Do you ever feel like you’re getting your shit together for like the nine hundredth time this year? That’s me. I mean, do people who aren’t a-holics just understand this all their lives? I’m getting used to the ebb and flow of my life, although I’m still surprised by how it does it. After almost four years sober I know what’s coming mostly- about four times a year I get sad and lost, and about four times a year I pick myself up and find a way around that corner again.
I wonder if it’s stretching out my life suit, like growing but instead of in sizes in measures of prayer and hands up. But also like my ass is spreading out some, like I’m settling it down into the mud that is my life, wiggling it into the mud for a long stay. Getting comfortable. Finding a home.
I was laughing with my therapist the other day about how impossible it seems that until about eight months ago I had no idea that I struggled with anxiety. And now that I know it I recognize it everywhere- in traffic, at work, teaching yoga, when my kids argue, when my husband doesn’t seem to see me, when people disagree and I’m not even involved, when I feel lost about who I even am anymore, should I have a cup of tea or water- there it is: anxiety. Is it attachment to outcome that makes me grab on so hard or just the fear of being an afterthought?
But because I recognize it I can recognize it. And then that helps me to understand that if I recognize it then I can surrender to it because it’s something I know. It’s like the day I decided to quit drinking- I recognized myself as a person who is an alcoholic and so I understood that I could surrender to that, that it was safer to be an alcoholic than it was to be someone who would spend another day denying what I knew was the truth.
Is there a difference between an alcoholic and a problem drinker? I only know that as soon as I slapped the label of “alcoholic” on myself I got sober. How fucking weird is that. It brings me a strange comfort in a way to be able to call this strong forceful part of myself something. Over the years that grew into calling myself an “a-holic” because I don’t just only want to drink all the booze, in varying degrees I am driven to have more more more of anything that feels like permission. Giving this part of me a name gives it a form, it gives me something I can grab on to and hold and shake and shape. It gives me a part of myself I can identify and recognize. It makes it so when I feel anxious and I’m holding a handful of chocolate covered raisins I can think about who is holding those raisins and be able to put them back. It gives me someone to run to in the dark, someone to hand the light and pull in and tell sweet things like “it’s okay” and “I think you need water”.
I’m interested in your thoughts.