Day 20: Into The Clearing

Booze, it’s not the only thing I must leave behind.

There is so much piled up, it is difficult to wade through it all. But, there are some days when no wading is necessary. The wave comes to you.

Today was the year anniversary (if I can even call it that) of my boyfriend of six and a half years leaving me.

It was the turning point in my drinking career. The single event that sent me reeling out, spiraling down, and eventually drowning in drink.

To think of myself a year ago on this day, still breaks my heart. 365 days away, and still so close and raw that I can feel it. I can remember the sky, the mail set on the coffee table, the fucking carpet. Everything is still so vivid and dramatic in my mind’s eye.

I’d been preparing for today this whole week. It was barreling toward me like a freight train, and there was no way to step off the track. I knew it was going to hit, and hit hard. And, it did.

I spent the early hours of the morning balling in my apartment, turning to my cat and the coffee pot for comfort. Then I took myself to my 7AM meeting, and shared, voice cracking and broken. I was so grateful for that meeting. The familiar faces looking on me with sympathetic and understanding eyes. Then, to Powell Butte, to commune with God. To give it over. To ask that he be with me, that he take what’s left of this heartache, and take me on to the next thing, whatever that may be.

I’ve held on to this man, this pain, this sadness, for a year. And, it’s time. Time to put that glass down.

So, I use the tools that AA has provided me, and I harness the spirit within me, and I humbly ask God to help me let this thing that has haunted me and held me back, go. And, maybe tomorrow, when my mind is free to think of something else, anything else, my prayer will be answered. But, for today, I will sit with this feeling. And I will not drink over it. For today, I will accept it. I will give it over to God, and push on. For me. For my sobriety. And for the bright future that I know lies in wait for me.

There is a pass in my hike at Powell Butte where the thick, wooded forest meets a clearing. Yellow grass grows tall and pine trees line the horizon like an army poised for battle. As I walk past the last of the thick, brooding trees into the golden field, I close my eyes and raise my arms up to the perfect, cloudless sky…

Out of the woods.

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