must have been… let’s say 18. Ashley and I were already drinking, at his house. I was well on my way to being drunk, and though he didn’t know it, I am pretty sure I had been to the toilet a couple of times to do a couple of lines of coke for the journey up. The plan was simple: go to our usual hang-out, Strawberry Moons, just off London’s Regent Street, get plastered, and come home. Of course, we’d indulge in the usual posturing and attempted chat-up of women, but really, it was about getting wrecked.


The bar at Strawberry Moons was notoriously packed; always at least 3 people deep. Ashley and I knew this, so, to save time, drinks would be ordered by the jug – at extortionate price, and with extraordinary alcoholic content, aided by my friend Robert, who worked behind the bar.


On the particular night in question, as I remember it, for whatever reason, it wasn’t as busy as usual, and Ashley and I spent the majority of the night perched up against the bar, drinking without break or respite – still by the jug. Looking back now, it seems strange that we would travel what must have been at least £40 each worth of cab fare to go somewhere to drink. But I guess it’s not ‘what’, it’s about ‘where’ in the heady world of teenage politics.


We left even more drunk than usual, and somehow made it back to Ashley’s house. Oh no… I remember now… I was 20. It was the night of my mother’s 40th birthday party. Or I may have been 19. Either way, I was 19 or 20 at the time. So we get back to Ashley’s house, and I take up my usual perch on his couch while he staggered upstairs to bed. I remember lying on his couch, with the room spinning, and thinking ‘I need to get out of here.’ I remember my heart pumping like crazy, (this may have been drug related, I can’t remember) and a sudden panic to leave. I stood up, went to his kitchen, had a glass of water and ran my head under a cold tap. I left the house, got into my car, and ten minutes later, at about 3am, driving along a main road with no headlights on, a car ploughed into the side of me at 50mph, and though I am left with a number of scars from glass and parts of my car sticking into the side of me, I am lucky to have escaped with my life. Perhaps even more than I am to have (somehow) not failed a breath test and gone to prison.


So, anyway, Ashley and I had made arrangements to meet this last Tuesday, but our shared pattern is making arrangements, and then backing out at the last minute. This time, however, I wanted to put that right, despite my dark side urging me otherwise. Eventually, we did indeed meet, I explained about Hoffman, and, ultimately, felt much better. This may have been because we were in an awesome Jewish deli restaurant, but I wouldn’t want to start comparing Ashley to my fantastic sandwich.


After lunch, Ashley said he was going to the gym, and this light a bulb in my head that perhaps this was something I needed to do – to lose some weight, because I have become a right tubby bastard these last few months, and to test my new found determination; to see if I could ‘bash’ without actually bash-ing.


I am lucky enough that I am furnished with a rather wonderful gym in my parents basement, and half an hour later – perhaps a little too soon after lunch, but oh well – we did indeed work our asses off in the gym. (my first visit in 9 months) I enjoyed the process of completing a half an hour run on a random incline (the machine moves up and down as though you are running a hilly terrain) so much, that I actually did it yesterday (Sunday) as well.


As you have probably read above, (the bit that is crossed through) though, the weekend was not all sunshine and astronauts. My ‘episode’ last night aside, I broke my vow – completing 8 days of my proposed 14. I am sure it is tied with how much I missed Lucy this weekend – which I did, terribly – but, luckily, I am not that disappointed. For 8 days, I controlled and totally immersed myself in a new-found ‘no-ness’, and though I fell 6 days short, I am confident that this time will aid me in any future endeavours, allowing me the clarity to see that I made a terrible mistake, and allowed my old self-sabotage to stomp all over me. It was this realisation that led to last night.


Of all the patterns I have emerged from the process with, the most disabling seems to be ‘thinking with the head, and not with the heart’. It is this which allowed me to rationalise breaking up with someone I loved, and it is this which has led to so much self-hatred in the past. I could take up another vow of celibacy, but ultimately, I realise this is not the problem. For someone who had such a wonderful connection to my spiritual self in Florence House to make so many decisions so removed from his desire is a terrible shame. So, my new vow is this: to listen, and to think things with my heart, not with my head. True love – for myself, and for others – will hopefully be my substantial reward.


Until tomorrow, my (true) love to you all


Closed Box






2 Responses to “Days 7-9: We Behold These Truths To Be Self Evident”

  1. Neil Manchester Says:

    David, David, what is going on? This dark and depressing reading- we need humour and lightness from this daily blog! Clearly you are struggling a bit, I think we all are. For me, its the frustration that things haven’t changed at the pace that I perhaps mistakenly believed would happen post Hoffman.
    I repeat the exercises/ tools we were taught, and they really do help, but as we move further away from Flo Ho, the quicker I seem to slide back down to old negative patterns again.
    Whats the answer?

  2. David Levy Says:

    Neil, Neil… it’s not so bad! If I had have carried on writing as I felt last night, you’d have slit your wrists reading! Todays, though tinged with a little sadness, is… better. And things will get even better than that.

    All I can say to you is that – and this is something I try and keep in mind – the changes come from you, not from the outside. Does this help?


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