The past month has been fraught.
I quit drinking on February 5th and attended my first meeting on February 7th.
I don’t smoke and then I smoke and then I smoke and then I want to quit but there are a million excuses not to.
I forget to eat for hours because I smoke instead.
I fritter away hours and hours on anxiety riddled web surfing.
Meanwhile, I work my ass off because I LOVE my work and it sustains me, even when I’m starving myself of all the things I really need to feel in the flow and at peace.
I realized today that I have not sat down alone with paper and a pen since February 10th. Instead, I opt to open this here blog dashboard and type my face off. I update my status at Facebook and go all venty screedy ranty.
But I have not taken a moment to myself to sit in silence and solitude and write, pen to paper, about what’s going on with me…
Danger, Will Robinson. Danger!
Pixels are awesome. Instant publishing gives me a platform where I can share what’s going on with me with the world, and that is immensely helpful to me. My practice of writing honestly leads to amazing amounts of support, encouragement, and people flock to share what we call In The Rooms (AA), ESH ~ experience, strength and hope. I could not ask for a better tribe. I could not do what I do without you.
But I can’t do what I do without ME, either, and that’s been missing since Feb 10th. There’s been too much casting about out there trying to figure things out and not enough getting quiet and listening to my innards.
I did that today and here’s what my innards are saying:
Yes, you still sound a bit like you’re hacking up a lung, but go to a meeting.
All that shit that’s swirling around your brain about your drinking not being that bad? It’s bullshit. Go to a meeting.
Your anxiety about work and your business and the changes and how people feel about it? Take a breath. Repeat after me:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Now. Make two columns. In ink. On paper. What can you change? What can’t you?
Put every damned thing in the ‘can’t change’ column in a box marked “God’s Business, Not Mine”
The world of light that streams through my monitor is an amazing world. It has so much to offer me, but the support I receive out here in this world is no substitute for my connection with God as I understand her. I wanted you to be my higher power because I LIKE you and I really do get so much strength, hope, and encouragement from my interactions with you. But here’s the thing ~ along with what you offer comes a whole slew of other crap that isn’t so strengthening, hopeful and encouraging. When I share as openly as I do, I’d better be damned good and ready to get letters and comments that aren’t of the awesome uplifting kind.
If I don’t go within FIRST, if I don’t pray first, if I don’t put pen to paper FIRST, my loins will not be properly girded for the times when I need to face the consequences of my vulnerability ~ which is this:
Sharks love the scent of blood in the water, and if I bleed, they’re going to circle.
I know this. I wrote about this in my monthly missive. I wrote about how I’m learning to bleed in private spaces so that I don’t get bitten ~ BUT ~ there is value in my bleeding. I know this because I get letters of the ‘your sharing strengthens me’ variety, so opting not to bleed at all is not an option for me.
What I need is to be strengthened by my connection with the divine so that when the sharks do circle, I can accept responsibility for my own reaction to them. I can let those experiences help me to identify whatever unmet needs are triggering my difficult emotions. (Thank you, Tam.)
If I took to pen and paper yesterday BEFORE I vomited all over the Internets, I would have been able to self-soothe. Self-soothing is an antidote to drinking. When you can self-soothe (or let your understanding of the divine soothe you, which amounts to the same thing in my books), you don’t have to reach for whatever medication you were using to dull down your difficult feelings.
Paper first. Paper first. Paper first.
It isn’t that I regret anything I said yesterday about vulnerability and leadership or standing in your truth vs. being a butthole. It’s that I regret not *taking care of myself* before I put that out there. It’s that I didn’t do any self-care around what I was feeling. And furthermore, I didn’t do any self-care around how some people choose to respond to my vulnerability.
I bled in the water without the benefit of a shark cage.
Paper first. Paper and prayer.