Whoever said that the few months leading up to a year of sobriety sucked: You are so right.
And while the suckage continues, amazingly, so do the lessons.
I’ve done a lot of reflecting, isolating, complaining, and backtracking recently. But, I’ve also had my mind blown. As I face each new emotion, battle each old demon, I can actually see how much my mind has been opened to the possibility, that maybe, just maybe, I have been wrong about some things my whole life.
And, up until this point, I’ve held on to a lot of shit. Sure, I’ve turned a lot over too. It’s really easy to look at the stuff you turn over. It’s pretty effortless to pat yourself on the back for the small shit that you accomplish in sobriety. But, I’ve found that it’s the big stuff, the stuff that’s hard to conquer, that’s always the last thing I face. And when I stand there, valiantly basking in the glow of my meager accomplishments, patting myself on the back, that’s when the army of elephants I’d been ignoring stomp out.
I’ve noted that Lars and I have has some ups and downs. Of late, it’s been more downs than ups. And, I’ve reverted to some old survival tactics. Mainly: I’m right, he’s wrong. I’ve used my new-found confidence in myself to justify my own self righteousness. And, while there are some things I am, in fact, right about, there are also things that I’m just afraid to look at, afraid to face, and above all: afraid to change.
There is nothing more debilitating than fear. It morphs us into something else. Fear creates other versions of us. Versions that, if we could really see clearly, would not make our true selves very proud.
Amidst an argument with Lars, he changed the focus of our rift. He told me: You’re so focused on what you want, that you don’t see what you have. You think so much about what you should be, that you forget who you are.
At first, I was furious. He changed the fucking subject of our fight. My ability to be present had nothing to do with it. He was deflecting. He was working my program. How dare he?!?! I could work his program for him too, but, I don’t muthafucka!!! I keep my nose out of it! Dammit!
I stewed on it for awhile. And, after cooling down, I asked myself why his interjection got me so fired up. And, it suddenly became really clear. I reacted that way, so adamantly against his presumption, because, well, I was afraid to look at my own shit. I was afraid that maybe he was right. And, when I actually stopped, and held that statement up to the light and tried it against a lot of the problems we’ve had, it’s been a major contributor to our discourse. The things that I haven’t turned over: My plans. What I want. Where I should be.
There’s no God there. No God in my plan, my wishes, my setting. It’s all me. The thing I haven’t let go. I’ve turned over so much that, somewhere, I decided God must be on board with my plan. Why turn that over, he’s working for me, right? Well no. He’s not. I’m working for him. And, by denying myself the joy of living in the moment I’m in, and instead, working in this moment for the next one, I lose a lot.
And, if I continue like this, I lose Lars or he loses me. One or the other.
So, in this moment, I know something new. I know that I have to open my mind to my “now” with Lars, not my “will be.” I also know, that Lars doesn’t get to work my program without getting a few heavy questions from me in return. I learned long ago, in early sobriety, that I don’t have to bury my feelings anymore. I just have to bury the fear.
In this moment: clarity. The next: _________________.