Every time I’ve sat down to write, something I’ve often noticed is how effortlessly my hands start to move on my lap top as if it is a Ouija board game that I played when I was a kid at a slumber party. But this is real – my movement real. The writing is real. The difference this time is that I’ve been sitting here tonight for quite some time. Numb. Nothing. Or, I thought I was numb. I’ve never been too fond of this saying, but, I was sitting trying to get in touch with my feelings. Yuck. Then I thought I was going to start to cry. But no tears. No crying. How did this situation leave me feeling inside? Clueless. Don’t know. . . .
Let’s do a recap. Sometimes that can be helpful for this finding feelings thing. . .
As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I’ve been quite ill. Not until tonight was I finally up to returning phone calls from last month. As I returned call number one, admittedly, I was slow to realize that she had been drinking. She drank tonight. It wasn’t so much that the conversation was nonsense. It is not so much about what she said. It is all about that I broke one of my own rules: Don’t talk to alcoholics who are drunk. And this is for the simple reason that I must protect myself. Right now, as I am fighting for my health to return, I am not so bullet proof. My limitations are quite specific. My life cautiously simple as I still apply for jobs on-line.
I do not have any left over energy – nothing to spare. Giving away my energy would be like giving away my oxygen.
One day we are just the same – both of us sober alcoholics. And the next day, one of us is drunk. I felt like a deer caught in the headlights. My heart sank as I listened to her woes of self-pity and self loathing. It took me too long, but I finally said, “I have to get going now. I’ll call you back in the morning.” I quickly hung up and I felt horribly uncomfortable – I participated in this conversation and it was unhealthy.
A bad feeling come over me. Again, I felt like crying. Perhaps tears of gratitude? Or sad tears for someone drinking too much tonight?
Suddenly I felt compelled to call my father. When he answered I said, “I’m going to bed now. I just called to say good night. I love you.”
“Is there anything else?” he asked.
“No. That’s it. I called to say I love you Dad.”
“That is the nicest reason anyone could ever have to call me.”
I hid my tears – or so I thought.
He then said to me, “I wish I was there so I could tuck you into bed like I did when you were little. And I’d pull the blanket up under your chin.”
“That’s a nice thought. . . Good night Dad, I love you.”
“I love you too.”
After I hung up the phone, I then cried my tears of gratitude. So glad to be alive. Proud of my self – not ashamed of myself. I remember that shame when I used to drink too much. And that numb discomfort that I was feeling earlier? It was because I had unexpectedly run into my enemy. I did not realize I had crossed the enemy lines. Am I still at war with alcohol? You bet. We all are. Too many have been killed on the battlefield. Even with all the proper tools and all the endless ways to seek shelter and protection. Still our friends and loved ones die. Piece by piece. Self-respect dies. Self-esteem dies. The soul starts to fade. Her enemy is also my enemy. I had no choice but to retreat – and get the hell out. She wasn’t ready to go with me.
. . . there for the grace of God go I . . .