Through my recovery I can see where I would have reached for that drink to encapsulate myself in a surround of alcohol (or drugs) and because I see where the pitfalls are, I continue to keep my boundaries intact.

 

By Michelleanne Bradley

These are the signs that I am avoiding “things” in my life.

I get really snappy with people, I start binge watching stories on television (not news, but series) and I want to spend way more time in bed than usual. I will set up any kind of distraction noises to keep me from hearing my thoughts, my sleep becomes really disjointed (like waking up at four am repeatedly, unable to go back to sleep), and my body tells me that I really need to pay attention to what is going on (usually a giant throbbing cold sore on my lip, otherwise known as a herpes outbreak).

I have gotten super good at all of these things lately. I need a break. I feel like I am not super sure how to do that anymore.

I have this job, but it’s not just a “job.” I founded a company and it’s growing—which is fantastic—and I love it. And I worry a lot. My company is six years old, I have made a bunch of mistakes and learned a lot from all of them, and I fear success. I fear success almost more than I do failure, because I have failed a lot in my life so there is familiarity in failure.

I have this family, and we are grieving a lot. My father died suddenly in July 2021, and it has been a dumpster fire roller coaster tsunami ever since. I have long struggled with dissociation, yet I realize that I am now a professional, whereas before I had been a mere amateur. I have been back and forth for visits with my mom since dad died than I am comfortable with and trying to drive my mom’s healing instead of taking care of my own.

There has also been rocky re-connection with my brother, after decades of estrangement, which has been really challenging to navigate.

I have these pets, who are my kids really, and they are needy buggers for sure. They are all rescues—everyone has an issue or twelve. The good news is that I recognize that we are full up and will not be expanding our household for a while.

I am doing all of this navigating clean and sober.

Last night I took part in an AA meeting for the first time in a very long time. AA has not been my recovery path of choice, and I found this to be a really great community with whom to connect. I was very open about my reasons for not choosing AA but everyone was very understanding, which was fantastically comforting. Through my recovery I can see where I would have reached for that drink to encapsulate myself in a surround of alcohol (or drugs) and because I see where the pitfalls are, I continue to keep my boundaries intact.

Finally, I have practice.

I feel like this should be in bold and italics and a much larger font, because it is so huge for me. I find comfort in practice, I find strength in practice, I find refuge in practice. My practice surrounds me, my practice is to the north, south, east and west. My practice is above, below and inside of me.

My practice is all of the directions—the sun and the moon and the stars, the vastness of the universe and the single grain of sand. My practice is my every breath. My practice frees me to navigate all of the pieces that I struggle with individually that sometimes all swirl together and knock me down. My practice allows me to get up the eighth time after I have fallen down seven.

Right now, it is like this. 

 

My practice is all of the directions---the sun and the moon and the stars, the vastness of the universe and the single grain of sand. My practice is my every breath. ~Michelleanne Bradley #practice Click To Tweet

 

Photo: Pixabay

 

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Michelleanne Bradley