I stopped drinking. For now. Maybe forever. I’ve made every attempt to believe that my relationship with alcohol was casual, but in this season of uncovering, I get to be honest with myself. About everything. Before I can fully step out into a new life.
I’ve been numbing myself with alcohol since I was 17. When my brother died and my life cracked open, I didn’t have the tools to cross that crevasse, so I fell in. No one had the tools. My parents and I, we all fell in, one way or another.
In high school, the numbing was disguised as fitting in. In college, the numbing was disguised as having fun. In my marriage, the numbing was disguised as being social.
Every day I gained new reasons to numb myself. Every day the crack opened a sliver more and I willingly wedged myself down into the darkness, into the shelter of those shadows because heading up and out into the light of a life feeling the pain seemed impossible.
And I stayed there. Until 3 months ago.
I don’t want to be numb anymore. I want to feel everything from back then and all of what’s happening now so there won’t be any more fear. It’s happening. And I’m strong. And proud. And I’m starting to feel strong and proud.
I don’t want to be numb anymore so that when I get to the beginning again, I’ll take that first step out into the light and everything will be new. And I’ll feel it all.
I’ve decided that you can be two totally different people at the same time if you need to be.
There are no rules for this. There are no lines to be walked when you’re punching your way out of a life-eclipsing situation. You make the rules for your own survival.
It’s okay to be excited and be devastated all at once. That’s part of the grace that you get from growing through this. You go in as one person and you come out as another.
While you’re fighting through it, you’re going to be all kinds of different people. Once the bomb detonated, the old you was history anyway. You may as well be all the people and all the things you need to be while you’re plowing through.
Be the angriest you’ve ever been and then be elated when you come down. You’re growing. Be patient for a new beginning and be impatient for an end. It’s happening. Be weak and strong and right and wrong and needy and indifferent and all the things and none of the things you need to get yourself out.
There are no rules. The only thing you have to be all the time is a believer that it’s FOR A REASON. Be a devout parishoner in the church of BELIEVING YOU’RE ON YOUR WAY TO A BETTER PLACE. Go there every minute of the day. Live there. Let every moment be shrouded in respect for all of your selves. All the selves you are right now and all the selves you’re going to become.
Today I realized that there’s something good about breaking. It creates cracks for the painful things to flow out. Things that have been poisoning you inside and you didn’t know it. And if you want to, you can choose to try to replace those things with joy. With things that were once healthy and happy and good. I hope.
This is me in a past life. Maybe 12 years ago. Before I was a mom. Dancing in the dark one night with my friends and a sweet, sweet beer buzz. I love this picture. There’s joy in me in this picture. Before I started to close myself in.
Now that I’m broken open, I’m going to try find that joy again. The joy that was inside this girl. Some days I don’t know if I can, but I know I’m going to try to make this breaking count for something good.
I’m going to try to replace this betrayal with a million tiny beautiful, brave things. I’m going to try to replace this heartbreak with hope. I’m going to try to replace this disbelief with dancing. And I’m going to try to stay so beautifully broken open that I never get closed in again.