A little ego check
In six days it’ll be five years – so long as my conscious contact doesn’t evaporate like… well, like alcohol. I’m a little squirmy today and I think that’s part of it. Birthdays are always difficult times. Whenever I know that someone is about to pick up that first year chip I warn them to watch out for squirrelliness. My last couple of birthdays haven’t been too bad, but this one has come with a couple of extra changes and 5 is kind of a round number – halfway to 10 – at this point, I should probably know a thing or two.
I ran into a friend this weekend at my old sponsor’s estate sale. My old sponsor had recently moved out of state and they were attempting to reduce their carbon footprint by getting rid of a lot of things in the move. My friend and I were looking at the kitchen table when I said, “I did a lot of step work at this table.” She got tears in her eyes recounting what she remembered about the state of my life when she first met me. And I was nearly two years sober when we met!
Yes, I have come a long, long way in five years. And… I think, for the first time, that where my life is today reflects pretty accurately what I image a life at five years sober should look like. I acknowledge my character defects, but I don’t so much struggle with them anymore. That is to say that I still have plenty of faults, but they don’t rule my life anymore. I don’t feel an incessant need to become something “better.” I am more able to see myself on similar footing with my fellow man and don’t so much seek to exaggerate the failings of myself or others.
I still have fears. I have learned that fear is the root of my insecurity and at the center of my onion is this inner monologue telling me I’m worthless, unlovable and inadequate. Every layer peeled away reinforces the knowledge of this lie’s existence and the exposure shines a little more truth into the core – that no matter who or what I am or become, I have always been and will always be “enough.” When my fears come, either I face them with God’s help and walk through them or I ask God to set them aside until I am strong enough to do so.
To write here about Camp NaNoWriMo seems trite, but it is something that’s making my skin crawly and to hide those things from you is to lead you on. I began this blog letting you know that I have a great love for writing, but have not experienced a great deal of success with it. That is, though I have received positive feedback on things I’ve written, the fear of success (or the fear that I’ll not be able to replicate success, therefore setting you up just to let you down) has kept me from pursuing this passion, even as a hobby. I’ve spent years in fearful writer’s block… and just writing that makes me weepy-eyed.
How do others prepare to write a novel in a month? Draw up an outline and character development points? Schedule time to write? Me? I’m working a fourth step over just why this fear grips me so. My writing is NOT the sum total of me, so even if I get it out there and it’s horrible, this does not diminish my value whatsoever. However, my stupid little addict brain tells me differently and it is going to take me a lot of conscious contact to shut that little prick up. I don’t even want to tell you I’m considering starting because if I am not able to get through it, you will look at me as a failure. I know it’s a lie, and most likely you couldn’t care less whether or not I do it. This is just one more way my addict brain is trying to control me and it’s a big fear that I keep bumping into, not quite ready to face.
So what does life today, at 6 days away from 5 years look like for me? Still facing one of my biggest fears, not necessarily sure I’m ready to confront it head-on yet… but pretty okay with that. I don’t have to be completely and perfectly fearless. I DO know a thing or two; I HAVE come a tremendously long way; and I WILLINGLY share my experience, strength and hope with others. Today, I am terribly grateful to you and a couple of beautiful drunks who purposely listen for what little wisdom I have to give. You remind me that I am enough just as I am and I don’t have to try so hard. Thanks for being a little bit of God in my life today.