I don't even want to mention how long it's been since I've written a post. In the back of my mind I knew it had been more than a month, but I now see it's closer to two. At the moment I'm battling a bad cold, trying to stay upright. I have a marathon to run in six days. I need to stop cheating on my not-smoking plan. And I need to finally get a handle on my diet. In addition, it's the end of the school year, I'm looking for a new job, and we need to get vacation plans sorted out and figure out how and when I'm going to train for my ultra in October.
So when I tell myself there's nothing to write about, even I know I'm full of shit.
Here's the thing: it seems that this blog is more about who I was than about who I am now. And for some reason, I haven't been able to make a meaningful mental transition to writing in general, rather than writing in crisis. For me, it's always easy to fill page after page when my life is in shambles. At my height of writing almost daily in the blog, I was also writing daily in a journal and experimenting with creative non-fiction. Now, I'm writing email. And even those emails aren't particularly inspired. Also, in coming to terms with sobriety...really accepting that my life is better without a drink in hand, that I'm better without a drink, I find I have less to say about it. I still (and will probably always) occasionally wish I could get blotto, but these brief wishes pop like soap bubbles. They have no place in the life I've made for myself and get me no closer to the goals I've set. I really don't find value in speaking about them. I worry that this is wrong - that I'm not giving back to the community, or that I'm in denial and on my way to a relapse.
Writing was less complicated when I would have given away my right arm to figure out how to <fill in the blank> with no consequences. Yes. It's really about recognizing that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. That one cannot choose to do anything without also agreeing to handle the unforeseen consequences.
In seeing that life itself has consequences, that every decision we make feeds into the decisions we have the next day, it's impossible to approach life without a sense of brevity. It's impossible to not notice that if I had to sew on girl scout badges after dinner while in the midst of my drinking career those stitch lines would be even worse than they are when I'm sober, if they got done at all. I have a sneaking suspicion that if I was still living life as a part-time drunk, my older daughter would have become a better seamstress and would have sewn not only hers but her sister's badges the other night. I have a near certain belief that both girls would spend more time away from home, signing up for every after-school activity, sleepover, and camp out, so that they could continue to pretend that I'm any kind of mother.
It's a sign of how far we've all come that they express disappointment when I forget to put items on the calendar, or when I'm sewing badges the day before a camp trip.A few years ago they were so busy making excuses for my failures to avoid the elephant in the room, that I didn't even have to try all that hard. Now, they have room to be their own messy selves. It is annoying though. When they get mad because I forget something I always want to remind them of how it could have been. It's visceral and unwarranted. (Imagine telling your child, "It could be worse. I could have forgotten because I was drunk or hungover. Be thankful you have a regular mother who doesn't embarrass you all the time.")
This is a fairly rambling way of saying that although I'm still (and will always be) in recovery, I do believe I've hit that elusive goal of being normal. To be fair, I didn't even really know what that looked like - or how I'd know when I reached the destination - but it feels like I'm here now.
I don't know whether this marks the end of the blog, or if it can be a new beginning of sorts. Do I start a new blog to chronicle my journey to ultra? Or can this old thing be refashioned? I'm tired of anonymity to be honest. At the same time, I really don't want to have friends or family read all the lines that have been written here over the past almost three years. I'll have to keep thinking on it.
But if you're reading this and you're still drinking and you know you need to stop. STOP. Find help. It's completely worth it.