How do you know when it’s time to go? We’ve all seen quotes that explain timing in life so beautifully they make us think, “OHHH..cool…now I see!”, but we don’t actually recognize any logical routes from this new ground-breaking philosophy to what our lives actually look like. I acknowledge these concepts with the understanding that they’re meant for my future self. Automatically, I put them in the planning section of my brain next to an image of me drinking herbal tea on some kind of clean, bright patio feeling light and knowing why. The less I think about why I am not this person yet, the more I enjoy the person I am right now on this laptop with a heating pad wrapped around my waist. And candles.
I don’t think these quotes are meant to be fulfilled as much as they are meant to be acknowledged, and maybe they’re just suppose to keep you company like signs along the way in a marathon race. At one time I tried to hold each and every one like the absolute and only truth for me. The weaker I became the more meaning I placed on everything else around me. Good and bad. I let everything outside of myself happen to me because without these promises, what was left?
I was dying to live, but I didn’t know how. I didn’t know I could change the way I processed the world… I don’t have to fully embrace every little thing that comes my way, and I don’t have to hide from these things either. I’m learning to acknowledge what I experience outside of myself, to notice what I’m really seeing without overanalyzing what it means. I identify it and place it where it belongs in my mind simply by experiencing what it is. “Meditation for Beginners” by Jack Kornfield is the light behind this change for me. Please make this part of your home library if you’ve been thinking about practicing meditation. I am leveling out years of extremities through meditation in sobriety. It gets you to a place where you can sit with yourself and enjoy what’s really there even if it hurts like hell. There is a place in your mind for that too! This is something that I had not, or simply could not, imagine possible while drinking and in early sobriety.
Please know that if you view yourself in the way that I viewed myself it’s not that you don’t want to be better, it’s that you just don’t know how. How can you think about sitting with anyone or enjoying anything if you are busy fighting with all of the outside-ness you’ve let happen to your insides? What does that even mean? How can you sit with yourself, forget enjoying, just sitting with yourself unless you are trying on all of the concepts you’ve absorbed throughout the day? Which one looks best on me? Which one is mine? UP and DOWN. No progress. You’re exhausted and alone, and you are drunk. In any sense, the weaker I am, the easier it is to grab hold for dear life. How can you notice or acknowledge anything about what you’re holding when you’re convinced that your life now depends on this thing? Obsession. It either dances with you madly or helps you plan your own murder. There are very few places as lonely and narrow as this perspective on life. Soft, soft edges letting anything and everything in.
Early sobriety is difficult and the world goes from big and beautiful to bright and overwhelming really quickly. There are so many ways to take care of yourself, and meditation works for me. It helps establish a true north and strengthen the quality of recovery. I don’t know how many times I sort of knocked into what I’d heard would save me always feeling empty like I’d entered through the wrong door and missed the welcome committee. I didn’t feel new or different. I only felt a hard back book, I only saw some glittering letters saying something about moving forward on my Facebook page. I didn’t feel anything. What do I like?