|Here I am holding most of my children’s clothing so they could swim in the ocean at Folly Beach the day after Christmas. Thinking big.
Someone said to me the other day, “I can’t wait for the holidays to be over so I can take a break from drinking.” It took me a minute to realize what they were talking about- but only a minute. I can easily remember this feeling- the exhaustion from all the “celebrating”. I can remember feeling like I wanted to drive away and go hide from everyone so I didn’t have to get drunk again because Christmas and New Years. I remember how it felt to drag myself through the joyful days of the holiday season- puffy faced, fat feeling, endless guilt and drinking, drinking, drinking.
The feeling I can’t shake these days is the one that doesn’t understand how almost everyone feels like getting drunk is normal. That this is the truth: I am the oddity because I don’t drink. It’s accentuated by times of celebration. Another feeling I can’t shake: how disingenuous it seems to find celebration at the bottom of a glass and not in the space of our hearts. Why does it take some liquid courage to own up to the love we feel for one another?
I have been so remiss in my writing, I almost feel like I could never catch you up on all the things I’ve been connecting one to the other in a flurry of one to the other. I have been hibernating, concentrating myself small small small like I have to. I have been lazy- caught in the suspension of this warm rainy winter- ironically frozen almost in my middle place of this thing to the next. Life getting bigger isn’t so much about big motion as it is about being willing to sit still.
In the van on the way back from visiting grandparents over Christmas my husband and I were talking as we sped along I-95. We talked about the new year- wishes, responsibilities, possibilities. I tried to explain to him how I want to be out loud- proud of myself and my sobriety, how I want to help others who want it, but how I want to remain humble too. I have such a hard time when it comes to writing my blog now- writing people one on one gives me such pleasure, but when I sit down to write here I find myself struggling to not leave anyone out, to not be preachy or too woo woo, too. Sometimes it’s just hard to put into words what I’m thinking in a way that makes actual sense.
I am afraid. Sitting here thinking about it I know that I have been keeping things small because it’s safe. I read Elizabeth Gilbert and Julia Cameron and I take writing classes and sign up for yoga teacher training and join a writing group and then I push my feet into the sand and try to stay scared and small but my life just ain’t having it. I’ve spent this month trying to think myself into keeping my life little- less work, less connection, less of everything when truthfully I am ready to give more than ever before. It’s not the more that’s cramping my style- it’s the way I keep trying to keep myself as less.
It strikes me how much truth is in the telling. Mostly the stories we tell ourselves, and the ones made from the things we’re told. How telling you the truth here makes it more OK to tell myself the truth inside. How this, here, now, tells me what I need to know. Maybe it tells you something now, too.