Clawing My Way Up

I have been thinking about my life lately…big picture kind of stuff. I feel like I have really had to claw my way to get to this place- this lovely place where I feel pretty safe and okay. I wonder if everyone feels like that? Does everyone have to fight hard to be okay in life? It seems crazy that it is this hard to be relatively sane, balanced, and happy. Those of us with addictions might have a harder time, but I am not sure about that at all.

My family fell apart when I was in my early teens. I don’t really remember it being that bad before that point in time, but maybe it was more of a mess than I realized. I feel like I have been on a journey to get to this place- this lovely place where I have finally found some sort of clarity- ever since that point.

It is a huge relief to be taking responsibility for my own life and to realize that nobody has the power to hurt me anymore. It is really empowering…so much more than I ever could have realized. I think I got stuck emotionally when I started to drink-drink-drink to deal with life, and am finally cleaning up the messes and living my life properly.

I am learning to trust life. It is easier to go with the flow, let go, surrender- whatever you want to call it- than to fight all the time for control. Drinking is a way of controlling reality when everything else feels out of control. That’s where the ‘fuck it’s’ come in. Fuck it, everything is hard, might as well drink. Fuck it, I can’t change anything, might as well drink. Fuck it, I am not happy, might as well drink.

Those thoughts are wrong, wrong, wrong. If you can just trust that things will be okay- that life is looking after you- then you can change. It isn’t easy. I had to claw my way to get here…I really feel like that…and it took me 20 years. I need to remind myself of that when things get tough. I am finally feeling the flow of my life steering me in the right direction, and it is so nice. I am grateful that I get the chance to feel this way because some people NEVER get it.

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8 thoughts on “Clawing My Way Up

  1. I don’t know if everyone has to fight hard, but I know that I do sometimes. The more time I have sober the more I feel like I can handle life. That even though things get hard, or sad, or I just feel flat in general I know now that it will pass, that it won’t last forever.

    • I can see that happening, Amy…being better able to handle stuff after a longer period of sobriety. I feel more and more adept at dealing with stuff. Sometimes I am simply amazed by the journey it took to get here! Thanks for your comment. xx

      • It’s so good to get to a place where you are deep down ok, even when you aren’t remotely close to ok. xoxoxo

  2. I agree Jen – for me it felt like a kind of ‘learned helplessness’. We are now learning just how unhelpful that was but at the time it served us well. Now it’s time to do it differently 🙂

  3. “Drinking is a way of controlling reality when everything else feels out of control.” Wow, this is perfectly stated. This really gets at the heart of why I drank (and why I binged on food in my late teens/early 20s)–for real, like this is IT. Thank you for this post! And yeah, it’s nice to let go of that desire for control, that need to “perform” as I call it. So glad you’re in this place now! xx

  4. […] All that aside, I feel OK, fine, whatever, I’m not complaining about having sun, and water, and work, and basically, a lot of free time to construct any kind of life I want (as long as I make my rent, that is). I’ve realized that taking breaks–like, totally shutting down the information flow–is absolutely essential to me being able to breathe and say, OK, drinking would NOT help here. That means, no email, no Facebook, no news, no music, and most certainly, minimizing other people because other people means me having to take in their stories, and their feelings, and their problems–and it’s not that I don’t want to, I just can’t. I feel like I might implode. And, this all makes me feel desperate inside, and like I want to drink to shut it off. As Jen so well put it in a blog post: […]

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