I am not much of a one for writing on objects. t-shirts, mugs, inspirational posters. I tend to become visually bored with any message very quickly. this one is the exception that proves my rule, but even so I do not have it up on the wall of my house. I keep it tucked in that corner of my heart where I retreat when my back is as right up against the wall as it can possibly be. bring it out, gasping, when the rising waters of panic or despair lap at my chin. rest on it awhile until I am strong enough to start treading water again, and then to swim on.
I saw it first on Glennon Doyle’s blog, Momastery. it is probably a signal that I’ve been blogging for a while now that I think: I know I’ve recommended her before, but I don’t care, this is my blog and I can repeat myself as much as I like 🙂 in particular if Glennon can repost one of her landmark posts on depression and getting sober, then I can jolly well repost it too!
a few thoughts on the mantra, now: I love it because it is so short but brings in so much.
hard things: because there is no escaping from the hard things of life. try as we might to do so with alcohol, or drugs, or food, or shopping, or television, or the Internet. those hard things will still be there when we get back. except that while we have been away, numbing ourselves, those things will have set seed like the most thorny and resistant of thistles, blowing over the gardens of our lives. one year’s seed is seven years weed…
can: we have a choice. we always have a choice. can or cannot? which will it be for you, today? if one person can, if those inspirational others ahead of me on my blogroll can, if I can, ffs, then you can. and there are people who were much further down the road of addiction than I was who have made it home. it is possible. to quote another highly useful and terrifically short mantra, our feelings are not facts. we may feel that the circumstances facing us are an impossible cliff. that we are too weak, and small, and broken to climb that cliff. but those are feelings. the fact is that the cliff is possible to climb. the rock face is capable of being scaled, the question is whether we have equipped and trained ourselves to be able to do so.
do: you know me, from previous posts on this blog. I am all about the doing, the lists, the goals, the plans. and that is because what we do is what changes our lives. because sitting on a sofa with a glass of wine in our hand never got anyone sober. buying running shoes never got anyone fitter. writing revision plans never passed anyone any exams. and yes yes yes we need to inspire ourselves, to take mental leaps of faith to prepare us to climb the cliff. but at the end of the day, as physical beings, action is how we incorporate those leaps of our souls into our outer lives. we need to do. whether it is sobriety, our marriages, our parenting, our careers. moving from foothold to foothold, looking for new routes if our first attempts fail. conquering our cliffs and our fears one day at a time.
and now, my favourite word of them all. we. we can do hard things.
because I am not called to do this on my own. we are meant to live and work in families, in groups, in community with one another. so the reason this is too hard to do on our own is that we are not supposed to try and do it on our own. like a team of mountaineers, we all have our roles, supporting those behind us and relying on those ahead of us.
which is why this soberverse shivers and shakes when one of our number falters or falls by the wayside. because we are all connected and any loss diminishes us all.
but we can hold this in our minds, too: we don’t shoot our wounded. we nurture them and support them for as long as they wish to be supported. and the wounded are many and heartbreaking. I ache for those who have disappeared from the climb I have been on for the last year. many times they reappear, find a new foothold, change something about what they have been doing or something about how they have been thinking, and forge ahead. because that is possible.
this is a hard mountain: but the view as we climb higher and higher makes it all worthwhile.
6 days to go to one year.