I’m in grave danger of writing a post that’s just a bitch fest. I’ve had a hard week and I want to bitch and moan about it. I’ll just say that both Mrs. TKD and I have been very sick for about a week and it’s been a struggle to get well, hold the house together, get the boy to school, and get out Day jobs done. It’s hard when one of us gets sick, but when we’re both laid out it’s even worse. It can feel like everything is falling apart.
In addition to dealing with being sick there were two celebrity suicides this week – potent reminders that external appearances can mask deep internal struggle. Bourdain’s suicide hit me hard. His love of food and culture as well as his respect and compassion for people who are different than he was have always struck a chord with me. It is strange that a man’s death can affect me as much as his did. He’s not someone I knew personally of course, but we get to know our celebrities through their work (at least on the surface — the part of their lives they let us see).
It’s Saturday morning and I’ve been trying to pull things together around the house. Trying to tackle the mountain of laundry. Feed the boy with the food that we have — slim pickings since it’s time to go to the grocery store. Opening up the blinds that have been closed for days to let some damn sunlight into the house. You know, make it look like humans lived here. And trying to feel better at the same time.
And I’m spent. Done. Over it.
When Mr. Grey said that the perfectly acceptable smoothie that I’d made him wasn’t acceptable, the stress ratcheted up a notch or two again. Then right after he’d finally gotten off the computer he turned in the TV and shut the blinds that I’d just opened. I lost it.
“It’s not the lions and tigers in the jungle, it’s the flys and gnats that will get you.” That’s what my first sponsor used to tell me.
The flys and gnats are ferocious.
Mrs. TKD suggested I head out for some time by myself. And honestly I could not see that this was the right thing to do. But I did it. I rolled out and I’m sitting at a Starbucks eating a sweet cinnamon bun (which I know had no nutritional value) and drinking a coffee and writing in my phone. And somehow I’m coming to a place where I can accept that this is just the way it is right now. It ain’t perfect but it damn sure ain’t as awful as my mind had made it out a half hour ago.
I’m accepting things. Life on life’s terms. And I’m reminded of page 417 once again, “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems.”
Acceptance is difficult. I think that accepting things as they are is a fundamental challenge for all human beings. We want things to go the way we want them to go. Some would argue that this is the ego taking over. That this is “self will run riot.” That this is alcoholic thinking.
I’m not so sure. I know many people who struggle with accepting life on life’s terms who don’t suffer for addictions or substance use disorders. I think that the difference for those of us who do suffer with addiction is that our drugs of choice help (or helped if we’re in recovery) to mask our feelings. The difference is in our response to adversity.
As I’ve grown in the post few years I’ve found that my new tools serve me well when I remember that I have them and actually use them. Yes, acceptance is part of the answer, but so is taking a break — making some time to reflect and provide myself with much needed self care. And giving myself permission to eat that cinnamon bun which I know is not good for me, because right know, in this very moment it’s what I need to get through the day. A small treat that gives me a dopamine hit and makes me feel just a tiny bit better.