Reader, I do a bit of meandering here in the beginning, feeling sorry for myself and the like, so if you would rather skip to the bottom where I wrap it all up and make some powerful reflections and verbalize (is it verbalizing when it’s the written word?) some depth-plumbing thoughts, I completely understand. I would.
Pity Party, Table for 1 Begins Here:
The inside of my ankle and up my leg to the side of my knee feels like a there’s a constant ‘tweaking’ happening (not twerking). Perhaps it is because I have run 13 of the 15 days since declaring my sobrietence (sobriety+independence)? Perhaps it is because I had not exercised much (at all) for the past
year little while?
Then there is my work environment, in which I am currently I am directing the hubs in a theatrical production. He is a brilliant actor, and I like to think I’m fairly mediocre as a director, but he has been reacting to me like oil to water. It’s frustrating. I know he loves me, but he is barely civil in rehearsals and we open our show this weekend. Adding fuel to the oil-water mixture and setting it on fire, I just sent out some major cuts to dialogue last night after midnight, and I am worried he is going to shut-down completely. Argh. I am frustrated that he is the actor I am worried about, when he is the one who should have my back most.
Then, there is yesterday, and how I woke-up coasting on the remembrance of being the most extraordinary mother in the world (I have a trophy) from the day before, but found myself in skirmishes throughout the day with the babes. Not life-shattering, by any means, but still, feeling like I had finally figured ‘it’ out Sunday, and then realizing I had not yesterday, was a real downer. Plus, my crabby-ass-self kept returning in patches with them, and I was mad at myself (guilt!) for not being the adult and moderating my reactions. Drr.
Add to all this the glories of my body returning to a normal-ish diet, and the fact that it is expelling (no further description than this, I promise) all the gunk from years of stored up drink-nights and gorging-nights on a pretty regular basis, I am feeling a bit the worse for wear.
Party Over. I have kicked myself out of my own party. (What an asshole.)
Regularly Scheduled Post Begins Here:
So what? A little discomfort is said to lead to growth. That’s a good thought. A good ol’ adage. I am trying, at the moment, not to get ahead of myself and anticipate the discomfort lasting…. err….. Into Infinity, as the world tips away from me and I can look into the future of all my days to come. Forever. And ever. And ever. … I suppose that’s also why the other ol’ AA adage is One Day At a Time, and I am trying to hold onto that.
And I’m excited about the new growth (Confession: I keep picturing a new stubby appendage growing from the side of my leg, or out of my head, or back, or something bizarre … I think there’s a Shel Silverstein poem with a similar image out there somewhere.), but am also a little anxious to skip the discomfort and get me to the There that will be … right now. Which, if we look at our word problem above, does not then create the Growth as I would not then sit through said necessary discomfort in order to do the growing. Gah. Why does Life have to be so Awesome and Hard?
Without trying to entertain for a moment, honestly, one bit of that discomfort for me is really sitting in and owning my emotions. In the past two weeks, I have noticed when I am really happy, or when I am confused by someone’s choices, or if I felt left out or overwhelmed or content. It’s like I’m keeping a constant inventory of how I’m feeling Now and Now and Now, because usually, I would note them and stuff them down for ‘later,’ when I could drink and forget all about them. Even the happy. … Because I was avoiding feeling all of the emotions I had. I think I may have been trying to hide from the depressive side of my bi-polarism most of all, but with the drinking, I ended up stuffing all of my emotions down, and with the mute button of drinking on, I didn’t feel much of anything – sad or happy.
What was I afraid of? A lot, I think.
- Being a good enough mom. I thought my letting-go-of-the-Pinterest mom-challenge was enough (I hate crafty shit), but there was/is always pressure anyway to be the best mom in the world.
- Being a wife my husband wanted and trusted and loved. Who was good enough for him. (I compare his generous, kind heart to my own less-kind and less-generous heart on a pretty regular basis, and often feel I don’t deserve him (The exception is when he is my actor (our first time working together). He does not win as my actor.))
- Being enough at work. Being inventive and creative and generally awesome in all things. Always building instead of only maintaining.
- Being awesome to myself, which I never was. I thought the drink/the wine was My Time, my way of rewarding myself for the rigmarole I put myself through every day, but really it was taking time away from me. Tons of time. Years.
- I was scared to ask for help. Ever. I needed to prove to the world that I could do it on my own. That I could make it. Look at me, I’m WonderWoman. I just kept going and going and never stopping, because if I did, it felt like everything would fall apart. … Me, most of all.
- The depression. The bi-polar. Mourning the loss of my freedom when motherhood came along. Feeling alone. And with my second, the depression was happening along the whole pregnancy, and then with the birth, it seemed to multiply ten-fold. I was at the bottom of the deepest well, and I joke now, but it lasted three years. I hated myself for feeling sad, and didn’t know why I did. How I could keep mourning for my ‘youth’? … It felt so selfish and immature to feel that way.
- And finally, there was my general avoidance of emotions or moments or connections… When the universe would throw an opportunity at me, and I would look down at the ground and pretend I didn’t notice it. I remember a bazillion conversations with the hubs that would I would shut down just as they were starting. I would say, ‘Let’s talk about this later,’ or ‘Can we talk about this later?’ And I would table whatever was going on, because I knew, deep-down, that we usually would not return to the conversation.
I drank to avoid everything (and more). If it was an uncomfortable topic, I would drink that night to forget about it and especially to avoid it. If I was drinking, then things didn’t happen – from the kids to my work to my personal needs to the hubs. I used the glass as an excuse that it was time to relax and take a break. I would hide from Everything. I never looked at anything head-on. And, I think, I didn’t want the world to see me head-on either. I was living a paradox of doing it all and silently inviting the world to ‘Look what I can do!’ while at the same time trying to stay completely invisible.
… … Talk about discomfort.
Ouch. I hurt writing all of this. With my new-found honesty, I am letting my eyes well-up and I am sitting with these thoughts for a moment. … There is a freedom in the past fifteen days that has felt particularly lovely. I do and feel and I don’t stop myself. My dad has always commented on the way I am as ‘Monster, you just feel things SO MUCH.’ And it’s true. I do. Instead of trying to avoid them, or quiet them, or hide them away from myself or others, I am working on embracing them. So far, it is less uncomfortable than I thought it would be.
Day 15, you surprised me. And it’s only 8 am.
p.s. I was being glib and silly at the top of this post, but I really did plumb the depths. Feeling better.