Day 51: Future Trippin’

Future Trippin’ – To worry/freakout about the future instead of enjoying the present.

In my old, addict days, future trippin’ was a part of everyday life.

Worrying about the minute to minute was hardly a care. But, ask me about 5, 10, 20 years in the future, and I could have taken you through my whole, big, perfect plan. Where I’d be, who I’d be with, what I’d be doing for a living, the style of my future and fab home. Yes, I had it all planned out, to a T. Down to the granite counter tops and the Playskool toys that my unborn children would have sprawled out on their play mats.

Well, as you may have gathered, things did not go as planned. In fact, they went so far off course that I hardly know what ground I’m standing on presently, much less what years in the future hold in store.

It’s a concept that I battle with everyday. I have to have conversations with myself, inwardly and sometimes out loud. I have to explain to myself that all I have is today. Today, I have my sobriety. I have the food in my fridge. The possessions that I own. The clothing on my back and in my closets. The tasks that currently need accomplishing. The people that have graced my life. I have to reiterate these things daily. Because, even though I am here, now, currently blessed with and by so many things…I forget.

I start thinking ahead. What will I need? Who will be there? What will it mean?

I just can’t live that way. That fact is assured. I tried and failed. The test run, unsuccessful.

In sobriety, I at least have the wherewithal to see that my mind goes in that direction. And, even though it still goes and goes and goes with more fervor than the Energizer Bunny ever had, I can cut it off at the pass. Talk myself out of that trip that gets me to no destination whatsoever.

But, that knowledge can be poisonous too. The past week or so, I’ve been down. I’ve spent a lot of time examining exactly what it is I’m going through. On the outside, things look good. I have an established routine, that’s for the most part pretty darn healthy. Good, stable relationships. Support. And, all the basic survival needs anyone could really want or ask for, right down to the scented candles on the mantle. I’ve got it good. So, why this void?

I’ve narrowed it down to control, or, lack thereof. The issue with living in the present, even if you have to force yourself to do so, is that you lose control over the future. Not that I ever had control, but, it felt that way. When you turn your will and life over to God, initially it’s a total relief. For me, it was letting go of all that worry that somehow I had to make things right. And, in turning everything over, everyday, to my higher power, I lose that control. That control that I held on to so desperately, for so, so long.

And, now that I’ve been sober long enough to get some distance and clarity on my old self, I can see that the semblance of control was a huge part of my being. And, now, I’m without it. Of course there’s a void. Of course I’m searching for this thing I lost which, in fact, I never had.

Seeing this in myself (and I’ll give you, it’s a bit convoluted), is both a revelation, and well, a loss. I’d never really thought of control as a personality in my life, but, upon further examination, it was. It was something I could cling to, return to, harp on, rearrange, and it would make me feel better.

Now, I realize I’m going to have to take a few minutes each day, not only to appreciate the present, but, to mourn my relationship with the future that will never be. The future that was not intended for me. That’s hard. And, frankly, it’s a loneliness that no person or meeting or treatment can fill. I have to fill it. I have to fill it by really, truly thanking God for all the wonderful things I have right here, right now.

I can’t lie, living in this new found knowledge is fucking trippy. But, I’ll take it, ’cause homies, I’m done trippin‘.

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