The truth is, the finish line snuck up on me. November 1 seems like yesterday. I woke up like any other morning, but it wasn’t. I made commitments. And I’ve made good on them, some I even doubled down.
The Al-Anon 12 steps are empty words on a page until connected to action. They are aspirations yearning to become accomplishments until attached to a movement.
First I noticed the color where there should not have been any. I picked it up and the evidence was littered inside its belly. Flecks of dark red. Sulfites. They landed at its bottom. It was placed inside the box, hidden from my view, yet frozen in time.
At face value, when I read this step some months ago, I thought, yep, I did that. This week I remembered why and how and where I was when I took this step. And why the first step is always the hardest.
That’s a big step! It requires honesty, humility, vulnerability and everything else in between. When we are in crisis we viscerally tamp down all of those things, every moment of the day to carry on a life with the appearance that we have our shit together.
I remember living like that many times throughout my life. Worries and fears stood tall and proud at forefront of my mind and tongue. Chronic anxiety resulted, evidence of the illness was seen in my entire physical and emotional state that I allowed to be hijacked by worry that was born out of fear. Xanax helped quell it, but it didn’t stop it.
The movie disturbed me for days after. It was chilling. I felt that grief and anger watching Three Billboards yesterday with Bridget, and without saying it out loud, the thought “My God I pray that I die before you” was omnipresent. I touched her knee, physically connecting myself to her, looking at her, reminding her that she is a part of me.
Note: I published my first draft last week. This is the version I will use today, Tuesday, January 30, when I lead my first Al-Anon class. The topic is Step…
And, as batshit crazy as I have been, I also respect what my body needs. It’s the only body I have so I better be good to it.
Sometimes, I feel like the battered wife, always coming home for more, but I have the role wrong. I should not identify with the one being battered, I should identify with the batterer. How many times I have questioned fate, and blamed God for the present and past.; decisions I made, yet wanted to distance myself from.
I don’t want to work for anyone anywhere. I want it to mean something and make a difference, and while that may sound Pollyannaish, it’s true and the truth is my north star. I want to inspire and be inspired.
Just like in Improv, it’s not always easy to roll with the line, though. But it’s better than killing the scene. In life, when we accept what’s put in front of us, the outcome, at least in my experience is healthier. Acceptance sure works better than Pepcid, TUMS, and Zantac. It’s cheaper, too. Denial had me drinking alongside the alcoholic, ignoring the problems, and in a constant state of resentment. It sucks to be perpetually disappointed. Saying goodbye to denial is a great relief to the mind and liver, too.
“One of the greatest discoveries a person makes is to find they can do what they were afraid they couldn’t do.” Henry Ford Last Tuesday, my yoga instructor Jeannine announced…
I visited my surgeon’s office the next day, where I gladly assumed rabbit pose to make the hernia appear. My surgeon felt it. We scheduled surgery. I’m hopeful that tomorrow’s surgery will prevent last Tuesday’s pain from happening ever again.
Journey. How many inspirational quotes have you read about the word journey? I equate journey to the word life, excluding when I have blinders tightly fastened for fear I will…
“Life truly lived is a risky business, and if one puts up too many fences against risk one ends shutting out life itself.”
Kenneth S. Davis, Courage to Change, December 12
I welcome you to join me as I continue to get comfortable in my own skin, accepting who I am for my own strengths and weaknesses, embracing my current place in this universe and how I can pay it forward, and celebrating this gift of life with my daughter, friends, family, and community.