Monday, June 25, 2012

MY PATH


I have heard in recovery that the road gets narrower.  Meaning that the longer a person stays clean and sober their scope becomes smaller in terms of things they find acceptable or venture to explore.  The flip side is also said - that life gets bigger.  I used to try to side with one or the other of these ideas, but today I realize both are a fit for me.

I have such a big life today!  I simply cannot physically or mentally experience everything I’d like to, and I imagine that my list of to-do’s will never shrink short enough to do it all.  In fact, I bet it just keeps growing.  People like having me around and they trust me.  With that I have discovered how much time a relationship, a close relationship, really demands.  It’s funny that I didn’t know that before, but I suppose I never really pursued healthy relationships, or probably more accurately, I never had the ability to put any consistent time or care into them.  Today I have been blessed with all these people in my life as the certain result of working off a different moral code than ever in my past.  I don’t tolerate deception or drama or bullshit of any kind for very long today.  I used to live immersed in lies and cheating and manipulation and gladly welcomed the same from people around me.  Now it’s just too uncomfortable for me to operate in that environment.  I simply find the pain of my old way of living unacceptable since having discovered and practiced a different way.  I really don’t try to push the limits all too much anymore.  I still crave excitement and once in a while I consider that crazy life again, and that lasts about 10 seconds.  Haha!  Seriously though, it only lasts a moment because it’s fairly impossible for me to think past a drink in my hand without then seeing complete chaos and destruction.  I find it comical that so many people draw an immediate assumption that I’m a goody-goody and always have been.  Actually, that can be bothersome to me at times because I want everyone to know that I’m not some na├»ve little princes, and I’ve seen more pain than they have probably only heard about.  You can see my enormous ego has not left me entirely!  Good part is that I don’t have to say a word about my past and the feeling of desperately needing them to know who I really am passes.  Lately two instances have occurred at work in which coworkers have tried to entice me into trying out some booze.  It’s hilarious that they assume I have never drank before.  I have forever assumed that people can detect the alcoholic in me.  I have hated that because I have felt branded.  Now, I feel uncomfortable with their assumption of my clean living.  Man, I spend a lot of time worrying about how others see me.  So silly. 

So yes, in many ways my road has narrowed.  I don’t seek crazy.  I don’t break the law.  I don’t keep secrets.  I quickly and directly admit when I lie.  I do not manipulate people or institutions.  I don’t go to bars and clubs just for a thrill.  I try not to hurt others.

My road has also widened.  I get together with bunches of recovering men and women, and I share and listen.  I babysit for my cousins and niece and nephew.  I have traveled to another country (yay!!! Finally!).  I coach teenagers to become better at my favorite sport and present them with more possibilities for their future.  I go out to eat and enjoy food.  I dance and sing and hike and swim and craft and play.  I have game nights with my husband.  I host alcoholics and addicts in our home when they seek my husband and I out for help.  I have made a home with my husband.  I pray and find peace in quiet.  I ask for help.  I really love who I am.  I am a recovering, faithful, smart, professional woman who loves her family and the silly things life, and most of the time I OWN IT!