If you were a fly on my kitchen wall this morning, a conversation you heard went something like this;
I think I found a writer’s group close to us.
You don’t need a writer’s group, you just need to write.
I know, but..
What do I write about? I don’t know what to write.
Maybe you’re not ready then.
Maybe. No. I’m ready, I just don’t know what to write.
Turning my full attention to the sink full of dirty dishes, rinsing them clean before I gave them to the automatic dishwasher to ‘clean’ them, (because I’m one of those people.) I had a silent conversation with my heart.
Do I really not know what to write about? Or am I scrubbing my story clean before I give it to the world for inspection? Am I procrastinating? Am I stalling? What am I doing?
I’m finding my way out of a dark, murky, mucky, messy middle, into long sunny days and perfect waves on shores well spent.
Here in the Messy Middle
I recently read that some ‘problem’ drinkers begin their career in drinking after a traumatic life event. They could be 15, 20, 30, 40 (42), 50, 60 or even older. One day, they find themselves asking, “Do I have a drinking problem? Am I an alcoholic?” The question. Of course, if you find yourself asking that question, then it’s probably because, yep, you’ve got a problem, otherwise, you wouldn’t ask. Many of these people also find themselves saying, “How did this happen? This isn’t who I am. I’m not an alcoholic.” And in most cases, it’s true. But, we get addicted to addictive substances when we partake of them often enough, it just happens. We wake up one day and realize, we actually might just be a little bit addicted and then, Oh. Shit. Now what?
It’s OK if you’ve asked that question, I have too. That question is the beginning of your destiny. I thank God that I got to ask that question. It led me to the present, and I don’t know any other way I would have arrived to where I am at this very moment, if I hadn’t had the opportunity to ask myself and answer truthfully, “Do I have a problem? Is it normal to drink a bottle of wine every night?” Of course, I knew the answer before I even asked, I was so sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, ready for a change, but still, I honestly wondered, do I have a problem? And if I do have a problem, how do I un-have this problem? Part of what led me to ask myself if I had a problem was my inability to just quit. I tried and I failed, over and over.
For about a year, I asked myself whether I might have a problem with wine, and I tried to stop drinking, lasting for about a day, three at the most. It was bizarre behavior for me. I have only experienced the inability to quit something I knew was bad for me one other time in my life, and in truth, is the beginning of this part of my life story. A mess indeed.
It’s been more than four years since this season in my life began. I’ve been navigating unchartered territory the whole time, travelling a road I never imagined for my life, without a map, and spent mostly alone, in the darkness of my broken heart. Maybe, just maybe, I’m finally discovering a purpose for it all.
When I sit, mindful, meditatively, present in the moment, I am filled with gratitude, because I am here, in this exact location, on this exact day, right this very minute, and I would honestly, actually, go through getting here all over again, if I knew from the start it would lead me here.
I’m looking forward into 2020, like peering over a ledge, around a corner, looking tentatively at the future, with bits of fear, but mostly a learned trust, that whatever happens, happens. There are many decisions to be made, and honestly (?) all I want to do is stay right here, forever. It feels maybe a little bit irresponsible, but mostly like saving my life.
I will write more soon, promise. I just wanted to get this out there, so you all know where I’m writing from in the coming days. Although, after writing all of this, I really want a glass of wine. But, for right now, I’m going to breathe deeply, put my computer down, go outside, drink a cup of tea, pinch myself, whatever it takes until this desire is gone. That is what I do now. I’m on Day Eleven AF (alcohol free).
I started this part of my journey on October 1, 2019, and I’ve been to Day Eleven a couple of times now, but somehow, this time, I’ve changed. I like being AF more than the alternative. In October my plan was to take a break and get some perspective, but as the days go on, I am falling in love with life again, and wine just numbs me from it all, and I don’t want to be numb anymore. I want to feel life again. Instead of numbing my feelings, I breathe and breathe deep some more. Breathing actually helps to anchor me in the present and remember that the present is where I want to be, right now, right here.
All my love, always, no matter what, love always,