Wednesday, September 09, 2015

The Necessity of Balance


Many years ago, when I first became sober, it was all consuming. Recovering, reading, actively participating in groups, changing, growing, etc etc. I lived and breathed sobriety. As the years went on, the need to strike the balance between being sober and bringing that into my changed life became one of the single most difficult feats faced. It was tough to walk into a room and not declare myself the most sober person in it. Conversely, it was a challenge to be sitting with a therapist trying desperately to convince her that, although sober, I was not like all those "sober" people.

The balance swung far left and right on a daily basis.

In the end of what I deem sobriety part one, the need to feel as normal as possible led me to the place where the balance just crashed. I relinquished everything I had learned for nine years and walked down a different path for a bit just because I felt like I could. I was bold and justified. Relentless in my pursuit for normalcy,  I sporadically picked up my old sober life in fits and starts. I would reach in when I needed to but would not commit. And this led me to understand the terrible and amazing need for true balance in life.

Today, when I walk into a room, you don't know that I am the most sober person in it. I probably won't tell you anymore. You don't know the years I have spent being recognized and celebrated for being a successful young sober woman. You don't know the late nights, the anguish, the conflict I have trying to quiet the insecurity and the utter regret I feel for treating myself so poorly.  You don't know the journey I have started and stopped so many times it makes my head spin. The tears, the success, the failures and the joys of glimpses of who I knew I could be.

And today, you also don't know that I sit here again and celebrate an older woman (this journey started in 2002 at the age of 27) who just hit 40+1 and remains committed to sobriety. That I am taking each day as it comes and working to create the most balanced life possible. A woman with all the same emotions that I had back then but less emphatically so. There is a peace and quiet in working to just be who I was supposed to be all along and share a small piece of humblish writing with those people who struggle too.

The balance works to remain in the center.

There is a great necessity to find the center of ourselves and just be. Be who you are. Be someone who takes all the successes and failures and joys and sorrows and brings them to the center of your being. And let life radiate back out from everything you are.

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