Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let Down Your Demons…

I feel like I’m in a perpetual game of Whack-A-Mole when it comes to my personal demons. I take the hammer and smash one, and just as it goes down, three more come popping up. So I hit another, and the first comes up again, and so on and so on until I drop from the exhaustion of it all.

As I mentioned, I’ve been in a dual-diagnosis program (mental illness and addiction) for about 2 1/2 months. I’ve worked my ass off to not only stay sober, but find out the reasons I kept going back to using. I’ve wrung out my brain and my heart like a soggy washcloth over and over, and I think, I HOPE, that I’ve got it this time.


So to be honest, I don’t even think about booze much any more. It feels good to be sober, to not always be sick, to talk without lying, to live without the paranoia of being caught. I have (and I’m loathe to use an AA saying, but “just for today”) gotten this thing by the balls. I’m handling it. I’m okay with it. I’ve whacked that mole back into the hole.


So of course, when you’re dealing with personal demons, it’s never just one. No one ever says “Oh, if this one thing about me was taken care of, I wouldn’t have a problem in the world.” That’s not realistic. It’s not true. And even though I feel very strong in my sobriety, I feel like the demons have gotten me even harder in other ways.


Eating. I’ve struggled with eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorder for almost all my life. I go to therapy about it. I obsess about it. It is part of my identity that was masked by the drinking for a long time, and now that I’m not numb all the time, that particular demon has come roaring back to life, starving for my attention, wasting away my resolve. I catch myself doing things now – “maladaptive behaviors” as the clinicians are so fond of calling them – that I haven’t done in years. I obsess over everything I eat. I cut my food into microscopic pieces. I hate, hate, HATE eating in front of other people. And then there’s the mirror. The Monster In The Mirror that I see is grotesque, deformed, completely disgusting on every level. And there’s more. A deeper pain.

That monster I see is not worthy of love.


Because that’s what it comes down to, isn’t it? I don’t feel worthy of love. And in the always sage words of RuPaul, “if you don’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love anybody else?” Well, Ru, damned if I know. All I do know is that I’m desperate for love, starving for love, crumbling inside because I don’t have love. But there’s no way anyone is going to see that. I’ll smile, and laugh, and crack jokes, and take care of everyone else, but no one is going to get into Rapunzel’s castle to find the damaged little girl inside.

They can’t. I cut off all my hair.


I’m damaged goods. And I don’t know how to make myself vulnerable, to put myself out there as my real self, my authentic self, and trust the universe that everything is going to work out the way it should. I can’t. I won’t. Not yet. Maybe not ever. I don’t know. All I know is that I used to cry, sob, even. I don’t do that any more. The other day a few tears leaked out and I pushed them away. I was furious. There was no way I was going to cry, to be weak, to be defenseless. Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your tears.

No way in hell.




So for now, I just hold on to the fact that I am sober, and that I am working on the other moles that keep rearing their nasty heads at me. I guess I have more time here to work on it, but I also don’t want to become a professional patient, in and out of hospitals and institutions for the rest of my life. Sometimes I worry that I’ve already become that person.

I don’t want to be that person.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let me hold your hand. We might not know the way out, but at least we’re in this together.





Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let Down Your Demons… — 13 Comments

  1. I’m gonna give you an assignment that I was given. It helped me a lot and if it works, great, if not, give it a skip. It sounds crazy…you know how the Hindus have one zillion gods? Because the ONE BIG god is so scary and large and why should the creator of the universe have time for one little person? Well, make your own little god. You have a brilliant imagination. Relax a bit and let your little god pop into your mind. Some little corner of the energy of the universe that loves and accepts you just the way you are. No matter what you do, the little god is on your side, will listen, will give you comfort. Then let the little god help. If I tell you who my little god is, will you promise not to laugh? Oh, you have to DM me to find out. Because I’m not saying it here. But she’s nice and kind and she’s willing to listen to whatever I have to spill. Is she real? Oh, who cares. I believe in unicorns, and they’re apparently supposedly not real. Does she help? Yes, she does. I know this is looney, but it’s the best I have gotten. Good luck!
    Suebob last post: My Weigh-In Outfit

  2. You didn’t get this way in 2 1/2 months and you’re not going to fix it all that fast either. What’s important is you are working on it and you’re making progress. You’re doing something different – and you’re starting to see results. I’m proud of you and I love seeing you sober. xo

  3. I don’t know that there’s anything anyone can say that would make you feel better. I don’t know because I don’t know anything anyone could say to make ME feel better. But if it counts at all, this — “All I do know is that I’m desperate for love, starving for love, crumbling inside because I don’t have love. But there’s no way anyone is going to see that. I’ll smile, and laugh, and crack jokes, and take care of everyone else, but no one is going to get into Rapunzel’s castle to find the damaged little girl inside.”
    — This struck me deeply. You said something I don’t know how to say. So, thank you for writing this.

  4. I love what Kalisa said, and she’s way smarter than I am, so just read that shit over and over.

    Also? You sound good. You sound really good, and that makes me feel better, because it’s all about me, obviously. What I’m finding is that life is a hell of a lot harder sober, because those other moles pop up and need whacking. And yes, I’m eating a lot of cupcakes and bad cereal, but that isn’t going to kill me like the wine was, and I know this will pass, too. And for me, it’s gotten to the point where I want to be sober so bad that I’ll keep whacking them for now, because if I go back there, I go back to nothing but bad, when I’m sososo ready, like I know you are, for some good.

    I’m ready for some good stuff, too. I truly love you. And I’m going to leave you with something a really tremendously wonderful friend of mine said the other day. “You deserve a love story,” she said. And I’m choosing to believe her, whereas before I would have shoved that concept away like it was on fire and I was touching it. But I think I’m starting to believe that I do, just sitting here, with someone else, but first, just sitting here. You do too. I am so proud of you. Keep motherfucking coming back, one day at a motherfucking time. 🙂
    Laurie last post: After Insurance & Sick Leave: A New Life at What Cost?

  5. I hear what you’re saying, but I’m telling you that you are loved! I think you’re really meaning intimacy, which will require vulnerability. As one of your long-time readers, I can speak for myself at minimum, but think I’m speaking for many, we do love you so.

  6. But… Your words are beautiful.Every single one I read. Seriously, you have a way with words that makes you brilliant and all of those nice things I admire about stunning intellect. Your demons will dissipate. Or not. But just through the things you write, you are loved and admired and respected by more people than you think.

  7. Being fixed isn’t easy,one step at a time…hell I’m ongoing on a daily basis,day by day…I just wake up and pray for a awesome day and that’s what gets me through…find your way,your way

  8. God do I identify with this post! I’m not an addict & I don’t have BDD, but I do have chronic severe depression, which is one of many ailments that cause me to be disabled (yes the others are physical.) Aside from my mother, the only living beings that I think MIGHT love me are my 4 cats & 2 dogs. And sometimes I wonder. I too feel unlovable.
    I know we’ll be OK, but I also know the only way I can find someone is to get out of the house & DO things where there are actually people. I’m not quite ready to do that, but I’m working on it. You are far ahead of me on the social scale. You will find a worthy someone, but first, you have to enjoy your own company. I love you & pray for your full recovery.

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