Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wherever You Are

I have been reading this book and it has been rocking my world- in good and bad ways which are really all good ways. Sometimes it hits way too close to home and I wish I was in the middle of another book too so I could give myself a break. But then I am so intrigued by what it makes me think I just go on back to it.

Because I haven't gone to AA I haven't done any step work. I know there are steps, and that there are twelve, and that surrendering is a big huge part of the AA message that I really really like. I believe to this day that the reason I stay sober is that I surrender to my alcoholism and by surrender I mean own it. When I stopped making excuses for myself lo and behold! I was able to quit drinking because I wasn't lying to myself anymore. I need this about sweets too, and people pleasing, and also being a tiny bit bad at asking for help. But, as they say, one step at a time.

The part I am really really loving is the higher power part. Which really surprises me since I have never ever been religious, but then it really isn't all about "religion" but more like faith and prayer without an official title or a building or even a name. I puzzle over it all the time. "Hello!" I say. "Hello          !" I say. "What the hell do I call this person/thing I pray to?" I think to myself. Today I described her as a serene mother nature-y person with long gray hair with flowers leaves and twigs woven into it wearing a dress made from moss, some tights and some clogs when it's cold. She smiles benevolently at me with all the patience in the world.

So instead of being afraid of the higher power part I am totally embracing it. Some because of that description above and then mostly because in A Woman's Way Through the Twelve Steps Stephanie Covington says our higher power accepts us just as we are. That our higher power expects us to be kind of broken and fucked up, BUT it isn't there to fix us but to support us. That it is a shared energy. That it is an eternal safe place inside and outside of all of us. That my higher power and I are a team.


And so then, if I surrender to being part of this lovely team who tells me the truth and tucks my hair behind my ear softly and will love me as big as I will let it, then I can be more self full. More solid. More not me against the world. That makes me feel so safe. It makes it easier to not drink. It makes it easier not to eat seven cookies, or say yes when I mean no. It means that I can think "help" and not "read my mind".

There's a song by the Dixie Chicks called "Godspeed"that I love. My dad made a video of clips of my oldest when he was around two and put this song as the music. I cry every every time, but especially at the part where she sings "God hears amen wherever we are and I love you". My heart breaks open a little bit and I just know. I know that my higher power hears me wherever I am. That I can have my own version, that I have faith. Not in a name, or a religion, but in me. That I hear my amens wherever I am.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Ground + Connect

Happy New Year!

So much has been changing around here that I haven't made time to sit and connect in weeks. I've been situating myself into working two jobs for a while which has made things a little wonky. "Oh no!" everyone says. "Two jobs?" everyone says. "How will you do it?" everyone says, and then shakes their heads and looks like they've just smelled something funny. Do they doubt me or just feel sorry for me? I am kind of worn out by trying to convince everyone, including me, that it will be fine. It's only until April.

It will be fine.

Did I mention that my other job is waiting tables? At night? In a fancy-ish restaurant where there's loads of good wine and clever cocktails? Yes, I've been opening and pouring wine. Carefully carrying full martini glasses. I've been to a wine tasting. And sniffed and smelled and passed mine on to my neighbor. It amazes me how much I used to know about wine, and how much I don't know anymore. Somehow without the tasting it just isn't the same.

It isn't the same. Thank God.

It is fine.

I have moments, seconds, of twinges of wishing I could do it. Drink normally. When I open a bottle of something lovely for a couple to share and they settle into the warmth of that first glass I miss drinking so much for a minute. But then I take myself to the end of my night: me, drunk. Outside in the cold. Smoking too many cigarettes and pouring wine down my throat urgently wanting that warm just for a moment feeling back from that first glass of wine. I take myself to all the mornings I woke up hungover and so depressed and guilty. Then I am sober and happy and fine. And I go have some water. It has taken concentration and control but I can do things like that.

I have noticed that I have been doing the hibernating thing I do when there's a lot to think about. When I was thinking about my word for this year I thought about that. About how I have stopped blogging. How I have eased back on my connections with friends. How I have stopped being connected to myself. How I need to find my feet again. Life has needed a lot of arranging for the past six months- there have been big decisions to make and health concerns (no answers yet). It can get overwhelming.

I think it all started when my recovery group went sideways and I lost a big sober outlet. I sort of flung myself out into the world without a net and then got lost in the atmosphere. I'm still sort of new at this and so when I get knocked around a bit I am still not very used to reaching out and saying help. So when I was thinking about 2015 I knew I needed to reconnect with my sober life. That I needed to stop being alone in my cave and come on back out onto solid ground. To find my feet again.

It's hard, when you are being sober and figuring things out about yourself, when people question your passion and your intentions. I am very passionate about my sobriety and I sort of lost that after I left the recovery group, because of what happened in group. Which means, instead of hiding and being safe from others (which is what I've realized I was doing) I need to find a group that fits for me. I need to put it back out there to the universe that I'm strong enough to put myself out there again.

That's where the ground comes in. My head is often in the clouds- all involved in it's own thinks and thoughts and none of those are about my feet on the ground. For me I need a strong base so that when something happens I can remain safe on my own two feet. I still struggle with a lot of self doubt: who am I really? what do I stand for? what do I believe? who do I want to be? I think that spending most of my life drinking has taken the opportunity to find those answers and cement them a lot more difficult. As a peace keeping people pleaser it is hard for me to know who I am when I am made up of  molding myself to fit so many other people. How to un-shape and un-pretzel into standing straight on my two feet me.

Luckily I have grown patient. I have untangled enough to know that things take time. I can look at this next year with tolerance and not feeling that unsettling urge to be all fixed all at once today right now. I made a New Year's resolution to mind my posture. It seemed kinder than promising myself my typical promise: lose weight. I made a decision to meet myself the way I am today, not some version of me I wish I were, but the version of me I am. All that head speak about "I need to be             and then I'll be OK" is bullshit for me. It's like smoke and mirrors- it distracts me from living. It's like a trick my mind plays to keep me from growing because it's comfortable right here. If I concentrate on all this flim and flam then I stay right where I am: promising to quit drinking, to lose weight, to be a better wife, a better mother, a better anything that what I am today.

So instead I'm going to sit up straight, I'm going to stand tall on my two feet and find the ground. I'm going to be brave and connect even when I'm afraid that people are judging me and think I'm a fake and I'm doing it all wrong. I'm going to open myself to connection again. Blog again. Put intentions out into the universe again and not be afraid of the things that come. Ground + connect.