I ordered more self-help books today…
they’ve been my drug of choice
I keep believing
someone else has found
the clear path to my healing.
for the recipe
the magical incantation
the 40 day workbook
the online program
the teacher, speaker, or coach
to help me feel ok
about my life, my self.
The hungry ghost looms large;
its insatiable appetite aches loudly.
I am overcome by everything.
I start to believe
that some mistake was made
when I came to Earth,
I wasn’t meant for this world.
I pick up another self-help book.
Oh, someone else feels this way too?
I find some hope, some solace,
one moment of respite.
There are worse addictions.
I come back to this place again and again
in my dreams, the dreams I hold in my heart.
Green grass mown by munching goats and sheep
their bells sounding a right racket as they amble along
tracks they’ve worn into the mountain meadow.
I look up and see a crystalline blue sky.
I look out from where I’m sitting and see
more mountains than I can count and the city
where I left my heart nestled in the valley below.
I take off my shoes and dip my toes into the ice cold water
of the stream that has gathered momentum
from its origins in the valley behind me.
A bit of emmental cheese, a bit of dark chocolate,
a hunk of baguette, a sip of water
and now my hands are drumming this drum
I lugged with me from the valley below.
The breath of summer and the scent of wildflowers
caress my soul as the wind whispers through the conifers.
I have endured such heartbreak.
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?
Today my grandmother would’ve celebrated her ninety-third birthday
She took her life in the month of June of my twelfth year…
and now, twenty-five years later,
I wish I could’ve related to her as an adult,
asked her to tell me stories of life
growing up in the 20’s and 30’s
I have never judged her for her decision
because, like all of us,
I too have experienced pain and suffering,
and can understand wanting to escape such misery
But I miss her still
and wish to hear her voice,
Being an adult now,
and knowing a little more of the way of sorrow,
I would like to put my hand on her shoulder
You are not alone.
I wish I could know
the woman she would’ve been
if we could sing “Happy Birthday” to her, today.
It’s fitting that her birthday falls so near to Halloween,
a time of honoring ancestors and seeking their wisdom
as the veil between the two worlds wears thin.
Wherever you are Gram,
Know that I love you,
and honor the woman you were,
even as I long to know the woman you would’ve been.
Whatever of your being that remains, dear soul,
I hope you know the joy of the dance of existence.