Sooooo, you mess around and stay busy enough, year 2 will sneak up on you. I’m realizing I’m the worst at long term reflection because I can never remember all the things I once knew I didn’t want to forget. Last year today was emotional, all positive, but emotional nonetheless. I felt like I had done the impossible. I had never successfully accomplished anything of value so, this was a pretty big deal.
The months compiling my first year were really an acclimation to functioning not drunk. Learning how to have thoughts and actual feelings...how to just be. The big picture lesson was that life is about growth, nonstop growth. This is simultaneously awesome and shitty. The good and bad thing about consistently seeking and pursuing self-awareness is becoming more self-aware. There’s always ALWAYS more self to improve. Trying to walk the tightrope of mindfulness (gratitude) and motivation (drive) while not falling into complacency and/or greed(ego) is a balancing act any funambulist would be impressed with. The awesome change was having desires of honorable value and the sticktoitiveness to go get them despite the discomfort of unfamiliarity...and that’s kinda what year one looked like.
Year 1+: Perfectly Imperfect (another www.bengear.net shameless plug) is my service purpose. It has pushed me so hard into areas I’ve both deliberately and unintentionally avoided but NEEDED to give attention to for the sake of my own peace and growth. In turn, I get to give that experience a way to hopefully inspire others. While the experiences may be me-specific, feelings are universally relatable and PI gives me a chance to reach out from both places. In sharing with others as I myself learn that all forms of fuckups (imperfections) are a part of my makeup as a human; I hope to also show that finding, acknowledging, and correcting them are the necessary accompanying behaviors. My optimal hope is that people feel encouraged to start searching these things out to improve. At minimum, I hope they feel less inclined to run from or beat themselves up over them when these actions, situations, and feelings show up.
Owning my truth: I’ve denied my truth as parent pretty much the entire time I’ve been one. The guilt and shame from that was both emotionally and physically killing me. My inability to acknowledge and live in that truth would have been the catalyst of a very untimely demise. Because I’ve lived my li(f)e in a very public way, the only way to live my truth was to put it out there in a very public way. It took about a year and a half in sobriety and about that long of encouraging urging of an angel and friend who knew my deliverance was in my confession. So I wrote a piece and published it on my own and another website. The freedom there has been something I don’t have the words to explain.
Again, owning my truth came with freedom but that freedom came with responsibility. Becoming a parent is easy as fuck (see what I did there lol). BEING a parent, on the other hand is not quite as easy. I shared my struggles in that area in my most recent posts here on PI. Last year, I wouldn’t have sought out a solution. Today I have a firmer grasp on foundational behavioral expectations and I sought out the solution that aligned me with what I know to be right.
Death’s: Off the top of my head I can count 9 addiction related deaths of people I knew. It was said when I got sober, “stay sober long enough and the bodies will start to pile up.” This could not have been more true. At one point there were 3 deaths on 3 consecutive Mondays. This disease of addiction whether it’s alcohol or other substances is so real and it has just increased my gratitude for grace and a chance to do and be more. I don’t do a ton of preaching about recovery here simply because that’s not what PI is here for. I do beg of you all that if you’re at all questioning your usage of whatever, do some digging and find out if more attention to it is needed. You are worth saving!
Relationships: I’ve lost friendships with people because I quit drinking and that was understandable. The friendships I’ve lost in recovery that I thought were extremely solid without any dissonance still leave me perplexed. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bug the heck outta me but I also understand that if they were meant to be in my life they would be. I miss one person in particular everyday. I see them randomly or they drive by my house on their way to work and and it just pulls at my heartstrings but what can you do? I tried dating once, the long story short lesson in that was simply don’t compromise my calling for company. I’ve had a couple crushes, literally 2...all for naught. The path that I’ve been on has not afforded me much social time and when I do have it I’m pretty choicy about how I want to spend it so that drastically minimizes my options. Platonic and romantic relationships are equally important but very different in priority. This year has shown me that I need people. All the self-knowledge in the world is useless without people to bounce the information off of to see if it’s accurate. Romance for me is largely more intellectual and spiritual than it is physical. I live in a town full of beautiful people but beauty will never inspire growth and that’s all I really care about. From a partner, my hope is for someone to grow with rather than lust for (ugh I can’t believe I just wrote that). The people appropriate for my life in whatever capacity will come when they are supposed to. I’m a hugely blessed to have the people I do have and apparently that’s what I need right now.
So the months compiling year 2 have been building a progressively functional life. Finding a passion and purpose to pursue (PI), attending to my core responsibilities (parenting), and cultivating and nurturing positive relationships. Year 2+ goals start with money management. Maybe a few less socks in 2018 :-( and growth in all the prior mentioned areas. Anything else I’ll just have to see what’s in store and go from there.
I am SO appreciative of all the support from friends and family in this journey and I’m excited to see what year 2+ has in store!