Tag Archives: creative recovery

Never Broken

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The only reason that we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with.  To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else’s eyes.
–Pema Chodron

Standing in the middle
of my own discomfort,
just watching and waiting
instead of lashing out,
I feel the parts of me
that I once disowned
clamoring for my attention.
What do I do?
What do I say?
Instead of taking a drink
or turning on the TV
or eating something
or shopping
or playing a game
or smoking something
or going to sleep
or running away
I just sit,
and I let myself feel this discomfort.
As I come to know
this energy of unrest
I see a small child
who doesn’t understand
why the world asks
her to be other than who she is,
smaller than who she is…
I see her sadness
and I mourn for her.
I tell her that she is okay.
She starts to believe me.

Hand in hand
we turn and face the world
together.
We aren’t waiting for the world
to make us feel complete.
We look out with the eyes
of compassion
and our vision softens our experience.
We can be in this world
with all the broken pieces
and sense the inherent wholeness,
that which can never be broken.

Longing for Connection

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At the outset of this blog project nearly one year ago, I found myself wanting to explore the idea of creative recovery, how to pierce through the noise of my emotional system and delve into the creative, inspired self that can be expressed outwardly as writer, artist, crafter, teacher, mother, dancer…endless expressions of this indwelling creative spirit embodied as Lorien.

As I began to move through the Twelve Steps with the idea of my creative recovery in mind, I explored the idea of addiction and experiences surrounding this theme in my life; how I perceived my family’s relationship with alcohol, with anger, with hoarding, to name a few.  I started to see how alcohol use and abuse has been normalized within my family, and how choosing not to drink made me part of a slim minority. I am glad to have found clarity though; I didn’t need their approval or support to make this choice–it just seemed like the most loving thing I could do for my body, mind, and the people around me to choose to be substance free.

Having been completely alcohol free for almost a year and a half, I find myself even more sensitive to the use of alcohol in social settings. I don’t miss it, so I’m not worried about a relapse or anything; I never considered myself an alcoholic although I have displayed some unhealthy behaviors during my adult years.

The fact of my being completely sober threw into sharp relief the behaviors of my family members who were drinking, and I found myself wishing for authentic connection with them in the absence of alcohol use.  But how to meet them where they are?  How to be loving, regardless?

Is it unrealistic of me to hope for my family members to choose sobriety?  Is it futile? I want to know them, to be present to them, to listen, but it’s challenging when they are becoming more loud and aggressive with each sip.

Anybody out there have thoughts on being the only sober one in a group of people who are under the influence?

Thoughts After the Party

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My husband and I attended a party tonight,
A surprise birthday party for a friend turning 40.
There was a feast laid out for us on the kitchen table
and everyone was well on their way to inebriation
by the time we arrived.

I have been intoxicant free for nearly two years now,
and I haven’t looked back, not one time.
Sure there have been moments where I felt curious,
Would I enjoy the taste of wine, of beer, now?
But nothing so serious that it would drive me to taking a sip.

I stopped drinking out of solidarity
with my husband who wanted to take a break,
and continued to stay 100% sober out of solidarity
with myself
when husband decided to go back to moderate drinking
six months later.
Sometimes I wish he were still intoxicant free,
but that’s just me.

I mean, how many people in our western consumerist society
actually want to give up the booze completely?
Not many.

And I don’t need anyone else to make my choice,
it is my own, and that’s really all I need to know.
To feel clear in the morning,
to stand in front of my students with my whole self,
to sit in meditation and smile in my liver
to go further inwards and see that there are no demons hiding,
this clarity is so completely worth it,
no one needs to convince me or join with me.

I don’t need anyone else to make my choice;
it is my own, and that’s really all I need to know.