I’ve spent a good part of the past couple months far from the pink cloud. Small joys come and go, but the big undertone is scared, sad and feeling like I’m ready to burst at the seams.
On a superficial level, it is a little bit due to the weather and it being winter. Actually, January 2020 was my first sober January since 2003 when I was pregnant with my oldest! I can only believe that the stress of the holidays, plus being in the dead of winter make January a horrific and long month. At that same superficial level, my anxiety is mostly due to my in-laws and it’s all their fault.
There have been so many times these past several weeks where I want to give up. I want to give up my marriage and my life for something that doesn’t include my in-laws.
Sometimes we know what is bothering us, but it’s hard to really grasp why. I realized recently that most (or all) of my anger towards them stems from the fact that we took in our nephew. The situation is ok– it is manageable, but I get so angry over little things that remind me that no one is validating or thanking us for taking him in. No one cares about the impact it has on my marriage– or our own children. Luckily this transition has been pretty smooth, but I would by lying if I said these things were not impacted and it would be nice to get a thank you or some type of recognition. My in-laws are too busy talking about my sister-in-law and putting her on a pedestal, because now she is DOING BETTER.
I want to run, away, far. Far from my marriage and this family. I want to take everything that is important to me and to not look back.
It’s what I know, it’s what I’ve always done.
I ran from my home as a young adult. As an adult, I ran from house to house. Almost 20 years of being together, and we are in our 5th home– all my initiating. For years I ran from job to job.
This thing is hard! This thing that I’m going trough seems utterly impossible at times. It makes quitting alcohol seem like child’s play.
And I want to give up. NOT to drink, at this point in time I have no desire to start down that rabbit hole. But I want to leave the in-laws and the marriage, because why should I have to struggle so much and go see a therapist to help me through when all my problems stem from them and the situation they caused?
But I know I can’t, because this is why:
It’s not them, it’s me. It’s me.
This is my issue, my thing to get through.
I’m not running from them, I’m running from me.
At some point, now that I’ve got some mental clarity from not binging every night, I realized that there will always be a situation to run from. Always.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the alcohol lately, while reading my recovery books. It has become clear that there are many levels to quitting. Level one is to quit. That’s what I did for years, up until the past summer when I started to dig on the inside. The next level is to clean up the junk that’s been piled inside for years and years. The junk that got packed in a little more each time I drank to avoid my feelings. Garbage. An entire landfill sitting on my heart. That’s what it feels like. I’m not sure what level 3 is, maybe continuing to clear the junk as it comes in- or maybe helping others clear their junk– not sure.
Level 2 is tough, really tough.
This is the most difficult thing I’ve ever gone through– tougher than my mom’s death. I guess it’s not fair to compare, that was different, that was final and 100% out of my control- and put me into a tailspin for a couple of years.
This is tough, but it’s not impossible. We create our own heaven or hell on Earth and since the holidays, I’ve created a real hell hole.
My soul spoke to me around 3:00 am the other night. Resistance. I heard it loud and clear and immediately thought it came for an idea as a book topic that I can write about. As I thought about it the next day, I realized that that’s not it. Resistance is the thing that has been causing my hell. I’m resisting my in-laws and even trying to be open and loving.
I’m at work and as I just got up to put my food in the microwave, my mantra came to me. One that I told myself a few weeks ago at 5:00 am when it was freezing outside and I didn’t want to get up early and run. Instead of hitting snooze, I told myself: “You can do hard things.”
You can do hard things.
I think this will be my mantra for a little while <3