Today was one of the most excruciating times I have ever faced in recovery. I bawled my eyes dry this morning and as I lay there sobbing in the fetal position, gasping for air… I wondered, what am I doing in Australia? Why am I still so far away from home?
The truth is I love it here. There are just some days, where I feel like I am just holding on (white knuckling it, as they say). I also know that wherever I go, I take myself with me. I am lonely on my own and I am lonely in a room full of people (even if those people are my family).
Today was like something out of a dream, Déjà vu type experience. Granted it felt like I had cotton wool wrapped around my head from crying and like someone had taken a baseball bat to my skull, my head was pounding so hard. I felt like I was looking at life through the lens of my 10 year-old self. I felt as lonely, helpless and innocent as the day my family left me behind. Even the colours looked like they had a sepia effect. It felt nostalgic and raw. Nothing quite like anything I have ever experienced. It was so familiar and yet so foreign all at the same time.
Yesterday, I made a mistake and I took my closest friend’s inventory for her. It obviously didn’t get received well and though, when I was wrong, I promptly admitted it. The damage had already been done. She has disconnected from me. This is one of my dearest friends and the closest person to my heart. Now, I know, and many times I have preached, that the only person who can abandon me is me. I also know, this has nothing to do with her. What it did trigger was the pain I felt when I was young. I blurted something out in anger once and my dad ‘banished’ me. He refused to speak to me and sent me to live with my mom. From that day I have had an overwhelming fear of saying the wrong thing. In fear that I might loose you. I remember the remorse I felt and the overwhelming regret. I wished so deeply that I could have done things differently – that I could go back and undo what had been done.
My core belief became, “I can only get love by doing or saying the right thing” – there are times when I will say nothing at all, for fear of being rejected. My friend pulling away after I said the ‘wrong thing’, was like a scab being torn away and whats left is a gaping, bleeding wound, as fresh as the day it was made. This is the wound that makes me want to run. The pain that has me questioning if I can keep going. This is blood drawn from my veins, leaves me so drained and exhausted that I just feel I need to throw in the towel and give up. If I turn around and walk away, I can go far enough and I can forget the whole thing. I can even forget you, if I try hard enough to. – This is my brain rationalising, at it’s finest!
Today I didn’t run. I called my therapist. She facilitated my pain. I felt heard and validated and so proud of myself for picking up the phone. The second call was to my sponsor. She facilitated solutions, she shared her experience and gave me a good lesson in boundaries. Both calls were effective and God has put two of the greatest women in my life. I am blessed beyond words and I have profuse gratitude toward them and to God. I was met with loving words and nurture, as well as an action plan, so that I may use this pain as a learning experience.
And the rest of the day… well, I felt fragile and I wanted to hide. I went to work and my case manager was onsite, which made me want to dissolve, but I just fronted up. After she left, my client asked me to do something we had never done before. She asked if I wanted to walk to the park, instead of giving her a pilates class. We ran there. Then we ran around the oval a few times. We walked back and all the flowers have come unveiled for this beautiful spring afternoon. The gardens were splashed with the pastel colours of pink and purple and the trees dotted with colour. We turned the corner to see the sky stained crimson, as the sun set. We visited an elderly woman and picked some of her grapefruit after walking the rest of the way home kissed by the warmth of the Melbourne spring. Days this serene are rare in this part of the world. I felt like God was holding me with the gentleness of these conditions. Caressing my soul with the beauty of my physical surroundings. My heart is tender, but still beating… I feel loved, throughout all of the pain. Today was a gift.