"LIVING IN A FANTASY WORLD"
"The real test of a man is not how well he plays the role he has invented for himself, but how well he plays the role that destiny assigned to him." - Jan Patocka
When I was young, I lived in many fantasy worlds that filled me with joy, happiness, excitement, filled up the places inside me that were empty and frightening.
I had two girlfriends who were sisters - Jane, my age, and Peggy, the younger sister. The three of us spent countless days, hours, and minutes living in worlds that were other than reality. I really don't know how common this is. Perhaps it is very normal for young children, but I took it to the extreme and carried this practice into my adult life. At that point, it failed me entirely.
We would play records of musicals and dance, sing, and act them out. This was one of our most favorite pastimes. We repeated it over and over in their living room. I loved being in their home. There was something about it that lured me to it.
We also created "other" homes wherever we could find them, and lived out nonexistent lives of imaginary people. We had houses in trees, in abandoned houses (very dangerous now that I look back on it), in garages behind other peoples houses, anywhere we could find one. There was actually (believe it or not) an abandoned mansion called Blair Mansion in Silver Spring, Maryland. That was the bonanza of a fantasy land. It was a true mansion with huge grounds including arbors and gazebos. It was multi-storied with many rooms, many still containing dishes, old letters, odds and ends. These made for fabulous inventions in our young minds.
These sisters lived in a very large home. The girls' bedroom had a huge walk in closet that actually had a window in it. This made for an absolutely perfect alternate reality setting.
I was and wasn't a "Tom Girl". I could play cowboy and cowgirl with the best of the little boys in the neighborhood. I had my cowgirl outfit, bike with saddlebags and pretend rifle attached. At the same time, I had an entire "other life" going on under the dressing table in my bedroom. The dressing table had an area underneath it that was hidden from view by curtain material that could be opened by pulling back two movable arms of wood. When opened, there was a doll's home of my creation underneath. There was a doll bed, other furniture and a life teeming with activity beneath that piece of furniture in the privacy of my room.
I played these invented roles constantly and well. But the fact that when I moved from childhood into adulthood and did not leave them behind caused me much pain and confusion. I had no grasp whatsoever on "reality". I believe that these fantasy lives helped me cope with a world of emotions and thoughts that were too painful to acknowledge.
As an adult, with college life, the work world, marriage, and children, these worlds of illusion lost their ability to work for me and I was left with the realness of life that was far too painful. I just could not function.
Alcohol allowed me to escape in a more adult way. No more dolls, no more forts hidden under gigantic pine trees, and no more living a life of plays, T.V. shows or musicals. I had outgrown these childish ways, but was left with an adult life that I had no idea how to manage. Alcohol made it all go away. I didn't care, it masked the pain and confusion (for a while).
ENTER - CENTER STAGE - ALCOHOL
ENTER - CENTER STAGE - ALCOHOL
BUT THEN - it nearly destroyed me.
It seems that God had actually assigned me a role that was real and not make-believe. He reached down before I could completely annihilate myself, plucked me up out of my alcoholism, set me on the path of the 12 steps, and has gently moved me into the destiny He has assigned me.
What is my assigned role? I can only describe parts of it that have been revealed to me.
So far, I know that my role (God's will for me) is to:
Stay sober, help other alcoholics, and practice the principles of the program in all my affairs.
Be open and ready to freely give of the healing touch God has so lovingly given me.
Write poems, blog, express myself by the written word no matter how I may judge them myself and wish to stick my thoughts into a hidden recess of my desk.
Share my experience, strength, and hope with others.
THANK GOD I HAVE FOUND A REALITY THAT IS FAR MORE SATISFYING THAN ALL MY FANTASY LIVES.
(Photo credit: Water & Ice By Triphammer)