Friday, March 27, 2015

Working Things Out

I have been doing some different things since I found out I might have MS. It got me to thinking about how I want things to be- that and that journal I was reading- the one that said the same stuff over and over again for like two years about cookies and not doing yoga.

Almost three weeks ago I made a promise to myself to walk every day. Do yoga every day. Brush and floss and wash my face before bed. Write each day.

I'm doing it.

It's kind of incredible what listening to yourself can do for you. I had coffee with my dear friend (my bridge moment friend) and we talked about shame. She's reading Brene Brown and totally groovin' on it and made me realize that I want to revisit that book too and got me to thinking about my progress since I read Brene Brown last. The patience I find for myself increases every day, the delight in my own me-ness is such a new and tender thing I'm still surprised when it shows up.

So many of our decisions can be based on shame. I drank because I was ashamed of who I was, and who I wasn't. Either way I was never good enough. I was full of shame for all the things about me, and I drank to stop feeling so bad about it. Which made me feel bad about that. Then I got sober and I wasn't ashamed about my drinking anymore but I still hadn't really looked at the person I wanted to be. For a long time being sober was enough. But then I realized I was still here- and I was still not tuning in to my nature, things were still wonky because I was still not turning to my own true North.

That inner voice is damn hard to hear because it gets overrun by the voice of shame. It all is attached.

There's something about being told I might have a disease that might put me in a wheelchair. It makes me want to walk. It makes me want to bend and twist and feel my breath. It made me look at of all the time I spend being sorry at my life, at all the time I spend in my head wishing I was one thing yet being another. It's making me try harder to be good at my life: not good for any one reason other than it is mine.

A while back I listened to Anne Lamott give an interview. She said something that I will never forget: "YOU WILL COME THROUGH." Until now I didn't realize that there are two ways to see that. One is that, yes, you will. You will reach the end or the other side. You will, with patience and time, come through all the things. All things good and all things bad- you will come through. I was only thinking of it as it defines the journey, not as it connects my soul to my outer life. Now I can see that not only will I come through, but that I will come through. I will, despite my efforts to not, come through. My self-ness will seep through until I become saturated and unable to ignore my own self.

I do that by remembering that I am no longer ashamed. I don't have to hide the woman I am because I was so drunk last night and did embarrassing things again. I know my mind, so I can speak it. I can feel strong enough to be who I am in the world without fear. I am connecting these things because I am listening to my voice- my conscience that wants to love and protect me that I mistakenly thought hated me all along.

Once in a while it takes a big something to motivate you to change. Other times it's just time to be different. But I have always known who I am, in my heart of hearts- I know. I'm working out how to be brave enough to be that person. Although it sounds kind of morbid it helps me to think that one day this life of mine will be over. How will I have wanted to spend it? Fearful and ashamed or at least trying my fucking heart out for the best life I can have? I don't want to be dying and wishing I'd done the simple things my heart desired. I want to do all the things. I want to live out loud and wide open and unafraid and unashamed with a balance of gentle and strong. But most of all, I do not want to keep wishing for things that are in my power to make come true.

I have a spinal tap scheduled for April 22. The day after my 44th birthday. Then there will be an answer: a yes or a no that changes my life either way. I am not afraid. I am not afraid because I am who I am, I am strong enough to handle hard things and ask for help. Being sober gave me life, and it also gives me something to live for. It gives me the courage. And for that I am forever grateful.

24 comments:

  1. I think you and I and all of us that are on here pouring our hearts out and striving, striving, striving, are going to be very happy with how we lived our lives, we just have to get to the point of being happy with ourselves, loving ourselves, while we do the living.

    Sounds like you're doing that. I have so much to catch up on. I'm sorry about the MS. You know, sometimes I look back and wonder if I could, would I choose not to have drank and the surprising answer is, "No." I have so much gratitude and clarity now, I see people that have never drank, that don't have that.

    You are a conqueror. And you are already inspiring me in this latest conquest of yours. Man, what was I thinking disappearing for months? I missed you guys!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes you just need a break. :) I'm glad to see you back around

      I wouldn't change mine either. It has made me who i am. Xxxooo

      Delete
  2. Amy love Brene Brown too and learn something new every time I hear her speak or read her words. You are in my thoughts xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. What book of Brene Brown's would you recommend reading first?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like The Gifts of Imperfection first.

      Delete
  4. I don't know what to say, "good luck" seems so hollow and random. I wish you find the strength to be the best you. My medical bombshell was so very different from yours - not life threatening if I jumped through certain hoops - but those hoops brought challenges I was not/am not prepared/comfortable to face. I admire your sobriety. I have since the day you got sober. regards, G

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Life can get damn uncomfortable. But sometimes you are stronger than you think. You know whether you're reacting out of fear or out of a genuine unready-ness.

      Thank you for your kind words. :)

      Delete
  5. ok didn't mean for that to sound creepy. just that I've been in the 100 day challenge for awhile.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sending hugs to you, didn't realise you were facing that. I love this post though, boy are you sounding really great, it's heartwarming and so lovely xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I got all those hugs. They were terrific :)

      Delete
  7. Beautiful. Your serenity is beaming through this post. So centered. So solid.
    Light love & blessings to you Amy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much. Love and light right back to you!

      Delete
  8. also sending you hugs. wish I could send you a parcel of Anne Lamott and daffodils and a wide open window with fresh air and sunshine blowing in, all tied up in the prettiest paper I can find, so pretty you would want to unwrap it carefully, smooth it out and re-use it somewhere that would make you smile each time you saw it. UPS could deliver that, right?! lots of love, Prim xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh!!! This is so lovely- I can totally imagine it. And that made me smile big time. :) xxxooo

      Delete
  9. First, best wishes and thoughts for your upcoming appt. The grace with which you are handling this great unknown is awesome, in the literal sense of the world. Your thoughts on shame are so incredibly spot on. Also, it is comforting to know that even after 2 years, you are still discovering yourself. Thanks for sharing. It is taking me a great act of restraint not to comment on.every.single.one.of.your.posts! Thank you for your tender transparency!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) i learn something new every day. Some days those things are bigger than others. This blog helps me as much as it helps everyone else.

      Delete
  10. i think this news sucks rocks :( you knew something was up for a while so i'm glad they're finally trying to figure it out for you. i'm sure it's not exactly how you were hoping this would turn out. fingers crossed for a lovely spinal tap (is there such a thing?). keep us posted. hugs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, it seems like it has taken forever to figure things out. But at least there is some figuring out to do, and with some answers i can alleviate my symptoms. Thank you for the hugs :) hugs back to you!!!

      Delete
  11. Amy, I think you have the wherewithal to BE the next Anne Lamott. ❤️ For a whole lot of reasons. Your own beautiful version of course.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol be still my heart- the next Anne Lamont???? That would be incredible! There's lots of writing practice in my spring and summer so anything is possible. :) much love!! Xxxooo

      Delete
  12. You are my friend and I will be here for you no matter what. You only have to reach out and my hand will be there.

    Sherry

    ReplyDelete
  13. Amy so happy to see you writing more on your blog. You have been my inspiration since day one ... Now a little over 16 months! I admire your honesty and desire to live your truth. This MS news is startling.. Please know that I am thinking of you. Sending love and hugs your way. ~Denise

    ReplyDelete