Present Tense

Awake. Finally.

AWAKE_(277639400)I have awakened. I have rebounded. I’ve crawled out of the well of unhappiness and depression and self-pity that I’ve scuttled around in for the past few months. And it feels great. It feels free. I feel free.

I’m writing about this because I’m a serial ‘sharer’ of my feelings and experiences, but I also believe that some of you may be able to pluck something out of my experience that you’ll find helpful to your own journey. That’s just how I roll.

As painful and humiliating as it is to admit this, I fell off the wagon. I started dabbling with drinking after my dad died in April. I could make excuses, but there really aren’t any. I was just looking for some sort of relief in a painful period. I got none, but I continued to dance between light and darkness. This was not a full-blown, drunken relapse, but one day, I woke up and had enough with the guilt and the sleeplessness and the excuses.

On that morning, I walked into the living room where my husband was sitting, confessed that I had been drinking again and told him I needed his help. He wasn’t even aware that I’d been sneaking the booze because alcoholics and addicts are great fakers and liars, until we go over the edge which inevitably happens when you dabble where you shouldn’t.

Ever since that morning, my desire to drink evaporated. Gone. No thoughts about ‘just one beer’; no plotting to buy wine for ‘cooking’. Nada. What happened? I owned up. I blurted it out and asked for help. I admitted my powerlessness and my weakness and my flaws. And it felt great. I was liberated.

So, here is my lesson for you. Own it. Admit it. Quit trying to power your way through. Let go. Let me repeat that, in case you’ve never gotten the message from my previous posts: let go.

My relapse began as a way to dull the pain of a lot of loss that I was feeling, but it perpetuated itself when I began to feel immense guilt and self-loathing for my relapse. Once I admitted that I needed help and wanted to break this cycle, the sun rose, the birds sang, rainbows and unicorns appeared and I no longer felt the urge to succumb to the siren call of the booze.

This was a huge awakening for me and today, as I sit here at my computer, I can feel my lost mojo returning. My strength is back. My perspective is back and the biggest shift that has occurred in the past couple of weeks, is that I’m focusing on the needs of others.

In taking care of myself, I’ve become more loving to those I love. I spent a marvelous weekend with my mom at her assisted living facility. We talked and went out for meals and and just hung out. I felt so much love and appreciation for her.

My other focus is my marriage; being more loving and supportive of my husband who has been through his own difficult journey. I realized that I can only control my behavior and it’s time for me to give the love and support that he deserves. For too long, my career was the priority in our marriage, rather than our bond and relationship.  Those days are over.  WE are now the priority.  Period.

My introspection will continue, but with a new focus on how my behavior and my reactions can nurture and support others. So, rather than beat myself up over my relapse, I’m saying it was a necessary step for my growth. It was a dark time physically and emotionally, but it has launched me into a new feeling of lightness and yes, happiness.

Look inward, but focus outward. Be well.

August 16, 2014 - Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , ,

12 Comments »

  1. I’m happy you’re ‘awake’ again! Keep moving forward.

    Comment by Carolyn Noroski Stillman | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  2. It so easy to allow ourselves to get trapped by our own emotions. I am really happy for you that you recognized the downward spiral. You are blessed with such an understanding partner.

    Comment by SimpleLivingOver50 | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  3. As always, thank you for sharing your journey. I am really happy that you are awake and in a healthy place. Enjoy your weekend with PC.

    Comment by Susan Herr | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  4. Good, necessary, healing words. Great news. Thank you so much for all you give.

    Comment by Terri | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  5. Thank you Jane for your honesty and infinite ability to be “real”. With 22 years in, your reminder is another gift you’ve given to me, and others, I hope. Keep trudging, lady. You are loved,

    Comment by Cathy | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  6. Thank you Jane for your honesty. I have enjoyed you for years on the radio. There is so much said that is not real I absolutely appreciate your thoughts. Be well. Thanks-Audrey

    Comment by audrey klein | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  7. Hi Jane…I knew the path you were headed because of the despair I read in your posts after losing so much, and also moving back to Michigan. In fact, I was thinking about you last evening and wondering why I hadn’t received any new postings. I almost wrote to you a few months ago asking that when you figure it all out, please enlighten me, as I also share your pain (my 19 year old son has been battling brain cancer. He is now legally blind, and deaf in one ear. After 9 surgeries, he is in remission, but it was been rough. Everyone told me how well I handled the ordeal, but sadly, after things settled down, I had a glass of wine, just one…well, now it is more than one.) I’m so happy to hear you are doing well. Please continue to write…your candour and honesty is refreshing! I look forward to more of the same and thank you for being a woman I admire.

    Comment by Gigi Rhodes | August 16, 2014 | Reply

    • Gigi,
      I’m so sorry for all of the trials you’ve been through with your son. I so hope that he remains in remission and I so hope that you can find your footing very soon. You obviously know the strategies for sobriety, but I know it can be so hard to stop drinking. Only someone who has been there can understand the physical and emotional craving you feel for relief. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and admit that you need a little help. I’m sure you’ll get back on track soon. Please take care. My best to you and your family.
      Jane

      Comment by janelondon | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  8. Jane-

    I’m so sorry you had to go through that, but SO glad you realized you needed help before you were too far gone. Good for you. Keep up the journey.

    Comment by shellybelly12 | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  9. Congrats for taking a few steps forward. God is with you.

    Comment by quattrohands | August 17, 2014 | Reply

  10. So happy for you Jane. Congratulations!

    Comment by Carol Brust | August 17, 2014 | Reply

  11. I just realized this was here. Thanks for sharing something so honest and real. I’ve decided I don’t have time for fake stuff and people anymore where we all pretend our lives are perfect on the outside, so after reading this post, I think I will keep reading this stuff! Thanks Jane!

    Comment by Meg | August 22, 2014 | Reply


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