listen to the blog post if you'd like
One week ago tonight, I had finished all of the wine we had in the house. Well. Let me back up. I started with two rand-o bottles of beer right before. The first one, innocent in nature. It was a casual, Sunday-afternoon-at-home beer. The one for me that says, "Hey, you've earned this. Relax."
I'd been nervous that day. Doing things that scared and stretched me.
It always comes back to that push and pull dynamic; the same one that says what goes up, must come down.
I'll pause here and say this has been a theme for me my whole life. I can shine and smile. Burst out of a cannon. Light your soul on fire. But I've always had an aftermath. I don't believe most people know this. At this point though, you've probably realized I'm pretty good at hiding things.
But back to last week. I wanted more. I wasn't done. The dive down the rabbit hole into the rainbow of untethered feelings, bliss from a lack of racing thoughts, and just plain indulgence - the kind that I've disguised as "normal, adult, celebratory behavior" - well, I didn't want it to end. I usually never do.
By this point I'd ventured over to our antique silver tray that exhibits our liquor. (I'm not much of a liquor drinker because I'm a bit of a cocktail snob and have yet to learn the art... but occasionally, I make exceptions.)
We aren't "big drinkers" in our house. (Ha. That line is so funny and cliché to me.) But we do have a somewhat refined collection of spirits. I dove right in.
What happened next is what always happens during this kind of creative-stressed-out binge. I ate everything in sight. Frozen egg rolls. Leftovers. A banana. It wasn't glamorous. And then my sweet husband came home. To a pretty messy kitchen. A forgetful and sloshy wife. A barking toy poodle, and I think I was watching something turned up way too loud.
My husband. How does he love me? I ask him this all the time.
I woke up the next morning...
in emotional pain.
Now, normally, I would silently beat myself up and not say much. But this morning was different. I had, just a few days before, attended a leadership conference. I was feeling on top of my game. Inspired. Alive. Connected. The other God-wink detail? My husband was home that day and had the day off.
I pulled on a robe, shuffled downstairs, and sunk into one of our teal chairs on the deck outside. Brian sat with me, and what happened next continues to give me strength.
I gave up.
I gave it all up, right there. I cried and snot came out of my nose. I moaned with sadness. I grieved. I let it go. I shared. I went all the way back. To 14. In pain. Alone in my bedroom (drinking). Deconstructing the destruction and war I raged on my emotions and my mind and my body 14 years ago.
As we sat there, Brian's blue eyes holding my words and stories, Wally trying to lick every tear atom off my face, I begged to be different. I pleaded with myself. I wished I just didn't even care.
Why did this morning have to be any different?
But it was. It was different because for the first time, really ever, I loved my life. I loved all of the moving and stationary pieces. I loved my home, our life, my career, my ministry of soul-fueled soul sisters, women friends, my mom, more parts of my past than not, my marriage, Richmond, my art, my insane desire to create and not to stop, the angels and heroes and heroines of my life - from California to the seacoast.
The words "I have too much to lose" came out of my mouth.
Then the words, "I know this is keeping me from my greatness... And I can feel it's just on the other side."
"I know I don't need it anymore."
Cue the free flowing faucet of high-stream tears. That was the one that rocked me the hardest.
"I know I don't need it anymore."
What does numbing, running, escaping look like?
Well, I know it can look like a lot of things. The modality isn't as important as the keyhole, the peek inside, to what is behind and within.
I have not been ready to put my eye up to that little scalloped shape in over a decade. I've had drive-by, run-by moments of catching a rapid glimpse, but it was too much of so many things. And it was and will always be my biggest secret. The one I never want anyone to know. It's safer that way. I have more control.
But there it goes.
We have to reach in first. Then out. Then up. Click to tweet.
UPDATE: I'm making an effort not to overly explain myself. Toughie for me. But I also realize the responsibility of revealing something as emotionally charged as this topic.
I don't have set plans for drinking. I don't really have rules. What I do have is a new habit that I'm working on - of keeping my emotions, heart, mind, and soul unfiltered as I cultivate this new muscle.
Not running but staying. Wading through what's really going on. Not a world of forbidding but one of understanding and being present with the inner truth.
Current status: I've been buying really nice herbal teas and decadent dark chocolate. I'm still drinking out of wine glasses. (I like a little fancy.) I'm actively partaking in walks, yoga, and a good nights of deep sleep.
And I have been celebrating by making memories, smiling, crying, and looking into people's eyes. It's a new world.