Getting Caught Up In The Heat Of The Moment…AGAIN!

Ugh, I did it again! I lost my temper in the heat of the moment just recently and ended up yelling, screaming, and lecturing my partner like he was a little boy, all because he had lost his set of our house keys. I obviously am seeing this repeating pattern and you know what the sad thing is. My love for my partner is far more important than any lost set of house keys.

Looking back on that night when it happened, I had been having a very challenging day on a number of levels. As they would say in most 12 Step recovery programs, I had been feeling extremely restless, irritable, and discontent with my life that day. So, as I stared at my computer at an error message that made absolutely no sense to me, I suddenly heard my partner yell from the kitchen that he couldn’t find his house keys.

I shrugged it off at first while he continued looking, until I heard him finally give up. After I had no success in finding them either, panic set in. Why I panicked over a lost set of house keys was 100% due to being so restless, irritable, and discontent. That’s when I began to get caught up in the heat of the moment and started shouting at my partner. I even went so low as to call him an idiot, which I have much regret and shame over. Frankly, I was afraid that the keys, which included not only our house keys, but also one of the remotes for our home security system, had been stolen at his job, as he works with recovering addicts.

I know, I know, that seems quite a leap from simply losing a set of house keys, but given how my life has had more downs than ups and more mishaps than achievements in recent months, I quickly assumed the worst. Essentially, I let my fear get the best of me, which caused me to get caught up in the heat of the moment to where I treated my partner unfairly and then some.

I really try to be a good soul on this planet, a selfless one at that, one who does more to help others than himself, even in light of my current unforeseen circumstances with my health, but I’m not perfect and never claim to be. I have my fair share of imperfections to still work through, that’s for sure, and this is definitely one of them, especially seeing I’ve reacted this way several times as of late.

Whenever it happens, I always completely lose sight of my spiritual program, my Higher Power, and everything I’ve worked for in my recovery. I don’t take a breath, or count to five seconds, or do anything to calm myself down either. Instead, I just unleash an unholy hell onto the one I love, all because of how restless, irritable, and discontent it seems I’ve become these days.

Regardless, my partner didn’t find his set of keys after retracing his steps the next day, but he promptly got a locksmith over to our house, where every lock was re-keyed. I had our home security company stop by as well to remove the missing remote and reset the entire system with new programming. When all was said and done and the keys being lost became irrelevant, the shame fully set in of how bad this character defect has become for me.

I once had someone advise me that when I start getting caught up in the heat of the moment with anyone I love, to picture them in a casket while taking a deep breath in. Sadly, I haven’t been successful in doing that as of yet, but imagining it now brings me great despair. Nothing I’ve said in the heat of the moment has ever been out of love or compassion. In fact, it’s been quite the opposite.

Although I immediately asked for forgiveness from my other half as soon as I saw him the next night, the damage was done from my tongue of fire. It’s absolutely a character flaw of mine and one that seems to have reared its ugly head far too many times over the past year as my frustrations with my health continue to mount. But having chronic pain and serious health issues still doesn’t excuse how I occasionally unleash on my partner. Ultimately, I know how I want to be handling it. I know I want to remain calm, rather than get angry, when I feel that heat starting to rise, and I know I want to provide reassurance that we’ll work through whatever the situation is together, rather than resorting to shame or lecturing.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment, when fear or anger gets the best of you, especially when life feels like it’s not going your way. But it’s never right to take any of that out of someone you love, even when they make a mistake, which I see OH-SO-CLEARLY each time I succumb to this low vibrational behavior.

I obviously have a lot more work to do on myself when it comes to this character defect and pray that God will help rid me of a behavior that helps no one and instead only hurts those I’m doing my best to love, including myself.

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

Thought For The Day

Quote #1

“A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is. (Jim Morrison)

Quote #2

“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.” (Bernard Meltzer)

Quote #3

“A true friend isn’t the one who makes your problems disappear. They are the one who doesn’t disappear when you facing problems.” (Unknown)

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

Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to Grateful Heart Monday, where each week begins with gratitude from my life, which for today is for my friend Debbie from Massachusetts, someone who’s remained an active part of my life for over two decades.

I think it’s important to say right off the bat, that there’s only a handful of people who have stuck around the life of Andrew Arthur Dawson for 20+ years and Debbie is one of them, something I’m extremely grateful for given how volatile my existence was over the years.

I first met Debbie in October of 1997 when I was hired into Arbella Mutual Insurance in Quincy, Massachusetts to do Y2K conversion programming on a COBOL mainframe system. At the time, I actually resided in Virginia, just outside Washington, DC, and was looking to do a geographical cure, as my life there was totally out of control. I honestly thought back then that moving to another state would solve all my problems. Spoiler Alert. It didn’t. But that’s a story for another time.

Nonetheless, the team I was hired into at Arbella was led by Debbie and she became my day to day supervisor. From the onset, I really connected with her and truly enjoyed working on her team. She always had a good sense of humor and regularly took the time to connect with me, especially whenever she noticed I was feeling down. How Debbie and I went from being co-workers to friends though is another big reason why I’m grateful for her, and it’s actually quite a comical story.

One day, I came to work after having a huge verbal fight with my then partner and was beginning to realize that relationship wasn’t working anymore. Debbie saw how distressed I was and asked if I needed someone to talk to. I decided to take her up on the offer and we went into a nearby conference room. I wasn’t fully out of the closet back then, yet I finally worked up the courage to tell her the truth because I was convinced she was a lesbian and would understand my issues. As I sat down and began to out myself, telling her everything that was going on in my unstable relationship with my partner, I told her I felt comfortable saying all this because she was a lesbian. When I was done, she smiled and gently responded by saying she wasn’t gay, but thought I was attractive. I probably turned the darkest shade of red that day, yet she totally took it in stride and it became the very thing that would bond us for decades to come.

Towards the tail end of my brief time working with her at Arbella, we took a business trip together to Des Moines, Iowa, where I would experience a complete nervous breakdown on our flight back, as I had decided it was finally time to end my relationship with my partner. When she heard me crying profusely several rows ahead, she ended up moving her seat next to me and spent the entire flight offering plenty of comfort and reassurance. Shortly after that trip, I’d quit Arbella and do another geographical cure by moving back to Virginia, to the same vicinity I had just left about 10 months prior.

I’d remain in Virginia for the next 10 years, but Debbie and I never lost touch during all those years, even when I lived through one addictive mess after another. Always praying for me, always doing her best to lift me up, and always offering me many reassurances upon reassurances that God and she loved me unconditionally. Most people over those years gave up on me, but Debbie never did and anytime I’d take a trip back to Massachusetts to visit my sister, I’d spend a little time with her, reconnecting and feeling very grateful that she was still a part of my life.

In 2007, when I lost the bed and breakfast I owned, faced financial ruin, saw the end of an almost seven-year relationship, and had nothing left really to offer anyone, I moved again back to Massachusetts where I’d finally begin my path to recovery from a life of addiction. Debbie became a regular part of my life again after that.

Over the next seven years I remained in Massachusetts, Debbie opened up her home in Braintree to me, as well as her second home on Cape Cod, a place I found great respite in on many a weekend. I loved visiting her there, as there we’d go to the beach together, chat late into the night about so many spiritual topics, enjoy coffees and desserts at an awesome place called Hot Chocolate Sparrow, play some games, watch movies, dine out, and simply appreciate each other’s company. It was during this time that Debbie became family to me, something I don’t take lightly given how little family I’ve had in this life.

It’s been over five years now that I left Massachusetts, and I’ve only seen Debbie twice since then. Once, because she drove through Toledo and stayed with my partner and I, and once because I returned there last summer where I got to spend an afternoon and evening with her doing a whale watch and having dinner, both of which provided me lasting memories. Yet, even with the long gaps of time in between seeing each other, I remain close to Debbie, as she has offered me a number of consoling conversations over the phone on high physical pain-filled days.

In the end, as I reflect upon a woman I certainly have much to be grateful for, the thing about Debbie to be the most grateful for is simply this. She is one of those people who tend to see the best in someone, even when they’re at their worst and someone who never gives up on you, even when you may have already given up on yourself. I love Debbie for this and felt it was time to express some much-needed and long-overdue appreciation for a woman I hope and pray will remain my friend for the rest of this life…

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