acceptance · behavior · Concerts · emotions · gratitude · Mental Health · recovery · Self · thoughts
Photo Credit: Heath Ceramics Website Charles Eames “4”



Cages or wings,
Which do you prefer?
Ask the birds

Fear or love, baby
Don’t say the answer
Actions speak louder than words

“Louder Than Words,”
Tick Tick Boom, Jonathan Larson
During these days of self reflection, I always go back to my roots…musical theater. Betcha didn’t see that coming. Our family always went to a lot of musicals. Tons of them in New York and Boston. The past two days I have had Jonathan Larson’s Tick. Tick…Boom on during my commutes to and from work. The musical is Larson’s first Broadway piece that focuses on his protagonist, Johnny (most likely him) turning 30. Larson would go to write and compose the music for Rent, and die of a brain aneurysm the night of the dress rehearsal before its Broadway debut. Rent won the Tony in 1996 and I believe a Pulitzer. So hey, the guy can write and compose quite the song. He’s influenced tens of thousands of people, including Lin-Manuel Miranda and me.
Jonathan Larson, Wikipedia
No, I don’t write musicals about significant men in American history, or tell fables of Moana through the magic of Disney animation. No, I humbly help people in my job as a librarian and as a marketing professional for nonprofits. Thanks to Jonathan Larson I knew that all the pain I went through in junior high school, high school, and college would be put to good use some day. Compassion and Empathy would be currency. Larson was my cheering section for it all from “Louder Than Words” to “Glory” in Rent. Because of him, I knew I had to write that “one last song before I go.”
tick tick boom
Photo Credit: All
And to think I nearly took myself out before that happened. The booze should have won many times over, but the universe, and I’d like to say Larson too, sitting on his cloud up there, saw reason for me to stay right here on Earth.
Removing alcohol from my life allowed me freedom. I am no longer caged. I have the freedom to do the work I love and recognize when my behavior, emotions, and thoughts get out of hand. The last bit is what I like to call, the responsibility of freedom. Sometimes it looks like going back to someone and saying “Sorry,” or asking if someone’s day was okay.
You can be free too. 
I only write about this today because I hope to help another person who is struggling with unmanageable thoughts, emotion, and behavior. If you are out there struggling with an addiction to shopping, food, sex, alcohol, drugs, video games, or any other substance or activity that has made your life unmanageable, please seek help. You and all the people that love you deserve the best version of YOU!
Right now, I don’t feel right. I don’t feel worthy of what I have accomplished this year….but hey, I’m here. I feel a stressed, racing heart, that only wants to work to escape its intense feelings. I feel sad and experience moments of anger. I lost hope that my body was healing — my tinnitus blares, jaw aches, and my stomach stops operating, yet again.
But today…I can make a change in my perspective. I can see that my thoughts and behaviors are flawed and work toward fixing those parts that need to be mended. I can listen to music, any kind of music, to soothe my soul. I can talk to a friend, or do some yoga, or draw, write, or exercise. 
Today I have options. 
If this had been over five years ago I would have only seen one option; I most definitely would have picked up a drink over it. Today I don’t. The obsession is truly gone. I have no interest in the stuff, which is plain bananas to me. Today I know what I have to do to stay in the game even though I am off kilter. You can too. You can learn all the tricks and find all the treats! (Happy Halloween)
So if you need help, please seek it. If you need inspiration, read or listen to Larson’s words. He will move you.
I really love the resources available at NAMI because if we have an addiction we most likely have a mental health issue, too. If the “world is too much with you,” as our father William Wordsworth said, please pick up the phone and get some relief!
M-F, 10 AM – 6 PM ET
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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