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.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sometimes we are trying to fight a battle as one and it's so very very difficult. Rest in Peace Robin Williams.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Last Glass (Republished)

People have requested that I post this again, I wrote this story years ago.....

I started with twenty-four. Twenty-four Waterford wine glasses. It was weeks before my wedding to the man I so arduously loved. Some were gifts from my family. Many were gifts from our friends. The blue boxes with white ribbon poured in like the wine collection I so astutely built. I took each one out of the box, unwrapping their delicate tissue. The chardonnay glasses with their spindled stems- as if ready to be caressed by the sophisticated hand. Waiting for the candlelight to pour through, reflecting romantic evenings. The cabernet glasses with their wide mouths waiting for a supple reward. I could tilt the glass back to meet the succulence in my lips. Finally, my most cherished eight..the Bordeaux glasses. They were the generals in my army. The glasses were heavier in weight yet far more elegant than the rest. I sat waiting for the right vintage to begin my revolution.

I whimpered when I broke the first six. Three months after my nuptials to the man I thought I loved. The expensive vintage collection began to dwindle. In its place came the bottles that I found at a local winery. Not a bottle from Georges Duboeuf, but some fine wine. A large soiree, friends mingling around the fire. Forbidden fruit poured endlessly by the gracious host, who was subsequently in the Garden of Eden herself. Words began to unfold and emotions began to erupt. First went the chardonnays. Thrown with such vigilance. Aimed right at my beloveds head. There went two hundred dollars towards the refrigerator door. Tearfully, I swept up the shards of glass. But, alas there were eighteen more. I still had the reds. In my battle, I had lost a troupe but still had soldiers.

I cried when I broke the next four. In the early light of spring, I reached for a glass. My coordination stifled by my constant imbibing. I poured a bottle of inexpensive cabernet into my tall glass. I no longer took trips to the winery anymore. I had been there far too often; my face was beginning to be recognized by the patrons. I searched for replacements and conjured up my imaginary wineries in Southern France. I could pretend. I could pretend that my wine rack was not empty. I could pretend that I was not alone. I was drinking away the grief that his silence caused. The grace of the Waterford could not still my shaking hands. I dropped them. Four of my best friends dropped in one evening. With such ferocity, I tried to save them. I had my own personal drunken funeral for my glasses. Tossed into the trash compactor.

I sobbed when he took the next eight. Fall had come. He left with the decanter. The wonderful Waterford decanter. With it etchings so meticulously set in the glass. He lovingly wrapped up the reds and left me with six. He continued the romance, the love affair with elegance and sonnets. Only, my glasses were now empty on the shelf. No life seeped into them. No reflection from candles would burn again. Dust began to choke my thirst. And the flames had been extinguished. Candlelight would no longer pour through the same glass. The wine bottles taken to a new place. To begin a new life. Without me.

I panicked when I broke the next five. One more left. I no longer looked at the glasses with a fervent eye. I used them for anything that could numb the pain. Vineyards had stopped producing the fruit of my garden. In its place found the weeds of alcohols existence. I could only bring myself to lift the glass if it contained venom. I had begun to despise the glasses for the life that used to be contained in them. Glamour had ceased to exist. The clanging of glasses was not in toast but in concerted effort to forget celebration. If the glass was not full, I panicked. Pouring into the loneliest, endless black hole. But not even the last of the glasses could sustain the ache. I threw them in angst. Threw them into the floor as if I could demolish my past. As if I could break this state of destruction. Angry rants begot sophisticated conversation. The stems became daggers into my own heart. One final glass remained.

I rejoiced when the last one broke. It stood on the shelf. An icon to my former life. I worshipped the last glass as if it was on a pedestal. Like a far removed screen star. I looked lovingly at the shining reflection every evening. Yet, I hadnt touched it in months. Hadnt caressed its sleek, smooth body. A friend from my old life came. She let it go. It slipped out of her hand. I watched it. I saw its demise. Falling, falling, it shattered into tiny pieces. The stem no longer recognizable. The body marred. Suddenly in one moment, the pieces were gone in the trash. I had scraped them up and thrown them into the past. I looked up. My heart lifted. The war was over. The Waterford was gone. The whites, the reds gone from my life. The wine defeated. Swept up into a pile and discarded into the past. I smiled.

My glass was empty. My life was full.

copyright, kjpartstudio 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Gratuity and Hope

Years ago, when I first started doing a lot of my sober work, I would write down five things I was grateful fo every night. This would include moments in the day, people, places, a smell, a sight, it didn't matter, I would keep a notebook next to my bed and take those three minutes to stop and appreciate the things that happened in my day.

A practice that I had long put aside, I have begun to write down both morning AND night about those things that I am grateful for and those things that I am HOPEFUL for within in the day.

It's another small step for me on the long path that I've embarked on. It's as if another ray of light has come out to remind me of what I was truly missing in my life.

And I embrace this with humility and gratitude.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Who I am

I've looked through every magazine and self help book
I've looked through every recovery group and blog
Googled myself a million times; sobriety, sobriety girl, recovery, recovering

And I still haven't found who I am

It will never come to me in a search que, website or fourteen question survey to diagnose my addiction

When I reach into my soul
Brief times
Lately, rare times

 I see a glimpse of who I know I can be
And hold my breathe

Waiting for the day that I release myself from pain

The day has come
I know who I am
And where I belong.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Four Agreements

From the Four Agreements-

Everything we do is based on agreements we have made. In these agreements we tell
ourselves who we are, what everyone else is, how to act, what is possible, and
what is impossible. What we have agreed to believe creates what we experience. When these agreements come from fear, blocks and obstacles develop keeping us from realizing our greatest potential.

Based on ancient Toltec wisdom , the Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives and our work into a new experience of effectiveness, balance and self supporting behavior.


Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.
Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and dram With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret.
Four Agreements

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Letting Go.

"She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgments. She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head. She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the 'right' reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn't ask anyone for advice. She didn't read a book on how to let go... She didn't search the scriptures. She just let go. She let go of all of the memories that held her back. She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn't promise to let go. She didn't journal about it. She didn't write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn't check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.

She didn't analyze whether she should let go. She didn't call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn't do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn't call the prayer line. She didn't utter one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn't good and it wasn't bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore."

- Safire Rose

The Necessity of Balance

Many years ago, when I first became sober, it was all consuming. Recovering, reading, actively participating in groups, changing, growing, ...