I Feel So Empty…

I feel so empty, like a car running on fumes that’s seriously in need of a fill-up, except in my case, I can’t seem to find the fuel, or the pump for that matter, no matter what I do.

In my 12 Step recovery from addiction world, it’s always said that when one feels empty, it’s best to get out of oneself and help another. So, I’ve tried to fill that emptiness by sponsoring others, by volunteering, and by attending more meetings. Yet, most frustratingly, it hasn’t helped much to fill up that feeling of emptiness whatsoever. Through my recovery, I also learned to pray and meditate each day, do daily affirmations, write gratitude lists, listen to positive music, and eat healthy, but none of that seems to have any effect on removing my emptiness either. In addition, I’ve tried to deal with the emptiness by keeping myself busy with healthy hobbies like going to more movies, working on puzzles, watching uplifting television programs, and coloring in my adult coloring book, but none of them have had much success with removing the emptiness, even for brief periods, either.

And as much as I’m not happy to report this, I’ve even resorted to trying to fill the emptiness with things I know wouldn’t be healthy for me in the long run if I kept them up. Things such as the occasional flirting and fishing to see if someone else finds me attractive, glancing at pictures of people on Facebook I find handsome, or trying to hang out with people I think are good looking. Things such as eating 92% dark chocolate for comfort, pigging out on junk food till I feel bloated, or overeating in general. Things such as buying a scratch ticket or visiting a casino here and there. And things such as trying to oversexualize my own relationship. All of which has done nothing to remove my emptiness and if anything, created even more of it.

And last, but most definitely not the least, I have sadly attempted to forget about my emptiness by attempting to control other people, take their inventory, and make it my business to help them see the work they could do on their life. All any of that’s done is just piss people off.

Honestly, I have no idea how to remove this emptiness and believe me when I say I’ve been sitting with it more than not, without trying to temporarily fill it, for about a year and a half now. I have begged God to fill it. Begged and begged and begged. Because ultimately, I don’t believe there’s any person, place, or thing here that can take it away and I’ve exhausted countless energy, money, and resources to figure that out.

It is said that only God can truly ever fill that emptiness and help us feel full of life and zest and joy, but no matter how hard I’ve tried to connect with God, He seems to be on radio silence with me. I’ve waited and waited and waited and waited, asking for guidance and direction, often feeling like I’m being punished for something when I receive no answers as to why I feel so empty.

I have no answers right now as to how to comfort this little boy within me who keeps crying day after day, who feels like he’s been abandoned. I continue to do my best to remain clean and sober and help others in the process. I continue to keep doing my healthy activities as well, with an occasional backslide here and there. But, all in all, I remain still and wait upon God and have never gone through as long of period as this where I haven’t felt God’s presence and instead, have felt this incredibly deep and dark emptiness. An emptiness that I can’t seem to fill or escape from, no matter what I do.

Lord, my tank feels empty and I’m in desperate immediate need of Your fuel. I have nothing left to give but my life itself, which you know is Yours anyway to do with as You wish. Please help me God. Please remove this emptiness and replace it with joy and a lot more of You, as I know only You can do. Because a life that constantly feels empty, where I don’t feel You, is a life I’m truly struggling to see is still worth living. Yet a life filled with You is most certainly one worth living, one where even something as simple as taking a single breath will provide me all the fuel I need to keep on, keeping on, and one where I know  my car will never run empty again…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Missing The Ocean, The Caribbean, And Most Definitely Some Snorkeling…

After recently discussing how I’ve been running out of things to say in my blog, a friend suggested talking about any of my vacations to exotic or interesting places. Ironically, the last time I took any sort of exotic trip was to where I actually met this friend, that being Grand Cayman in February of 2016. Sadly, I haven’t travelled since because of how challenging it’s been with my health.

Nevertheless, there is one thing I truly miss from all those exotic vacations I used to take with such regularity in my life and that’s seeing the brightly lit clear blue ocean that I always experienced when in the Caribbean. By way of cruise or a land-based resort, every year for more than a decade, I’d take a one to two-week vacation somewhere in the Caribbean. And one thing I always made sure to do whenever I was on one of those getaways was to go snorkeling, and usually a few times at that.

I love snorkeling and wish I could somehow beam myself onto a Caribbean island whenever I want, solely to do this activity at least once a week. Gliding across the top of the ocean and exploring what’s underneath was always so peaceful for me. Even with all my pain, the buoyancy of the salt waters and the warmth of them as well would always support and soothe me, all while I found a wonderful way to draw closer to another aspect of God.

