Here we are y’all. Just living, you know, day to day. Making breakfast, making decisions, making a life. I’ve been finding some measure of comfort lately in the simple of it all. How life has kind of untangled and sort of wanders along. Meanders even.
Lord, I did never ever think my life might just meander.
Even in all my great messiness there was that beauty I was, the beauty I am inside. I could not ever have the appreciation for my simple day to day life if I had not been who I was then. Just the plain act of waking up and realizing that I’m sober rewards me daily. The way I look at my face in the mirror- without shame or malice, oh.
I kind of liken my life to me as a seed. You know, you can drown a plant. There is a such thing as too much water. In trying to grow my beauty (you know, fit in) I suffocated who I really was. Poor pitiful little me pouring my life out. I love the idea that sobriety dries you out, makes you reach to find the water to nourish you. Gets rid of that seed coat and lets you push your tender self right on up and out towards the honesty of a real life. A life with real feelings, and memories, and people who care for you- not the you who makes them feel better about how much they drink- but care for you. Because really you have to be cared for and about. And these are two different things. And then a lot the same. You know, just like people and seeds.
I think about people who are struggling with giving up booze every day. I think about the people I know, and the people I don’t know who are in their heads wishing and wondering if it can be done. I wish I could do an on call sobriety service: you call, we hang out and drink seltzer for two weeks until you get your feet under you, and then you stay sober forever. And then I might have to be a magician. And since I’m already juggling too many ideas I can’t do that too. So then maybe you have to be a magician for yourself.
Growing something from a seed really is kind of like magic. Put a hard small thing in dirt. Give it water, sun, and caring. Not too much of any of these though. Things can go haywire if you smother something with too much of any of these things. Much like early sobriety (since you’re trying to defeat the mess of having too much as it is) you have to figure out how to do things to the here and not the WAY OVER HERE!!!! Your plant will show you what it needs if you pay attention: drooping from too much water, shriveling from too little. Not growing or flowering if there’s not any sun. I think you can care about it as much as you want to though. That part will be OK, except not too much since you might need other things to do, too. And then with caring, for and about, your plant will give you cool things like flowers, or tomatoes.
Growing a sober you from a seed is definitely like magic too. Here you are, hard and scared and in the dirt. Just the thought that you can get sober is enough. It’s enough to start the magic. And then as you stay sober you start to learn how to grow yourself, you start to see who you are and what you need not just to survive but to thrive. To grow and flower and get a strong trunk and loads of leaves and whatever you want to have your life to be. And the more you care for yourself the easier it gets and the better it is and then maybe you’re an orchard or an entire garden center and it rocks.
I’ve planted a garden on my drinking porch. It looks nothing like it did last spring. Last spring there was a big metal table with an umbrella. A few flower pots and beer bottles full of smelly cigarette butts. Now that table is in the yard, the stinky cigs are gone, and there are tiny plants all over the place, and two bright green plastic chairs. I have also learned, over these past several months, that I’ve planted a garden in my head: that I can have an abundant, fertile, beautiful life. So as my garden grows on the porch, my sobriety is growing too.
If you are struggling with your magic, if you are wishing for your own garden, I applaud your courage. Just thinking about quitting is hard. Go today and find a something to plant a seed in. Find your seed. Plant it. Even if you’re still drinking take care of that little seed. Let it remind you to take care of you. Hold that seed, that little plant instead of a drink. Tell it your problems. Watch it grow. I’m rooting for you.