I’m leaving this residency a less fearful and more inspired, thoughtful person. The entire time I lived in income-based housing, I said that I wasn’t really working much because what job could possibly pay me enough to value the one commodity I have always prized above all else? Time. (Believe me, I look back on that version of me with some level of shame at that entitlement. Reality Bites is hardly comedy or fiction for me. #HardcoreGenXer)
I think I got cocky about my “new” rhythm, assuming (incorrectly as it turns out) that in the nine days since my first round of this unease, I had shaken it and formed a completely new set of habits that would just carry me going forward. I was utterly certain that Dr Marry could come visit (wouldn’t change that, regardless this dumb day’s outcome, likely in part from that disruption) so far into my time away that it wouldn’t throw my routine into chaos. Turns out my confidence was misplaced.
So I try to keep September 10, 2001, always present in my mind, even though I can’t tell you a single thing that actually happened on that day. I keep it present because that day is a perfect example of the “before” time to whatever instance abruptly stops you in your tracks and hijacks your world. Before the diagnosis. Before the accident. Before the breakup. Before the ______________.
Today, I have shaken off the miasma of yesterday’s slump. I’m shedding a skin composed of demands from external factors, some which are simply the reality of life and a demanding job but some which are self-imposed and easily dropped. That shedding is a process, like peeling an orange. The skin rarely comes off in one long peel, and even when it does, there’s pith and seeds to pull away from the sweet fruit before it’s ready to be consumed.
In some (often) unconscious way, I have always tried to honor the spirit of animals, vegetables, grains, elements and more. I talk to flowers in my pollinator garden as if we are intimate friends. I encourage the potato plants to thrive, despite the weeds that inevitably crop up around them. I stop to say hello to every bunny in the neighborhood on our daily walks.
We didn’t just talk about addiction, of course, because these men, and the other woman and I are more than the product of this disease, which steals from every person with whom it comes in contact. But it was so easy to ask questions, to recall a similar experience, to look at this couple, who in many ways are a mirror of us, and see where we had been, where we are and what damage still lingers. Because believe me, no matter how much better it is, no matter how fabulous it is, in fact, there is lingering damage. Scars heal over time, stop being red and raw, but never go away entirely.
Thanks for joining us on this journey–remember to share these with anyone you think might find value. We believe they aren’t just useful to addicts and spouses/partners of addicts, but to people going through life. We all have to live with vulnerability, manage complex emotions, reflect on our own role and take responsibility for it and everything else.
Welcome to week 2 of Daily Dose of Dr Marry and DD. If you’re struggling with addiction or are partnered to an addict, you’ll find useful nuggets in one or many of this week’s episodes. If you’re just a “run of the mill” person with no addiction in your life, first, count your lucky stars, and second, you’ll find ideas to consider in your own life as well.
So every weekday morning at 8:30am, Dr Marry and I will go live with a “Daily Dose of Dr Marry and DD” on my public Facebook page for no more than 15 minutes all around one focused idea. They are a quick, mindful way to start your day with tips, ways to reframe your thinking or an important idea to consider.
So we’re launching a daily, short (no more than 15 minutes and often quite a bit less) Facebook livestream focused on one topic around our story–our experience of Dr Marry’s fall into addiction and our shared journey to sobriety. Our plan is to do them at 8:30am starting today.