The Divine Truth on Guilt and Triggers


Love the world and yourself in it, move through it as though it offers no resistance, as though the world is your natural element. –Audrey Niffenegger

Trigger happy, gun shy, and a horse named Trigger. I always thought my triggers for addiction were shame, boredom, sadness, and a host of others that aren’t coming to mind as I write this post. Turns out my trigger, my worst damn enemy, was plain old guilt. For my past, present and future. I keep trying to squash it, with humor, food and booze. I keep failing, miserably.  Then, everything turns around. I try to control it with healthy eating habits, exercise and abstaining from alcohol. Fuck not being humorous. Being a sarcastic shithead is my forte!

The truth didn’t come easily. Lessons freshly learned, no matter how important they are, will piss us right the hell off. As the dust settles in our hearts, we become comfortable with the truth. That lie you’ve been telling yourself, will become your saving grace. My moment came, in a confrontational argument with my Adam Boy.

Mom, sometimes I think you wish you didn’t have me.

Son, that is not true. You and your sister are the best things I ever created. Better than any story I could write. Any food over-eaten or drunken bender I’ve been on.  You are of my heart. My soul. I would die for you.

I gave my children the strength to speak out. I never wanted them to be afraid of the repercussions. To feel guilt or shame. I wanted them to know that I loved them even when they were confronting me about my shortcomings. Call me on my shit for the love of God, so I’ll stop being a dick!!!! My son did that. Dear God, I know he’s going to be a great lawyer some day!

Roger Darling left Adam and me outside so we could argue. I kept looking at the back door, feeling, guilty. Guilty because I was talking to my son and not hanging out with him. Guilty because I hadn’t finished the upload of Meggie’s wedding photos on my flickr account. Guilty because I hadn’t scrubbed the bathtub for two weeks. Guilty for not doing the fucking dishes after dinner. Guilty because I don’t act like a typical grown up.

Guilty, guilty, guilty. Blah, blah, fucking blah!

I believe in the Divine. That there are powers bigger than ourselves at play. We have epiphanies and revelations. Moments of clarity, that speak volumes without one word being exchanged. Sometimes they come to us in an argument with another. A blog post written by a dear friend. The tears of a loved one. Or a simple email from a co-worker. These divine moments happened to me, in a span of 24 hours. I can tell you, I have not felt this much peace-in years. Words are finally flying around my head and there is a smile upon my silly face.

Today, is a good day. Tomorrow, I pray is even better. If it isn’t, that’s okay. I can’t let guilt be my trigger. To over-eat, drink to excess, not write or reach out for help. Realizations, be they divine or otherwise are valuable teachers. We must heed the lessons they bring us. If we don’t we’ll never truly live.

12 thoughts on “The Divine Truth on Guilt and Triggers

  1. You actually scrub the tub! My dear, u’r wasting precious guilt… pace yourself.
    I think u’r wise enough to say F**k it all, express yourself creatively and live u’r life. Roger Darling and the kids can scrub for once dammit!
    Freedom is caring for people while not caring what they think. Actually it’s none of your business what they think, letting go of this self doubt and guilt is very liberating and they’ll respect you for it. Renee u’r an awesome person, it’s an honor to read your *uncensored* work. ♥

    • Thank you sweetheart for every word. I know I tend to be a little mouthy. But I like to tell it how it is. Even when the truth is about me, and I don’t want to hear it. It’s life. We must live it. Or die trying…..

  2. Guilt – a most powerful, toxic and unforgiving emotion. And provides you with nothing but more guilt. And you are far too divine a human being to allow it to hold you in its grips. It doesn’t serve you nearly as well as your humor, your love of your children, your life and your days..xo

  3. Guilt is good, it makes you an upright human.

    But at some point it is also necessary to move past the guilt and choose life.

    As I’d telling you this I figured out I myself can learn a lesson from our conversation earlier.

    Guilt. Bluegh.

    • My thoughts exactly my darling Daan. Thank you for your insight and help. You’re a very good man. As you state, we do need guilt to keep us on the straight and narrow. We can’t let it run us into the ground. Guilt is a killer, and baby, I prefer to let go and live.


  4. Pingback: Guest Post: Triggers, Guilt, and Alcoholics Anonymous | Guest Post by Renee Heath

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