11/17/2023 (Day #4342)
“Inside Out”, by Demi Moore
1. Why did I choose this book?
My familiarity with her addiction and mental health struggles, mostly through media coverage, provoked me to check this out from the library when I stumbled across it. I wanted to read it for her own words about her behavior and realizations, what she did for recovery and her outlook on maintaining sobriety and emotional health. And “GI Jane” is one of my favorite movies so I’m somewhat of a fan.
(FULL DISCLOSURE: One of my peers I rely on to review my drafts mentioned that he’d read this book, too, and I might risk backlash and assumptions about objectionable pictures within it because some of them include nudity. The book I checked out from the facility library didn’t have any pictures in it. I can only guess that someone tore them out at some point, so that’s a moot point. If anyone chooses to make that assumption of my motivation, sorry. And, transparently, I can’t honestly say I would have outright dismissed it and not read it if there were objectionable pictures in it. I CAN say in complete honesty and confidence that objectionable pictures would NOT have had any bearing, “incentive”, influence, or motivation on my choosing to read it.)
2. What did I learn from reading this book?
Her alcohol and drug use progressed from “recreational” and “social” to “self-medicating”, unhealthy and often destructive coping strategies for emotional distress, insecurity, and unresolved trauma. That is insight and relatability for me as I continue to dissect and analyze my own substance abuse and self-medicating that led to and contributed to destructive and unhealthy coping strategies.
She considered her emotional distress in a different, more metaphorical context, that makes sense: “I had never learned how to digest emotionally. I’d never learned how to take something like disappointment or rejection and really break it down, metabolize it, digest it.” That puts “negative” emotions in a metaphorical context I hadn’t considered before.
Also, her explanation of addiction’s power resonated deeply with me: “When you are afflicted with a disease, you can’t just decide not to have it, no matter how miserable it’s making you.” I can relate to that through the tradeoffs I conceded to self-medicate, telling myself I was remedying pain with alcohol or drugs. Self-medicating with opioids, prescription pain meds, afforded perceived relief, or escape, from emotional pain at the expense of side effects that caused physical pain and discomfort. It was a perpetual cycle of pain that I only finally disrupted with complete sobriety and therapy, but I had to be WILLING to be sober and commit to therapy for it to actually “stick”.
Her recovery had similar foundation to mine, abstinence and sobriety coupled with therapy to address unresolved trauma and emotional issues, like insecurity: “I fought feeling sorry for myself and using the wrong things to push away that feeling.” I fought insecurity, feeling like I wasn’t “enough” for anyone, and being my own harshest critic that tore down my own self-confidence.
3. How will reading this book contribute to my post-release success?
Reading and learning that others have had similar struggles and have overcome them, sometimes by similar strategies and methods to what I’ve undertaken, reinforces my security and confidence in my own strategy for my path to recovery, growth, and what I’m continually working towards – being my best self I can be. Learning how others have gone about it and succeeded boosts my confidence in my own plan and ability to do it and succeed, too.
Another day, another step better than I used to be.