My rock bottom was not the day before I stopped drinking. No, not this time. This time, I gradually came out of my lowest parts. Stage by stage, I came back to life. Shedding drinking came later, for me, this time. I kept my part time job at a Cafe in Midtown, Atlanta which suddenly, and unintentionally, turned into a full time job at a Cafe in Midtown. After everything that happened, I let go of my studio jobs and ties in the dance world. Very little fight left in me, so I moved in with my mom again for the first time in 10 years. I literally made enough money to drive to work in Midtown and make it back to my mom’s house in Kennesaw. Commuting with the commuters during both ends of the dreaded Atlanta rush hour traffic, made me feel like I had some kind of very important job to go to. Maybe I’d blend into something normal like all of the suits I drove alongside. I stayed at this Cafe because it was familiar and really the only place I had to be. It was important to have a group of people who knew me as this whole thing went on, so it wasn’t so terrifying to explain why I was always sobbing to someone at a new job. They were good to me: well, they were there for me, and that was good.
There is a desire to fly without restraint, or rebellion against the truth, in sobriety. It lets you touch the people you love with tenderness, for finally, there you both are, existing and serving, together. You can finally look at them in the eyes, hold their hands, and share a moment. We deserve these moments. Meditate more. Call home more often. Send wonderful intentions and love to your family more often. They love you, so believe it more often. That’s the best news in the world, isn’t it?
We grew up Catholic, but my mom stopped taking us to church when she found out about Deepak Chopra and The 7 spiritual Laws of Success in 1999. I’ve received at least 3 copies of this book (including an audio CD), a copy of The Journey Home, and countless other tools from pretty much every other major name in the spiritual guidance realm since I turned 16. One Christmas Mom gave me an entire collection of food-healing-nutrition books she ordered from the QVC channel. My mom only wanted me to improve. She wanted me to get it. She wanted something to happen to me, and she believed that this happening lived in these books. I read them, but I felt they were meant for people with actual problems or for normals who wanted to be happier. I didn’t know how to relate the words on the page to myself in real life, like a real person. It all seemed too proper for whatever I was going through, so I related to the words like a therapist analyzing something for someone who really needed help. I could not hear or listen to any advice that these authors gave behind the doubt and isolation of my inner voice. We’ve all felt this block, in that young attitude of different, not crazy, different. Well, whatever I was going through during that time was something so “other than”, and self-created, I knew nothing outside of me could ever fix it.
It’s a strange and comforting place to sit here with all of the same tools from this healing perspective. Why couldn’t I read this stuff like I’m reading it now, before? They’ve been here for SO long at an arms length, right at my disposal. Pretty much everything I’m doing in my recovery now was shown to me by my mom about 12 years ago. She gave me all of these books because she’d found a different way to live. She wanted me to find this softer path, too, but you only know the softer path is soft after you’ve taken the harder way. I didn’t trust that I was similar to anything, so how could I absorb any kind of assistance without a new perspective?
Sometimes it’s hard to accept how much time we lose in the fog. I know it makes the clarity of everything now more beautiful, but it doesn’t change that subtle ache of loss. My mom was screaming out for me in every way that she knew how. She never stopped trying to save me. I could see her on the other side, and sometimes, it was hard to watch her from behind that glaze because I didn’t know how to get to her. I didn’t even know how to get to myself. It’s hard to feel a part of anything when you aren’t really a part of yourself completely. We only know this once we change the perspective: the mental shift that changes the way we relate to the world. All of sudden we see life in its truest form. We see the similarities and signs that unite us to all things. It’s not that the fear goes away completely. It’s that we stand in the fear and grow from it. We can remember that we did it and that we are brave because of it. We are worthy of life and love. We are loved. It’s not a waste if you’re experiencing it. It’s all important. Let the universe continue to unfold you: let life happen for you. ❤
(Cover Photo: LES BÉNÉDICTIONS | Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917))