When I was drinking life was a juggling act.
There was work, friends, family, and, well, drinking. And, the further into my alcoholism I got, the more balls I let drop. Pretty soon, I was just managing to keep the one ball in the air. That was, of course, my drinking.
While I was pretty good at keeping up appearances, letting everyone around me think I had my shit together, the people that were closest to me in my life started to see what was going on. Some of them ignored it. As far as they were concerned, it wasn’t their business. Some of them tried to gently inform me that my drinking had escalated to the point of being an issue. They wanted to help me, but weren’t in a position to, and didn’t know where to begin. And, there were a few friends, who really badgered me about the mess I was creating. They tried to tell me, but, I wouldn’t listen, and, eventually lost them, or let them drift away, because my drinking was more important to me than they, or their advice, had been.
Now that I’ve put some time in sobriety together, I can look back and see my poorly executed juggling act. I can see all the hints and pleas that I ignored or disregarded. And, today, I live in the knowledge that, as much as it hurts me to see the way I was back then, I know that all those things had to transpire to get me to where I stand today.
However unsure I can be at times, today, I have some balance. A semblance of equilibrium. And, with the help of so many people in my family and personal life, I have started to pick up all the balls I dropped.
It’s still a matter of slow and steady wins the race. First, I stopped drinking, focused on rehab and AA, then, learned to be on my own, to take care of myself, then, assumed responsibility, then, trusted myself enough to go on an adventure, and now, getting back to work, supporting myself entirely, and finding footing so that I can balance all the little things. The pieces that add up to allow me to stay sober and to live a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Life throws you curve balls. Like, Lars being hospitalized in my first week at my new job. But, when I take things one step at a time, one day at a time, it’s manageable. And, I can see how things eventually normalize.
It isn’t easy, or fun, to be in the middle of my life sometimes. And, back when I was an active alcoholic, I resented everything that seemed like it was a burden. Today, I can see that those bumps in the road, those responsibilities and challenges, they define us. They show us what we have, and, sometimes what we need. They’re markers on the road.
Tonight, as I lay in bed with a still recovering Lars, I feel grateful that I have the ability to be there for someone else, and grateful for the opportunity to have something to give back. It keeps bringing me back to thoughts of the old me. The me who could barely show up for myself. And here I am. Available. Juggling a ball that just weeks ago hadn’t even been a blip on my radar.
I heard in an AA meeting recently that God won’t test you in certain ways until He is certain that you’re ready to step up. And, today, that feels true. I want that to be true. It gives me comfort to think that statement is true. So, I accept that I’ll only have to juggle balls that I can keep in the air from now on. And, before I’m thrown another one, I’ll keep at my practicing. Because, the more balance, the better.