Life on Life’s Terms

That was the agreement I made when I got sober.  That I would, one day at a time, not drink or drug and that I would do all I could to accept life on life’s terms.  I thought it would be that simple.  I thought that it would be easy.  I was only correct in the first thought.


Part of the reason my heart is broke, and I’ve said this numerous times, is because I’m currently not self supporting through my own contributions.  Not enough to make a difference. While I know that the economy sucks and that the university where I used to work and where I want to work again just laid off 600 people this week, this is affecting my job confidence, my self esteem.  It is very hard on my heart.  If I don’t have a job that can support me by the end of March I must move back into my parents home.  It’s that simple.  It would be very difficult to do, to put my stuff in storage and move into a small room with a small bed.  But they love me and I love them and what the hell else do you want from life but the reciprocated love of those you love?  And I’ve lived with them before.  It was a very good thing and I know that they could use my help too.

One of the gifts of not working at the moment is that I’m free to just zip over to the folks house for conversation and sometimes a meal.  My father is doing really well these days, a fabulous gift that we didn’t expect.  He asked for help after all these years and between he and my mom they have found a way to regulate his blood sugar that he wasn’t able to do on his own.  The difference is extremely noticeable.   My parents are old.  It’s starting to show.  But they are still vital and vibrant.  And I love visiting them.  Which I did last evening.

Every day I’m going on a long walk.  One mile downhill and one mile uphill.   And I force myself to really pound up that hill until I’m breathing very heavy.  And for the first time in years it feels great.  Really really good.  I used to ski, dance, run, bicycle, walk everywhere, play. And then one day my addiction became so powerful that I stopped those things.  And I gained 50 pounds.  No one ever guesses my weight right because after all those years of being an athlete I still carry myself in a such a way and my muscles are still quite sturdy and heavy that I seem to hide it well.  Some folks tell me to stop loosing weight long before I’m anywhere near the danger zone.  For instance I can weigh 160 and wear a size 10.  I be a solid gal. I carry it well and right now I’m looking particularly fabulous.  And between sizes in pants.  One size hangs on me the other too tight. Working on the tone of my legs and thighs these days.  That will change very soon. It feels really good to be active again and being active helps my mood.  It is another thing I’ve been doing for myself that helps me get through each day. My goal for the last 10 years has been to be in better shape at 50 than at 35.  I turn 50 this coming July.  I quit the drinking, drugging, smoking, cut back on caffeine.  The thing I needed to make part of my life was activity. I try to eat well and don’t binge.  I don’t rule any foods out of my diet, just how much and how often.  I try to be mindful of what I eat.  When I get the anxiety cravings I go get some tea or a piece of rich dark chocolate.  I’m going to make it.

I’ve started going to a noon meeting 1-2 times a week.  I don’t know hardly anyone at these meetings, which is a GOOD thing, because I want to widen my circle a bit.  The other day one of the men in the meeting kept getting caught looking at me too long. He was super attractive.  Oh yes he was. And it did me good to feel noticed and attractive.  And to see that there are many men out there still attractive to me, that can make my heart speed up just a little.  Who knows.  The meetings get me through the day.  But I know that physical attraction is one thing.  To have a meeting of the minds another entirely and far more difficult to find.  That is part of my sadness with M. I believe we had a meeting of the minds. Boy do I miss that. I’m going to make it.

Fridays are my favorite day of the week because I meet my friend R. for lunch and a girl gab and then my home group and then dinner afterwards.  And yeah, I look forward to seeing M. there.  Not so much his GF but his smile when I walk in the room is very nice.  And I have a huge room full of folks who always come talk to me, love me, hug me, and basically show they care.  It is the most important 2 hours of my week in the most important day of my week.

So.  While I do say that my heart is broken, and yes I do still see it laying on the floor, still dusty, it’s much redder and more robust than it was the last time I wrote of this view of my heart.  It’s getting ready to get back into my body.  That time is coming.  Each day I feel a little stronger but every once in a while I have a bad day.  The past 18 months have been a time of great loss.  A best friend who still hasn’t really been replaced entirely, a partner (The Forgiven), four friends not so close and another who was.  The whole job thing, the M. thing…. Goodness I’m not alone. I know so many who have lived through great loss these past two years.  We’re all in it together. I’m going to make it.

And I simply can’t stand judgment any more.  Do I still do it? Of course I do.  I’m human.  But I don’t do it anywhere near the frequency and intensity that I used to.  And I really can’t stand to be around it.  I have to believe in the goodness of others.  And I have to lead by example.  I must.  As my sponsor said to me the other day, taking the high road is very difficult but it’s worth it.

A friend of mine keeps telling me that I spend too much time looking in to myself to see my part.  That I do it too much and too deep, that I’m too hard on myself, and that it worries her.  And it’s starting to get on my nerves.  “The unexamined life is not worth living.” And in my program of recovery this is doubly true.  I must always be aware (beware) of my motives.  My motives in the relationship with M. had their own level of self-centeredness, believe me. I’m working on the tone of my heart these days.

M. and I met recently, in person, and made amends where they were needed, I for mine and he for his.  It was good. We reaffirmed our friendship. He has something that he has to do.  He needs more information. He needs to feel he’s doing the right thing by the relationship that was before me.  I actually admire that.   I still want him in my life.  I still want him in my body. I still want him in my heart.  If the timing ever became good, I’d still go for it. Because he digs down as deeply as I do.  He is very worthy.  The timing simply wasn’t on target. Yet.  If he becomes available and I’m available and we’re both still interested in each other, I wouldn’t think twice.  I’d jump in with both feet again.

I asked my sponsor if my friend was correct.  Did she feel that I examined my life too closely, too deeply? To the detriment of my self?  And my sponsor without hesitation said, absolutely not.  She is impressed with what I come up with when I dig deep.  She admires my program and who I’ve become in these years.  She’s known me from the beginning of my sobriety, she has watched me change over the years. Boy was I a mess. And she thinks that the work I do with myself is worth it all.  I agree with her.  Not once in all these years have I ever found that I dug too deep, that I was too hard on myself.  Not once have I regretted any of it.  I always come out with extremely precious nuggets of self knowledge, self love, and self actualization.  I think I’m an amazing person.  I love myself today.  I love that my need to judge and punish others is leaving me.  It feels permanent.  I believe that I am a very spiritual being who is learning to love, truly love.  And to love despite the fact that I frequently do not get what I want.

I want a job, I want M, I want passionate partnered love, I want to be alive, fully alive.  I want to forgive.  I want to be at peace. I want to give to others.  I want to be friends where others would only hate.

So what if my heart is broken right now. It’s not as broken as it was two weeks ago.  And if it’s broken it means that I’m capable of strong feelings in the other direction too.

The crocus are coming up, tulips showing the tips of their leaves, the forsythia is in full bloom, the robins have returned from their winter homes.

No regrets.  I’ve made it already.