Friday, March 29, 2013

No Longer in the Dark

I’m still on this awareness kick. It has been lingering in my mind all week. The thing is that once you become aware of something, you can’t become unaware. The realization that I didn't confront Tony about his addiction and how it affected me remains. I didn't tell him how I felt about the consequences I have had in my life, my pain and loneliness, and what the years of denying myself in trying to remain in an unfulfilling marriage have done to my self-worth. This is about me, I realize. This need is about my taking ownership about the lack of self-esteem, self-respect, and boundaries in my life. Now that I am into this recovery journey, it is becoming increasingly clear about how codependent I became.

There are some anger issues surfacing over this. I’m angry at myself, of course. I’m angry at him, too. After all, the addiction is still the real enemy here. I've accepted I’m powerless over the addiction, but I am empowered to make good decisions for myself. I am dealing with the anger. I don’t believe I will need to use the hoe this time, but I can draw upon the strength of my anger. I will feel it and release it and move on. What are my other options, anyway? Stuff it again? Ignore it? Get into a rage and go confront him all worked up? None of those options seem healthy to me. I believe staying in the Healing Lane requires far more adult behavior. That is the goal, after all (New mantra: Wholehearted Life as a FFA).

My morning walks into the canyon are getting warmer and brighter. The sun is slowly shifting and so now when I hit the hill coming out of the canyon, I am staring up at the incline. Previously, I was making the climb in the dark. I commented to my friend today that I liked it better when it was dark and I didn't see the climb because I didn't realize how much work it is. It has become somewhat habit of mine to ask, “So how is this my life?” since I am trying to glean as many of life’s lessons from my daily experiences. Well, THAT certainly spoke to me! Walking in the dark? Just heading into the dark without awareness of what I was facing? Oh, yes, this is a total metaphor for what is going on with me.

I am now aware of the climb, and I sometimes think I miss being unaware, or shall we say remaining “in the dark”. That’s denial and going along as if things are ok, without dealing with the situation. The all important question to ask then, “How did that work for me?” Not so well…I became morbidly obese, numb, medicated, exhibiting low self-esteem, lonely, a shell of my authentic self.  As I process this “remaining in the dark” I realize what I truly want. That is to not only be aware, but to celebrate my accomplishments. When in the dark, I may not see the climb, but I also don’t get to turn around and take in the view from the top. When I’m just taking steps in the dark, I must assume I’m going in the right direction, and never really see where I"m going or where I've been. Now, I assess the climb, I complete it, and I rejoice in finishing it. It is ok to give myself a pat on the back. I’m aware of what I've just completed and I’m proud of myself.

Linking this metaphor to my experience of not confronting Tony about the addiction is this – I just wanted to remain in the dark. It seemed easier to just take life one day at a time, without really looking at the full picture or a vision for where I was headed. I knew there was a climb, but I didn't want to face it. The mountain was still before me, but that mountain had little to do about Tony's behaviors and a whole lot to do about mine. It’s about taking the authority back for me. It is about coming out of the dark into awareness, and from there drawing on the courage to do the climb. 

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