Today I said I was going to do laundry, pick up my place and take my fancy new vacuum around for a spin. Instead I drank a lot of coffee, watched all of the new episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale and spent a lot of the day crying off some serious anxiety in my body. I hadn’t felt it like *that* in over a month and that reminder was more than enough for me to know I am getting somewhere, even if the pace is at sloth speed.
I hate having discussions over text. My therapist told me to knock it the fuck off one a many times. We all know it’s a bad idea, yet we still do it. It just feels safer but in the long haul, all it does is create broken lines of communication and receipts that you will read and re-read to the point of deconstruction and misunderstanding. What was supposed to be my putting up a boundary I wasn’t comfortable with, turned into a heated game of catch with a ball of mud that no matter how much it went back and forth, only left me feeling dirty and gross.
Boundaries are hard, especially when you’re trying to exude them with someone you never had them with. Or with anyone, ever, for that matter. It’s tough as fuck to say “no” or “I am not ok with this” and stand your ground when you’re so used to just caving and being all over the place. I am awful at it because in many cases, it totally goes against my nature. It’s hard to say no to loved ones and that is part of the reason why I am where I am. I couldn’t speak up, say no or push back hard enough to be heard. And when I did, I went about it in all the wrong ways.
I tend to believe that the undoing of bad and old behaviors require a lot of active and consistent work. But somewhere in there is also the balance of allowing the cards to fall where they are meant to. Without force of direction, push or pull. Organic change: a gift from the two wise men of Time & Space. Granted, I don’t like waiting long for things, I’m impatient as all get out and this has been long and purgatorial…. but I keep hoping the long haul through it all will bring smoother sails, greener pastures and a lot less G.I. distress.
This is some really hard shit.
I started going to Al-Anon back in October and honestly I wish I had done it sooner. There is something to be said for things that arrive when you require them the most and maybe I was just ready to start the very long journey into my own recovery. In this case, later is better than sooner. I recently took on a Sponsor and started journaling, privately, in order to really start working through the steps. The trauma of being with an alcoholic took a toll on me and in ways I didn’t even know were there – and I took so much of it on, including the self-imposed blame like somehow I was responsible for it. With the amount of resources out there to help me, it would have been stupid of me to not give it a shot. I know this shit seems all out of character for me in ways especially when you know how anti-religion I am, but when you’re desperate to learn more about yourself, gain some insight and support, well, we do shit that is out of character that at times is helpful or can be totally destructive. I am no exception to this rule. I got very fortunate to find a night and group that I meshed with straight out of the gate and I am now infamously the one lady who always says “fuck” at least once when she shares. Funny enough the use of the words “god” and “higher power” don’t make me squirm as much anymore… they’re just words and we all shape them into what we see it as…. in my case I think it’s the Sea. They miss me when I don’t go and you don’t know how many times, on a night where I felt like my world was crumbling, like I was alone in IT, a stranger from that room made me feel more seen and supported than some of the closest I hoped I would get it from and didn’t.
One thing that Al-Anon has really helped hammer in is that I cannot take on the behaviors of others. I do this a lot. I say “do” because it is something I still find myself doing. Again, unwiring knots is hard! I have also come to understand that I have control issues. And we all know what that means: I have no control over X therefore I am going to do my best to control it, served on a Hungry Man foil tray with the hard edged insecurity brownie and fear pie for sides. I look back on the past 2.5 decades and it just becomes far more clear just how much energy, time and tears I put into people, relationships and situations trying to gain a false sense of security I was never going to have. Head explode. And I still catch myself doing it… and when I do catch it, I have to forcibly stop myself and redirect into better behavior. It is hard to take the reins of others and that was my mistake because the only reins I should be focusing on yanking are the ones steering my sled.
And just like that my boys from Nothing delivered lyrics at the most appropriate time….
“And if you feel like, letting go… and if you feel like letting go”