Greetings, dear readers, I’m back. To cite the Grateful Dead album, What a long strange trip it’s been.
But to quote Ethel Merman:
You’ll be swell, you’ll be great.
Gonna have the whole world on a plate.
Starting here, starting now,
Honey, everything’s coming up roses!
It required a great leap of faith to take plunge into cold, dark water of unknown depth, but I finally had to make a choice: Stay sick and miserable or take action. I had no idea how terrifying, emotionally wrenching, confusing and intimidating it would be. I also had no idea how remarkably well I’d make the transition. It is surprising how strong one can be when strength is your only option.
And here I am, waking up every morning with a sense of gratitude and optimism. The struggle isn’t over by any means. Each month I crunch numbers and break out the champagne when I find I’m still solvent. (Yes, my months of sobriety did me a world of good, but my problem was never with alcohol, just with how I used it. I’ve learned a lot, the hard way, and I now have an excellent handle on the difference between use and abuse.)
I am rediscovering me, by myself. I’m relearning not to censor the expression of who I am, learning to be fearless. I am no longer afraid of the effect what I say and do will have on the person I am dependent on, constantly nervous about the repercussions. Mostly, because that person I depend on is now me. I need apologize to no one for who I am. I no longer need to feel ashamed and broken. Or helpless. Damn, I can do this!
Not really alone, of course. I have two adult sons (and an honorary daughter) who are helping make this possible. I have dear friends who have pitched in, mostly in small ways that are collectively enormous. Friends are the family you choose, and I’ve chosen damn well. We look after each other, help each other out when we can, commiserate and congratulate, laugh together and bitch together. I love you wonderful people!
Nothing is permanent, and I know shit’s gonna happen. I’ll have to deal with crises and traumas, because that’s how life rolls. But shit is impermanent, too. It eventually turns into fertilizer, the stuff that helps things grow. Like me. And all the shit I went through with the implosion of my marriage has turned into some incredible fertilizer.
I’m growing roses.