Tag Archives: mistakes

Letting Go of Old Resentments in Favor of Love:

God, it’s been so long since I have sat here and tried to write anything, that I almost don’t know where to start. I got stuck on the “Title” space for such a long time that I decided to just write first, and see if something came to me. In case you are curious, I will tell you that over the past two months, while I haven’t been writing, I have been doing a lot of work on myself. Trust me, there was plenty of stuff to work on, and plenty left to do…I’m not one to just leave myself be. Oh, if only I could. But that will never be me. Anyway, I thought about writing a lot, but I just didn’t have anything I wanted to say, here…then, the past few days, the urge started coming over me again. If you write, you know what I mean- little ideas start tickling the back of your mind. Nothing too pressing. Then, this morning came, and I knew it was time.

resentment

This morning, a friend of mine lost her father. He was in hospice, and so it wasn’t unexpected, but…she fell asleep beside him, holding his hand, and when she woke up, he was gone. She is devastated. Last week, a friend that I work with lost her mother. Like my other friend, she was there with her, right to the very end. We talked for a long time about it, and I told her that when I found out her mom had passed, I tried to imagine what it would be like to wake up in a world where my mother no longer resided- I really did this, at home, alone, trying to put myself in my friends place. Because, you know, I have never done that. No matter what kind of relationship I have with my mom- and it goes through phases- I have always had the assurance that she was there. I have taken that for granted every single day of my entire life. Imagine what it would feel like for that not to be true. Of course, if you have already lost one, or both, of your parents, you already know…but for the rest of us, it bears thinking about.

Now, think for a second about the resentments, big or small, that you carry around. Are they worth the price they will cost you if they are holding you back from fully loving someone that gave you life? This is a question I asked myself, and it may be worth asking yourself, as well. I am not saying that just because someone is your parent, anything they have done should be forgiven- I know there are horror stories of abandonment and abuse, and I am not talking about that. I am talking about things…well, I guess I am talking about the things that I have carried around, that hold ME back. I suppose what I am saying is that I have chosen not to love as fully as I could, maybe not consciously, because of my own resentments…things that belong in the past, to people who don’t really even exist anymore.

We grow up- children are not the only ones who grow up, who change. I certainly have, and I know my parents have, too. I want to love them with my WHOLE heart, and that is what I hope to do. Because they are still here, and I am a lucky daughter, indeed. I look at how strained my relationship is with my mom and dad at certain times (whether they know it or not) and I hope more than anything that my kids don’t ever have that kind of resentment or any of those kinds of feelings about me. But, boy, I have sure given them plenty of good material to use.

Here’s the thing- my parents are human beings, and human beings mess up. I know they had the best of intentions, like every one of us do, and they did stuff they regret anyway. I know this to be true, not just because I lived through it but because they’ve told me. With their own mouths, they have said to me:  “I wish I would have done things differently”. My mom has beat herself up for years over things she cannot change, decisions she made, that, at the time were the VERY BEST she could make from the options she had. And you know what? We are okay, anyway. My brother and I love her, we go to her with all of our stuff…but in my heart, I know I have held myself back. She can’t go back in time and change anything, anymore than I can go back and give my daughter a happy childhood with a mother who was not on drugs, not abrasive and full of rage. I can never, ever do that. But I hope she forgives me. I need forgiveness, too.

Today, I am letting go of that shit- those old resentments I have carried for far too long. I am going to love my parents fully, both of them, because they deserve it. They have loved and forgiven me for a lot of stuff- it’s time, for all of our sakes, that I leave the past in the past. I am so glad my mom and dad are still here, that I can pick up the phone and call them just to say “I love you.” And maybe this blog didn’t make a lot of sense to you, but my heart sure needed to puzzle this out. Thanks for reading- hope to see you again here, soon.

 

 

Starting Again

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There is a little plaque hanging on my kitchen wall that says “Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”. This is a sentiment that resonates with me, especially because, looking back at my life, I see that my guilt and shame over how I had chosen to live the perfect, blessed life I was lucky enough to be born into, kept me sick for a lot longer than necessary. Ironic, right? I felt so bad about my choices that I chose to continue making poor choices. You know, thinking about all of that, it makes me tired, and it makes me sad, and it makes me feel yucky. It’s a feeling I’d like to wash off of me forever.

But it’s a part of who I am, and if I ever forget, (as if that were possible) I’d be in danger of repeating those mistakes, I think. That is one thing I can say about my life, at least. Once I got clean the first time, through all the relapses that eventually followed, I never made the same mistakes. I did the same drugs, and I lived the life sort of, with one foot in and one foot out the door. I literally lead a double life. I kept my job and tried to maintain the facade of a “normal” life. What I learned there was that, for me, the misery created by living a lie was even greater than just being an all out, bottom of the barrel, dope fiend.

Eventually, I reached the point we all have to reach before we decide that a change is worth making. Usually, it is when everything becomes so painful that we cannot make it through a day without crying like a baby. I have been there many, many times. I don’t want to go there again, but if and when I do, I really hope it is for some other reason. If I have to be miserable, let it be a new misery. I know that if I am clean, I will be able to deal with it so much more capably.

The first part of this “return to earth” is intense. Our bodies are depleted, and our souls are just overflowing with the feelings we have been busily anesthetizing for…way too long. We are tired and frazzled, moody, and terribly afraid. I am thinking of my little brother who is in treatment now, as I write this. He has had such a hard time. When he called to tell me he was headed off to rehab a week or so ago, I was so proud of him. It is so goddamned hard to admit that we need help, especially if it isn’t the first time. May you never know the way that feels. I was too afraid, myself, but boy did I need help. I was afraid of losing my job, my kids, my house. I didn’t want anyone to know what a spectacular failure I was. I was so concerned with how I looked to the world that I actually preferred to continue killing myself rather than surrender, to admit that I was not doing well.

Thankfully, it has worked out alright. I have so much gratitude for everything good in my life right now. I want so much for everyone I know, and everyone I don’t know, even, who is caught up in the the madness of this spirit consuming disease to find what I have found. Some of them definitely will. Some of them won’t, not ever. And that is their own personal path, I know that. I understand that some people I can love, but I have to do it at a distance. I have finally learned that in this way, I must put my own best interests first. It is an incredibly delicate balance.

It is 6:22 in the morning, and I have been up since a little before five, like I am almost every day now. I am close enough to my latest disasters to still feel overjoyed by my relatively unscathed escape. I regret being angry zombie mom to my kids, angry asshole daughter to my mom, angry negative Facebook poster to my friends. I regret being a fake ass liar to the people at work. I am sad that I can’t really even tell them the truth now, and ask them to forgive me. All I can do is be this girl, today, and make a silent amends…make my life an amends, even, by being the best I can be at all times.

And when I mess up, I start over. Mess up, start over. It doesn’t have to be a backslide or a disaster, another sad chapter in my life. It’s just a little misstep, and then a correction. Have a beautiful day.