Over the last week, I have started this post several times, only to end up deleting it. Some of the drafts just sounded too depressing because I’ve had a rough month. Some I thought seemed flat, like I just didn’t have anything good to say. And one draft just sounded angry, and that’s not how I wanted it to come across. Today, I realized that the whole point of my blog is to express my feelings – whatever they are. So, I’m not going to delete this one, I’m going to put my feelings down and get them out of my head.
May has not been a great month. At the beginning of the month, my estranged daughter celebrated her 17th birthday. Not being able to be with her was heartbreakingly painful. I wrote an open letter to her, and while I had no expectations of a response (I don’t even know for certain that she reads my blog, but I know that other family members do), I think I was holding onto a little bit of hope. But I heard nothing, good or bad. Then, just a week later I had Mother’s Day to deal with. I was sad to not be spending it with my daughter and with my own mother. No matter what my relationships with them are like now, I still miss them. In recovery, I have gotten better about accepting the past for what it is, but on days like Mother’s Day, there is still a part of me that longs for a different past. I know it’s an impossibility, but I still wish for it, especially on days that I am already in the dumps.
As if that wasn’t enough to deal with, last week we lost a member of our home group to his addiction. He was a handsome young man who had been in and out of the rooms for a couple of years. He was intelligent and friendly and had a smile and a voice that lit up the room. My husband took an instant liking to him and talked with him at length on several occasions. The last time I spoke to him, he was headed back to treatment and he sounded hopeful. He did not die sober. It was a drug overdose that took his life. He was only 18 years old. That’s where my now deleted angry post comes in. When our friend’s death was announced at our morning meeting, some of the comments from old-timers majorly pissed me off. Before I knew it, I had written a long rant about how some old-timers forget what early sobriety is like, and that their self-righteousness will, more than likely, send newcomers back out the doors that they only just worked up the courage to walk through. The comments that were made were enough to offend me, even if I hadn’t known the young man who died. When you add the shock and grief of losing someone who you care about, it makes it all the harder.
The first three weeks of May have mostly sucked, and I’ve been feeling depressed and sad and discouraged. What have I been doing with all of these negative feelings? Nothing. I’ve let them be. Now, if I were to play Monday-morning quarterback I could list the things I should’ve done that I didn’t: I should’ve talked to my sponsor more, I should’ve finished working on my 4th step (I’m in the process of re-working my steps), I should’ve practiced more of my Healthy Habits, I should’ve journaled more and written more posts. But, until today, I just haven’t felt like doing many of those things. So instead I’ve been binge-watching Nurse Jackie, crushing candy like a crazy woman, and taking 4 hour naps on my days off.
So, where exactly is the silver lining in all of this, you may ask? Here it is: even through my blues and self-pity, I was able to remember that “this too, shall pass.” I was down, but I didn’t despair. I didn’t isolate (much), I went to meetings, I talked about my feelings when I needed to, I honored my commitments even though I didn’t feel like it, and I took care of myself. And the icing on the cake was that I didn’t drink. I didn’t even want to. That’s huge. It’s a fucking miracle.
I’m happy to say that I think I am coming out of my funk, and while I didn’t do everything right while I was down, I did what I needed to and I remembered that feeling bad wouldn’t last forever and I made it through. I learned that my emotions won’t kill me and that I don’t have to try to avoid or numb them. I also learned that I am stronger and healthier than I thought before this period of melancholy. That’s some pretty shiny silver lining, if you ask me.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go finish my 4th step, do some yoga, and de-clutter something. 🙂