My cat does this thing where she meows pitifully to come in, then, when I open the door, she just looks nervously in as if a pack of wolves could be standing just beyond her sight, and hesitates until I get impatient and shut the door in her face. Why, you may wonder, do I not just scoop her up and make her come in? Well, because if I do, she will just stand there looking terrified and cry until I let her back out again. Then she runs away and won’t come back until way later, even though she is probably starving to death.
This is a really good analogy for my behavior over the past…oh, Jesus, entire adulthood, I guess. Specifically, me in my addiction. There I am, at the door of everything beautiful in life, whining and crying for Gods help…for him to please let me IN. Except that He is always there for me, always opening the door, His patience is eternal. But I hesitate at the entrance, and for all of my howling, I am not really ready to come in. I perceive that the door is shut, but it is always open. I stand there, terrified when I can see that it is open, and heartbroken when I think it is closed, and I struggle to take that first step in. And God, or whatever power you choose to believe in- the Universe, lets say- knows better than to scoop me up and bring me in before I am ready, because I will bolt, and it may be a really long time before I come back to that doorstep.
I have spent months agonizing at this doorway, scared to death to let go of my misery and see what was on the other side. There are a million reasons I used to keep myself sick, most of them somehow relating to how sick I would be ( the irony here does not escape me) before I was better. Well, I am here to tell you, if you are using that excuse yourself, it’s bullshit. Sorry to ruin it for you. At the MOST, we are talking about a little discomfort, a little yuckiness…but here is the caveat- it is discomfort mixed with an amazing dollop of hope that things are about to improve, finally.
As long as you are using, there is no hope that things are going to improve, none. I am not talking about you guys who smoke weed and are okay with it. You know, I am not talking about anything at all that you are totally fine with- if you are really, truly fine with whatever you are doing, then it isn’t a problem for you. It may be a problem for everyone around you, and there’s a decent chance that you are totally lying to yourself, but I am talking specifically about those of us entrenched in our addiction who despise it, despise ourselves, and feel totally beaten, desperate and paralyzed. Scared to death at the thought that we must save ourselves FROM ourselves…I mean, how the hell does that work?
It works when you are ready for it to work, and not a minute sooner. When you are ready, you can do it. That is the truth. Here is another truth- I have memory problems. In my lifetime, I have observed that I am very similar to every other human being in most basic ways, so you may have memory problems too. I forget, over and over, who I am and what my life can be like. So there may be times of forgetfulness and backslide. I have tricked myself into believing that I was well, that I was different, that I had figured out some magic way to avoid getting caught up in the grip of my disease. I am just admitting to this in case you feel like an idiot because this has happened to you, or in case it does.
A few weeks ago, I just changed my mind. I decided I had been terrified and miserable for long enough. I missed my family and friends, I missed ME, and I was willing to brave the yuckiness to get back to them. And you know what? It wasn’t that big of a deal. Because in the midst of it, I rediscovered hope, and hope makes everything easier to bear. A few weeks ago, I felt like life was closed off to me, and now, literally DAYS later, every door seems open, or at least approachable…and I don’t have to sit outside crying to get in.
Yesterday, I was scolding myself for something I did ( yes, I talk to myself) and I was unable to call myself “stupid”…how do you like that? I was like, “Good one, st…silly.” , and it was so funny, because it was REAL. This morning I woke up, saw myself in the bathroom mirror, and grinned. “I LIKE that girl.” I thought. These are not small things. All I can say is, it’s about time. I wish every one of you the same.