Thursday, June 11, 2009

Yet another year, yet another lesson

Some say that you shouldn’t get into a relationship in your first year of sobriety. Others say that you should because you’ll learn more from screwing that up than from anything else. Most all agree that oldtimers should not get into relationships with newcomers not for the sake of the newcomer but for the sake of the oldtimer because they feel deeper and stronger than most. I guess I can now consider myself an oldtimer because I feel so strongly and deeply and I screwed up a relationship and learned more from it than from anything else in my life.

What I do know is that I have been closer to a drink in the past two days than I have been in all of my sobriety. I have never been more ‘thirsty.’ I truly have never felt so much pain at one time. I sit in meeting after meeting hearing accolades from my fellows on how proud they are of me for another year of sobriety, or how much of an inspiration I am to them. I am surrounded by people who love and care about me but I feel totally alone, I feel ashamed. I don’t want to feel anything any longer. I want it all to go away. Yet no number of meetings, no amount of prayer and meditation, no amount of reading books, no amount of talking with therapists and friends, no amount of journaling, no amount of anything can take it away. Especially a drink. All I can do is to feel thorough it all. Knowing that the mistakes made will not be repeated because I will have the memory of the pain I am currently in.

They say that pain is the touchstone of spiritual growth. If that truly is the case I have grown more in the past 3 months, specifically the past 2 than I have in my entire sobriety. The loss of the person whom I loved the most and wished to and planed to spend the rest of my life with was not the reason this growth has occurred but the catalyst. The loss was the final push that caused me to deal with me and what has been going on.

It is ironic how one must sometimes lose that which is most important to them in order to learn how to treat those most important to them. For the past year I have done nothing but kill the pain over the loss of a parent, the denial from the college I’ve wanted to attend for 3+ years, a changed mother, and more. And by doing so I isolated myself from those around me, those who I cared about, and cared about me. I did retail therapy, I stayed super busy, I took on more hours at work, I distracted myself with useless things to kill the time. By doing so I neglected those who I loved, and by doing so I lost them, probably for good. Yet through it all I have learned more about me and my actions than any other time in my life. I realized how controlling my parents were/are. I realized and turned down the opportunity for them to buy me a house because it would only give them more power over my life. I realized that although they can help me as much as they wish they can not and I will not allow them to control my life and push their values upon me.

I realized how important it is for me to get on my own two feet as fast as possible so that I can begin to truly create my own existence and my own life without the possibility of outside/family influence.

I realized that although my Mother claims she “Wants the best for me” she really wants “What SHE thinks is best for me.” And I will not partake in that any longer.
I realized that only I know what is best for me. That I can not and must not listen to those around me but must listen to my heart and my gut because it will never lead me the wrong way.

I realized that love is an action that evokes an emotion. That love is a garden that must be watered and maintained if it is to thrive and that takes time. Time I did not spend.

I realized first hand how my actions and emotions can affect the emotions and actions of those around me.

Most painfully I realized that although I would do ANYTHING to get her back I can’t. That I must truly love her from a distance and let her figure it all out, and whatever that will be will be the best thing for her, and that she will make the best decision for herself and her life.

Love that runs that deep hurts the most because sometimes the only way to show true love is to let someone go. The death of my Father was easier to deal with than this. With his death I played no part. With this situation I did. Unfortunately I realized it and took the action to change it after it was too late, and by doing so lost the most important thing to me.

I would love nothing more than to be with her and to help her and to spend time with her and to share with her all that is going on in each of our lives, but I can’t. I would love nothing more than to influence her with my ‘epiphanies’ on life, the lessons I’ve learned, the changes I’m making, but I can’t. I must love her from a distance. Give her the time she needs to figure things out. I know that at times I may falter and wander off the path of progress I am on, I know have a map so that I can return onto the right path.

I am able to do all of this because I am sober. I am able to do all of this because I ask for help and am honest with those around me. I am able to do this because I love and I feel today. I am able to do all of this because I was given the opportunity to truly focus on myself and not allow myself to be distracted by those I love.

Even with 6 years sober life can still be difficult and painful, yet I always remember that although there are many excuses to drink, there is not one good reason. There is not one good reason to sacrifice all I’ve gained and all I’ve learned, just so I can stop the pain. Even though I am alone, God is carrying me.

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