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 | , , , , , , ,


  1. Bravo, Jane!

    Comment by Robin Smillie | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  2. Wow this took courage I am so proud of you Jane! Dealing with addiction in my own family this is powerful thank you for sharing !
    Miss you

    Comment by msrge beem | August 16, 2014 | Reply

    • Miss you, too Marge:) A lot! Hope you’re well.

      Comment by janelondon | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  3. Thank you. This helped me today.

    Comment by Jim Grey | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  4. My thoughts and prayers are with you today, Jane. It takes tremendous courage and insight to “let go” and trust the process of grief and mourning. Because you are willing to be open, honest, and vulnerable in your own journey, you encourage others to do the same. Thank you! Step at a time….the path unfolds! Blessings to you and yours…..

    Comment by Jane Barton | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  5. Vulnerability is the basis for being real.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Lori W. | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  6. Proud of you and love you!

    Comment by Dawn Gallup | August 16, 2014 | Reply

    • Love you back and I’m proud of YOU! Good luck on Monday. Stay strong and courageous!

      Comment by janelondon | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  7. You rock. I’m honored to call you my friend. Truly.

    Comment by kandisnz | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  8. Yay!!! So happy for you!

    Comment by Karen | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  9. Yay! Jane is back. I’m so glad. I’ve been sending good thoughts your way. I’m happy your back and doing better!!

    Comment by Julie | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  10. We all stumble and fail many times in our lives, that’s the easy part,although at the time we don’t see it. It’s the picking ourselves up, forgiving ourselves for our failures and moving on that’s the hard part. Way to go Jane. Putting our families ahead of everything else is something I have to concentrate on continually. I married and had a child late in life (in my 40s), so I was very selfish for most of my life before then. I now know that my family is really all that is important in my life and I cherish them every day. Thank you for sharing this with the world…it puts life in perspective and I can always use a little perspective. –Jane

    Comment by Jane Johnson | August 16, 2014 | Reply

    • Jane,
      Thanks for taking the time to write your thoughts. I can also always use a little outside perspective.

      Comment by janelondon | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  11. What a relief for you to let that burden go. I am so happy for you. Depression is not an easy fix for anyone. You are very courageous to share all these perspectives for others who respect you. Best wishes to you and the Prince.

    Comment by Betty | August 16, 2014 | Reply

    • Betty,
      Thank you for the kind words. I should caution that I don’t suffer from depression; I suffer from addiction and although it’s no fun, I have never been diagnosed with clincial depression. Thank goodness.
      Thanks again,

      Comment by janelondon | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  12. So timely Jane – yet again! Thank you.

    Comment by Pam O'Malley | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  13. Wow. We all continue to love you, learn from you, love your dogs, learn from your dogs. I think I’m going to read the big book about the Indian Lady. I’m holding on to it till Mark’s ready to read it again. Many thanks.

    Comment by Mary Ann | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  14. Thanks Jane for sharing. Your openness helps the rest of us. Interesting that in a long term relationship everyone gets their turn and it is important to try to be sensitive to that. Easier said than done. Take good care, Tim.

    Comment by Tim Lankerd, Ann Arbor, Mi. | August 16, 2014 | Reply

  15. I am proud of you Jane. Vulnerability creates big beefy muscles. Your words always, always help and we are all stronger for knowing and loving you.

    Comment by talktraffic28 | August 17, 2014 | Reply

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