David Bowie sings the song “Changes.” I have known for years, but last week the first verse and chorus took on a different meaning for me than they had in the past, let me start by sharing these lyrics (site source: azlyrics.com):
I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets and every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned to face myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how much others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test
(Turn and face the strange)
Don’t want to be a richer man
(Turn and face the strange)
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I now related to this song as a person who was in denial of what my life was and where my pursuits were for validation. How unwilling I was to face anything. When I went into my addiction I had moved very far away from myself. I was in a job that was nothing of interest to me in a company that didn’t match my real personality at all. I began drinking to ease the lie I was telling myself by going every day to a place that would inflate my false ego while deflating my true self. When I ended my addiction I was far from myself not because of my job but because of my relationships. I had no friends who I was truly sharing myself with, my marriage was a place of mutual indifference with painful desire to care, and my sense of myself as the mom I wanted to be was shaky at best. I drank then to ease the pain of having fully divorced myself from who I was and what I had wanted. That is the first verse to me.
Now I am removing aspects of my character that don’t serve me well or have gotten out of balance, and I find myself floating most days on a serene but new, strange sea of feelings and internal thoughts. I feel more balanced again and like I am starting to be less afraid of being myself and showing that self to others. My home life as a mom and wife is amazingly on the right track. I wouldn’t change a thing, except I am waiting to find out who will replace the acquaintances I made while drinking. These are people I called friends but relabeled as acquaintances because they only served the purpose of enabling me to make bad decisions and feed my addiction; a role that I gave them and a role that some of them took to naturally. I sometimes find myself wanting to text one of these folks to meet up at a new restaurant, a thing we did in the past, and I wonder why I would put myself in a place where I would do that. Why would I choose to spend time with people who haven’t bothered to call me since I harmed them or stopped drinking? This puzzled me, then a friend pointed out that I am in transition and don’t have the new person I would text for that. I don’t have the friend I would spend that time with right now because I am in changes, and it is strange.
Thanks David for penning words I can sing when I want to regress in the quality relationships I strive to keep by returning to acquaintances that aren’t good for anyone.
Susan Aplin Pogue
Susan began her career in personal development after many years focused on self-development and improvement work. Her experiences led her to discover tools and practices that she was inspired to share with other people through her blog work. Additionally, she has created and facilitated leadership trainings for executive teams in corporate and small businesses. Susan is a public speaker, and has addressed audiences on topics ranging from leadership to time management. Her mission is to share practical and powerful self-management techniques to those in recovery from any aspect of their life that has begun to negatively impact their well-being and quality of life. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Colorado, Boulder, a Certification in Emergenetics ® , and a Certification in DDI Management Skills ®. Her work draws upon her background in corporate training and human resource departments, as well as her life experiences. Susan’s blog work is published by The Neurosculpting ® Institute. Transform, Inspire, Thrive.