While meditating in the bath tub, my phone rang.
My immediate reaction was to ignore it. I was in the middle of something. But, when I saw it was my friend who is currently living in Taiwan, I knew I had to pick up.
I hadn’t talked to her in several months. We do our best to chat on Skype, but, it’s been a pretty inconsistent line of communication in the past six months. She visited back in October, right around when I hit my thirtieth day in sobriety. So, a lot has transpired. We talked for a long time about our relationships (her fiance is out in Taiwan as well). She was very curious about Lars and how this whole sobriety thing plays into our dynamic. We talked about the day to day trappings of our little lives. And, I did my best to fill her in on the little changes and dramas that have transpired with our mutual friends here in this small, little land of Portland, Oregon.
As I spoke to her, it struck me how much I’ve changed. How, in just a few short months, so many things have just turned upside down. And, while I’ve been tracking my progress here on the blog daily, sometimes it takes talking to a complete outsider, who hasn’t been privy to the ins and outs of my recovery, to see just how different things are for me. My interests have increased ten-fold. I found myself spouting my new found knowledge of and passion of and for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), my new appreciation for mediation, my personal growth and changing strength in my yoga classes. My relationship with Lars, which sometimes feels stagnant to me, was brought back to life as I described him and our time together, I can see when I look as far back as five months ago just how much we’ve grown together. As a couple, and as individuals, Lars and I have done a lot of work.
I needed to see all this about myself. I mean, I see that I’m doing all these things, moving forward with Lars, but, sometimes the arch of growth gets lost when you’re writing about the day to day happenings. Life is bigger, things are ever changing. And, talking to my friend also brought me back. She’s been in my life for a long time. Long before I got sober. I start to remember some of our little adventures together. And, while I can see myself with her, I don’t recognize that woman that I once was. And, I’m still not sure if that makes me totally happy. Because, as I talked to her, I felt like the person that she expected to talk to is almost completely gone. Am I supposed to miss that former version of myself? Burn her at the stake? Ignore her as she sits at the bar, guzzling drink after drink, taking a break only to smoke a cigarettes?
There’s this huge arch between the woman typing this post, here and now, and the woman who first sat down to write over six months ago. And, as I’m reminded in subtle and not so subtle ways of how different I actually am, I’m beginning to have mixed feelings about the new order of things. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to be happy. It’s just, I wonder sometimes if this new woman is being true to the core person that’s been with me all along. It’s tough to accept that I’m the same person as I was back then, only now, I’m making better choices. While I grew to hate the old version of me, she was loved and accepted by many people, that I still love today, like my friend in Taiwan. Am I the same person to her? Do I need to be?
Somewhere deep within, I know what the right path is, and I’m on it. I know that beyond the choices, the recovery, the massive and subtle changes I’ve implemented, there is still that same soul that I started with, she’s held on. In fact, I think I can see her a little more clearly than I have in a long time.
I have to remind myself that different isn’t bad. Change isn’t bad. Learning and growing in and around yourself isn’t bad. It’s all good. And, the woman I am today may be very different from when she embarked on this epic journey, but, that arch, that’s the rainbow right there. It requires a step back to truly see. Oh, yes, and rain. The rainbow requires rain.