The Drunken Sailor

Maybe you have heard this song:

What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor?
What shall we do with the drunken sailor?

What shall we do with the drunken sailor?

What shall we do with the drunken sailor

Early in the morning?

REFRAIN

Hooray, up she rises!

Hooray, up she rises!

Hooray, up she rises!

Early in the morning

Put him in the brig until he’s sober

Put him in the brig until he’s sober

Put him in the brig until he’s sober

Early in the morning

(repeat REFRAIN)

What shall we do with the drunken sailor?

What shall we do with the drunken sailor?

What shall we do with the drunken sailor?

Early in the morning

(repeat REFRAIN)

Pull out the plug and wet him all over

Pull out the plug and wet him all over

Pull out the plug and wet him all over

There are a lot of other verses and some of them are really crude.  Most of them detail some sort of punishment for the drunken sailor.  i mean, he deserves it, right?  Stupid idiot drunk.  You’ve seen people and thought that, so don’t even start.

Perhaps i’d be willing to “Scrape the hair off his chest with a hoop-iron razor”  (that is an actual verse) if i didn’t feel so much like the drunken sailor lately.  You know…the screwup i am, choking in a sea of guilt and shame.  Most of us know a lot about guilt and shame, but let’s take a refresher.  I feel like shit, so hop right in.

Does that clarify?  Good.  Feeling guilt and shame is natural, by the way.  Sociopaths and psychopaths are folks who have different concepts of guilt and shame.  Stole this from WebMd, cause they know more than i do:

“A key difference between a psychopath and a sociopath is whether he has a conscience, the little voice inside that lets us know when we’re doing something wrong, says L. Michael Tompkins, EdD. He’s a psychologist at the Sacramento County Mental Health Treatment Center.

A psychopath doesn’t have a conscience. If he lies to you so he can steal your money, he won’t feel any moral qualms, though he may pretend to. He may observe others and then act the way they do so he’s not “found out,” Tompkins says.

A key difference between a psychopath and a sociopath is whether he has a conscience, the little voice inside that lets us know when we’re doing something wrong, says L. Michael Tompkins, EdD. He’s a psychologist at the Sacramento County Mental Health Treatment Center.

A psychopath doesn’t have a conscience. If he lies to you so he can steal your money, he won’t feel any moral qualms, though he may pretend to. He may observe others and then act the way they do so he’s not “found out,” Tompkins says.”  (https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/sociopath-psychopath-difference#1)

i don’t have a little voice inside me.  i often joke about “hearing voices” but that is closer to the truth than most people realize.  I have TONS of voices and i would be surprised if you only had one.  This is a huge one, unfortunately.

You may have heard this one, especially if you were raised in one of those crazy assed religious environments.  I was not.  i signed up later on.  It was fun, but a little crazy.

You would think there would be more conversation about grace and forgiveness and stuff, but it is usually saved for the quiet little “guilt and shame” times around the altar.  Do i sound bitter?  Yup.  It’s a voice.

And the voice says to me, “Don’t try again.  Haven’t those people caused enough pain in your life?  You have enough guilt and shame for now…maybe later.”  i forget about the grace i received and the kindness.  And another avenue of support sabotaged.  Damn voices.

There are others.  There is the one that says, when i brought home a test that says, 95% and someone asks, “Where’s the other 5%?”  If only i had tried harder to be perfect.  Heard that one too.  It is a tragic thing to be considered “smart”.  Expectations run higher.

And i have been trained in perfection, trust me.  And have failed miserably.  Damn voices.

Let’s not forget the voice that says not to share my emotions, even with close friends, especially with those close friends.  It’s a small town and people talk.  i’ll wait.  i’ll deal with people later.  And another voice wins.  And another avenue of support is erased.

Are you noticing a theme here?  Where are the voices that tell me i am ok?  Where are the voices that tell me i am on the right track?  And where are the voices that encourage and support and hold me together?

I was a bleeding man all day today.  Nothing particularly dramatic happened.  i seem to remember feeling love unconditionally and supported by the love of my life, Sarah, when we spoke this morning.  I have memory problems and can’t remember the whole conversation, but i remember the voices.  They have followed me all day.  Everywhere.

“You do not deserve this grace.  You do not deserve this kind of love.”  That is true.  i have been shown more grace and love than i can bear.

i’ve done the recovery things.  i was with people and talked with others.  i did my exercise and meditation.  And i still feel like shit.

And the voices beckon.  “Come to us.  You know us.  We are your familiar friends.  Let’s just sit here and mourn how awful and unworthy you.”  Misery is easy when you feel like crud.

Ok.  You understand i had a bad day.  It happens to all of us.  i know.  i came across this and, since i listen closely to random things i read on the net, it spoke to me.  In a better, kinder voice.  Maybe i need to learn to the healthy voices.  They are coming more often.

Again.  Don’t want a pity party.  And i am working on things.  My Recovery is intact, even if, for the longest moment, it did not feel that way.  As long as i work my program for recovery, this too shall pass.

And maybe, someday, those voices won’t be quite so loud.

John the tired, but ok.

 

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