Sunday, October 23, 2011

Coping

God was gracious enough to give me a few days to concentrate on going to meetings and to familiarize myself with the disease. Then, yesterday, life came screaming back in. Everything felt like a mountain I had to climb. Things kept going wrong...or so I thought.

I realized about the time I was determined to have a nervous break down because I couldn't close a Ziploc bag that, perhaps, I was just a little "on edge". A million little life events happened yesterday. I forgot things, lost things, broke things, messed stuff up, struggled with inanimate objects, struggled with animate objects, got my feelings hurt, got frustrated because people weren't doing what I wanted them to, got mad at the dog, worked till I was exhausted and then had to cook dinner. Basically, I was a human... living life. Only now, I am having to do it all sober and without my little end-of-the-day escape into oblivion.

It is a disease, and I'm treating it as such. The thing about this disease is that I can't go to the doctor and get a prescription or get treatments at the hospital for it. The cure, the only cure that has proven successful for decades is God. Daily doses of Him. Sometimes large doses, sometimes small. This last week, I've immersed myself in His presence. I downloaded several sermon/podcasts yesterday so that I could pour it into my brain as I worked. After about 4 hours, I think even God was tired of it. It helped, I learned a lot and felt lifted up several times but, at the end, I felt a distinct suggestion to turn it off and just be still for a minute. I had to go get Rodney again because the 4-wheeler wouldn't start. I hopped on the back of the truck as we rode back to jump start it and let my feet swing from the back like I would when I was a kid. I breathed the evening air, felt the wind in my hair and probably got more healing and peace in that small moment than I had from hours of sermons.

Peace doesn't come naturally for me. I'm wound up all the time. Even when I'm sitting still, I'm doing something. My brain never stops. NEVER. That was one of the great excuses for drinking, to quiet my inner voices. To find some sort of inner quiet. The peace that comes from a bottle of vodka is not peace. I'm learning that, slowly. The only thing that a stiff drink (or four) would get me is to make me pass out and then wake up in the morning with shame and guilt, carry that around with me all day and then do it over again. And, I thought it was peace. Silly me. It is so foreign to me that I don't know how to approach it, but I'm learning.

So, I've been medicating myself this week with meetings. Surrounding myself with others who've suffered from the disease. I've also been doing a lot of reading and learning that it's all going to be ok. Having steps to take is actually very comforting. I can do 1-2-3, I need that. Structure is also something that has always eluded me but something I've always longed for. I've been going on long walks.
Sitting still
being quiet
crying
laughing
screaming
struggling
sleeping
eating
talking
writing
praying
singing
loving
hoping
concentrating
worrying
lamenting
giggling
waking up
healing

And in just one week.

I've also become aware that I need a space of my own. This may sound trivial and somewhat self-indulgent, but I NEED SPACE. I suddenly want to take everything out of my house and only put back the things that I love and need. Like the walls are closing in on me and I'm going mad. I've got over 200 acres to roam should I need some air and you can't imagine how grateful I am for that privilege. But, I know that winter is coming and that there won't always be this incredible weather. So, I'm carving out a space for myself in my home. I was laying in my bed this afternoon, trying to take a nap and kept imagining how I could put up a curtain or something to divide the room for me to have my own little corner. Something peaceful and serene. Then it dawned on me that I've not even touched Taylor's room. Somehow it still felt like it was this sacred space that belonged to her and that I wasn't to touch it. But then I remembered that I was paying the mortgage and that she didn't even live here anymore. So, Taylor, I'm taking your room. It is going to be a task, a big one...but I have this new and exciting project brewing in my head and it's making me very very happy. Happiness is good.

I moved my computer into the room to write this blog and, already, I'm quiet at home. I can see out the window down to the pond and the barn and I LOVE IT. The room still looks like refugees abandoned ship in the middle of the night but, I'm excited to make it my own. So much to do and, for now, I'm thankful to have it to do. Rodney and I have always said that we will never be done. There will never come a day when we will sit back and wonder what to do. It stretches out in front of us like a never ending road. When I was drinking, I thought I was coping with it. The truth is, I was missing the journey. I'm finally waking up and looking around me with new eyes, new hope, new excitement. God is so gracious, so good, so beautiful, so loving...why would anybody want to merely "cope" with that? I will fight my battles awake and receive the blessing with eyes open and heart ablaze.


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