Through my many snorkeling adventures, I’ve swam next to huge sea turtles, been within arm’s length of the largest and most colorful lobsters you could ever imagine, held starfish in my hands, stood still as schools of vibrant fish surrounded me, fed and petted stingrays, explored shipwrecks and other treasures left on the seafloor, weaved my way through complex coral reefs, been face to face with barracuda, touched many shiny humongous fish, and plenty more.

In the silence of the depths of the ocean, stress just seems to melt away for me. Quite often I’ll even take a long deep breath and swim down as far as I can where I pretend that I’m part of all the ocean life somehow. I have definitely had some strong spiritual experiences doing so and am very grateful for them.

While I’m told that scuba diving is far better for this type of exploration, I unfortunately can’t equalize the pressure within my ears and suffer too much pain the deeper I dive, so I resort to doing what I can do, which is snorkeling and diving down to about 10 to 15 feet at the most. And honestly, I’m fine with that, as I’ve fully enjoyed all my experiences every single time I’ve done this activity throughout my life and probably would do it on a daily basis if I lived in the Caribbean.

I find the ocean to be extremely healing for me, mind, body, and soul, and know that someday I’d like to be living far closer to one of its shores than I do now. I keep saying I’m going to take a trip again to the Caribbean soon, mostly because I miss those bright blue waters and exploring their depths, but I still haven’t and have gone three years now without doing my most favorite activity in the world. I’m sure a day will come again though where I’ll be snorkeling once more, but for now, I’m at least thankful that I have such vivid memories of doing this activity in plenty of years past.

Regardless, I still like to take a few moments from time to time to close my eyes and visualize myself feeling supported by something so much larger than I. As it’s in each of those moments, where I’m brought back to a place and time that I surely have felt much peace and joy and most definitely the presence of God…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

My Writing Dilemma

Three times I began writing this article for today and three times I realized it was something I’ve already written about sometime in the past. With 2,225 entries thus far, over six years of writing, and not missing a single day ever since this blog’s inception, I find myself now facing a writing dilemma, as I’m beginning to feel like I’ve run out of things to say and am questioning where to go with it from here.

All of this began back on January 14th, 2013 when I posted my very first blog, which was nothing more than basically a “Hello World” type of entry. Ever since, I’ve written about everything in my life, fully exposing every single facet of myself, sometimes to the point where I even surprised myself at how open and honest I was being.

With all the gossipy judgments and criticism that seem to be plaguing our world these days, it’s probably a good thing that neither my blog, nor I, have gained any type of notoriety over the years. The general public would most likely have a field day with me and find plenty of things to crucify me with from my past. Believe me when I say I definitely have a tainted past, yet one I’ve still fully laid out for the rest of the world to see nonetheless.

I know I have some loyal readers who have stuck by my side ever since the beginning and I’m very thankful for them. Frankly, sometimes I think I continue to write solely because of them. At the same time though, I also think about not wanting to bore any of them either with yet another article about something they’ve probably read about time and time again.

Honestly, I wish somehow my life would move out of this pause mode that God seems to have me still on. I’ve been waiting on God for so long now for guidance and direction with my life that I’ve forgotten what having any type of normal life feels like.

My health issues have kept me in this pause mode, and left me writing about a lot of the same subjects, with me often repeating many of my same viewpoints, which is most likely the very reason why I don’t garner much in the line of increasing readership.

I’m quite sure my spiritual teacher would gently remind me though that I’m not writing for any of them, that I’m writing for myself, and that even having one reader is a gift in itself. But, truthfully, I’m bored with writing anyway, because I don’t have hardly anything new happening in my life anymore to muse about.

My health issues have kept me mostly sidelined from achieving any of my dreams, aspirations, goals, and the like and all of my prayers surrounding them and my health have been answered by God with mostly silence. And so, I’ve waited. I’ve waited on God and in the process, written about the same things again and again and again, and now I find myself struggling to keep on doing it.

I truly wish that God would end my long-standing health crisis, so that I had enough energy to take on some new tasks in life, tasks that I know would absolutely lead to plenty of more things to write about. Yet, “be still” is the only thing that continues to present itself to me, as anytime I’ve attempted to control this process or my life, has been met with dire results.

So, yes, I’m facing a dilemma with my writing, with this blog, and with my life in general. As I struggle to even make it through most of the basic of life’s tasks nowadays, I continue to write, but with ever depleting hope. I’ve never faced such a long dark night of my soul, one that seems to never have any end in sight. Yet, I still faithfully wait upon God for dawn to come, for the sun to rise within me again, for joy to return, and for His promise to be made true, as I know when it does, that an endless inspiration to write will return…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson