The New Year’s Post 2015

My new year’s resolution was to finish this post by the end of January. Unless January has 31 days, this is it.

It took me so long, because, when I sat down to write it, I realized that I don’t really remember much of last year. Oh I remember the key points, and I’ll get to that in a minute. However… I don’t remember much because half the time I was drunk. Functional, but drunk. Or at least, nicely buzzed.

I don’t believe there is anything wrong with getting nicely buzzed, or even getting drunk. But I think I am doing it way too many times, and that needs to stop.

This is another way Adventism has fucked me up. Seventh Day Adventists don’t really believe very much in grey areas. Well, maybe the adults do in some parts of the world, but growing up, I was told, In SDA school, mind you, that there were 2 ways to approach drinking:

1. Abstinence

2. Alcoholism

And I was getting bloody tired of abstinence. So I said fuck it and started drinking. And drinking…  and drinking. Until one day I woke up and realized It wasn’t fun anymore. The thrill of rebellion had kinda worn off, and I was no longer drinking because I enjoyed it, I was drinking because it was a habit. I was also starting to worry about my health.

But I didn’t and don’t want to quit drinking entirely. I don’t think it’s wrong for me to love booze, and I don’t even think it’s wrong for me to drink a lot of booze. I’m just beginning to think it’s wrong to drink a lot of booze a lot of the time.

And so, I set out on a journey, a journey that doesn’t end in a drunken state of mind, but a journey to find The Grey (Gray?) Area(tm). Where is this gray (grey?) area exactly? What does it look like? (and don’t tell me it looks “gray,” because that’s not funny.)

What exactly is responsible drinking? What does it look like? I can Google for absolute numbers all I want, but I don’t think those numbers really fit me because of my wicked high tolerance for alcohol (thanks, grandpa G, for passing down that gene).

And really, that’s not what I want. I do not want someone to tell me what is the right way to drink alcohol. Because that’s what I did in Christianity. In Christianity I let others tell me what God said was right. (I even tried to listen to “god” myself but that wasn’t working out so well.)

Whatever this gray area looks like between Abstinence and Alcoholism, I need to find it myself. I need to try and see what works for me, not just blindly follow what’s worked for everyone else. I’m done with that sort of life, and I’m done being black and white. That means I will make mistakes along the way, but that’s ok. Mistakes are a part of life, not some sinful calamity to be avoided.

What does responsible drinking look like? I don’t know. Let’s find out.

Help Me

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The New Year’s Post, 2015

I know it’s a little late for it, BUT….

This year as been… very interesting. In fact, I’m not 100% sure of what happened between this year and last. It’s all kind of blurred together in my mind, since I’ve been trying to forget… and with good reason.

First, I’m pretty sure this is the first year of my life I’ve spent as an atheist. And how is that working out for me?

Good…. and bad.

The good points of being an atheist:

1. I don’t have to worry about a heaven or hell

2. I don’t have to worry about such strict rules of morality such as jewelry, drinking and dancing, or reading and watching Science Fiction

3. I can have close secular frineds

4. Not having to follow all the SDA rules.

The bad…

1. I feel guilty about nearly everything I do

2. Am scared I’m wrong about heaven/hell

3. Having secular friends

4. being free of the rules.

These lists sound contradictory, and perhaps they are. But I do not believe it.

You see, not having to worry about heaven or hell is nice. However, 15+ years of brainwashing is hard to overcome, and so one is almost always afraid there IS a heaven or hell to worry about.

Also, I am free from arbitrary rules such as jewelry or drinking or dancing… but how does one separate arbitrary rules from morality rules? That’s still something I’m figuring out. I’m not proud of it, but I still have problems with impulsive behavior of the illegal nature, though not against people I like.

Having secular friends is both comforting and scary. Comforting, because I can’t tell you how many Christian friends I had who would tell me they were only my friends because Jesus wanted them to be. And then they proceeded to be offended when I burst into tears.

Secular friends, on the other hand, have no such obligation to be with me, and so I trust them more.

But at the same time they scare me, because, without Jesus, what is to stop them from leaving me? Dare I trust people to…. to stick with me without a god telling them to? but of course if a god tells them to then it’s not real friendship…. head knows that, heart is scared. very scared.

And this year I have had a lot of reason to be scared. It is almost a year since JS(B) left me because she found out my sexual orientation. It has been a little over a year  since my friend JB left me because I had mental issues. I am convinced he persuaded JS to leave me because mental and religious (but mostly religious, as the mental issues had mostly gone away)to leave me.

JS was with me for ten years. She stuck with me through candyland. When everyone else found out about Candyland they left, except her. But when she found out my sexual orientation… oh heaven FORBID I be anything but hetero! I thought she would understand… I was wrong.

I will never make that mistake again. I will never be friends with another seventh day Adventist. I do not even believe Callie W will be friend with me. She hasn’t contacted me since she got back to the country, so…. she has probably rejected me too, but that’s my fault. I told her things, on purpose, knowing they would repulse her.

2012-2015 blend into each other in a blur of absolute pain, so I don’t remember how many SDA friends I started with in 2014. But by mid 2014 the list of SDAs I was talking to numbered 4-5. That may seem like a big number, but to someone who knows better, it is a pitifully tiny list.

I lost everything. My best friend, half my family…

And I will never be ok with that. Part of me will always grieve. BUT…. I know from experience that…. as time passes, so will the pain.

It will be hard. It will take a long time… a long time of searching, studying, and crying. I’ve spent most of my time longing for someone to hold me as I cry and tell me… whatever.

Now I know I will not have that, not ever.

And strangely… I’m ok with that. Because I don’t need friends or close friends to help me get over this. I just need me. That’s not to say friends aren’t valuable, just that…. as much as I want them to they can’t help me. Only I can help me.

Yet it does help to have them. it helped that a friend was willing to carve time out of her day to be with me. That’s not something I understand, because no Adventist I know would have done that. I would have done that, but I haven’t been SDA in 11 years.

All this isn’t just me rambling. This post is me telling the world that I’m ready. I’m ready to have secular friends. I’m ready to cut almost all Adventists from my life.

And so this year marks a transition. I am ready to transition from conservative Christian to…. to what, exactly? I do not know. All of 2014 I’ve tried to figure things out and, Honestly, I still don’t know.

But what I do know is this. I have friends, for now, who care about me. Will that last until the end of 2015, I don’t know.

What I do know is this:

It doesn’t matter if I have friends or if I don’t. If I do, great, but if I don’t, that is THEIR loss, not mine. Even if I am alone and friendless at the end of 2015, it doesn’t matter, because I will have achieved something.

Do I know what that something is? No.

And that is different from the past. In the past I had a goal…. but… I can’t do it anymore. My past goal was to… to be a CAMPUS missionary.

That is no longer my goal, and it is no longer possible. The future is no longer certain, it is open, and wide, and scary.

But the future is also bright… and broad….and…. full of possibility.

And I have hope that not only will I get through it, I will be happy, in the end, or even in the doing.

Really, that is my  hope for everyone; to be happy in the living of their lives, in the end of their lives, and in the beginning.

Even if only one or 2 of those is possible for me, I will have lived a good life.

Help me.