What is it exactly that I want to be if not this?
A little over a year ago: I can drink a bottle of wine and go to hot yoga. I can balance with the curviest dancer’s pose in class, so no one ever tells me that they can smell my red-wine-blood seeping through the gallons of sweat and heavy breaths permeating throughout the room. No one seems to mind it in my state of mind, and if they do not say anything, I sure as hell am not going to say anything. I guess everything must be fine. Please don’t rat me out because then I’ll have to start changing things. Is that person walking up to me? Is this the moment where everything is out on the table? Not this time. Eventually silence gets really crowded, and the things that go unsaid with our drinking get so outrageous, we have to make a choice. This is not an edge I want to find in my life again. I know exactly where it ends. I had to get sober, and I did.
All it takes is one choice.
In the beginning of sobriety, we wake up to our lives. Our job is simply to stay sober. It is a big job. All of our senses are intense. Basic emotions are intense. What does it mean to be happy without something hyping us up or smearing us out? What does it mean to be angry without a sedative? To be fully aware and totally numb at the same time in depression? Seriously, what does it mean?
What am I? What am I now that I am overexposed in natural life? This is the beginning of sobriety for a person who drinks the way that I drank. Really high highs and really low lows, at first, like any exposed cave person. It is an adjustment. After a year now, I feel that most days are level. It is possible to map out our feelings after feeling them all the way for a while. Waves and feelings, as they say, come and go. The longer we stand and face them, the easier it is to know what we are dealing with. They are less likely to knock us over. I know how to say, okay, this is what is happening in my body. Excitement is very similar to anxiousness. I remember this. Jealousy is linked with insecurity. I’ve felt this before. This does not mean that difficult feelings are wonderful now. It just means they have a deeper layer to them. Uncomfortable always comes back.
Uncomfortable is more than a solid block. It is layer after layer. I learn a new meaning to the word uncomfortable every day. It helps me understand at least why I would want to numb out because discomfort is ice running through my veins in depression and lava rising to my cheeks in anger. C.P. Estes says that moderate strength is still strength. She says that we consider a flower blooming and blossoming whether it is partially, halfway, or fully blooming. It is still blossoming. Even some strength makes us strong, and this is where we can stop and say, okay this is for today… I am not lazy for this. I am brave for being here to actually deal with it. Give what you have today. Sometimes that means just your sober self. This is not lazy.
Lazy is a mindless trudge through our lives.
Lazy is an everyday blur.
Lazy is a silent soul.
Not this. We are not this, and even if this blanket of depression means taking a shower and lying on the bed for ten minutes until we can find the strength to turn on the coffee pot, so be it. Whatever it is, always know that it is real. There is not a single thing that can happen to me as a sober woman that I should have to recede and hide from. I am here.
Bombs and fuses
Men get angry
Women don’t get angry enough
We wait for you
And favorite ones
We’re waiting for you
Anger is difficult for me. I can accept that I am angry all day long, but it still does not change how uncomfortable it is.
This is still fresh in the overall picture. One year now. I remember when I had two years at one time, and I did not feel as whole as I do now. Still, one year is new in the overall picture.
Moderate strength is still strength enough.
Communicating the Soul
“The most destructive cultural conditions for a woman to be born into and to live under are those that insist on obedience without consulation with one’s soul.” -C.P. Estes
My fear used to be that my precious world was actually a giant embarrassment. I used to fear that a community out there somehow knew more about me than I do. I used to feel like I was being me incorrectly. Now I see that making other people uncomfortable for honoring my truth does not mean that I need to stop speaking my soul. We do not have to hide our joy to make other people happy. No one is going to take our creativity away from us, and LIFE IS HARD, so we need all of the joy and light that we have to survive. This is the spring arriving right before winter takes over for good. Thank God for spring.
It takes strength to defy a belief system capable of telling us how to communicate our souls. It is a breakdown and conversation with ourselves. It takes time. It is uncomfortable. It is worth it.
Sometimes it takes losing everything to finally see that we had it all all along.
Sometimes we run ourselves in circles.
Sometimes I get really tired of seeing my face..
Stop and ask: Where did you go again? Pause and listen for a long time.
P.S. Life in Japan RN
Hanami is here.
Cherry blossoms, sakura.
Hanami is the appreciation of flowers.
I find a modest spot with my blanket next to a crying child and a group of seniors on a field trip. We all want to see the blossoms. Hanami is here, and it is for everyone.
Learning how to be where we are right now is difficult, but that’s the thing about sitting and watching the flowers. We take note of the world as it is instead of what it is not. What am I trying to be if not this? What am I doing? Right now I am sitting and enjoying the flowers in Japan. Everyone has a season. I am getting really good at being uncomfortable. It just is what it is. Stop struggling. This is the part where we get to just let go. Stop struggling. Let it go. ❤
For more on the sobriety journey, follow The OAM on Instagram @the_oam, and check out The OAM facebook page. ❤
Cover photo by @tomluptonphotos