Take Only What You Need But No Matter What Keep Going

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Dear ~K,

It has been quite a year! Too many days stuck inside and a life without our normal everyday movements. So much hatred and sadness, so many people hurting, struggling and suffering. It is a lot to take in everyday, often with no escape, and no place to go, like so many of us stuck at home with everyday pressures feeling more like a pressure cooker. On top of all the crazy outside I am dealing with a marriage that is failing, my world feels extremely small, smothering and so overwhelming and vast with loneliness all at the same time.

If I could summarize my days for the vast majority of the past year has felt stuck on repeat.  Things go smoothly for a while then they explode in front of me, like bombs going off in every direction and no place to run or hide.  My husband and I argue all the time, in front of our kids, which I hate but even if I try to hide or end the argument he persists and it escalates until one of us leaves the house or finally just stops answering.  The depth of the cracks in our marriage are deep, I am not sure they can be mended and I don’t believe my husband has the maturity, emotional or other wise, to make counseling work.  I also know I have work of my own to do to be more caring and show empathy and understanding. 

Although, it may appear this summary of the state of our relationship is cold or unfeeling it is not.  There is no need to say more here about that topic. I will have to make decisions in the new year that may be difficult but also owe it to myself, my husband and my kids to work on myself and my sobriety before I go making huge changes that have consequences on others I care about deeply. 

Looking back on 2020 the “major” events that happened, many have to do with my boys and the outside world. To start, I am proud of my kids they have done a very good job, during this pandemic, trying to manage their studies, grades and sports all while being quite isolated from their friends and normal life. I had an awesome review at work and proud of my accomplishments, I also applied for a new role which I will be in throws of interviewing for as we return in the new year. My younger son made a great lacrosse team and my older son was on fire for basketball over the summer and made his high school freshmen team as well.  My dad made it through two surgeries and is healthy! My father-in-law also made it through a minor surgery and still doing well in light of the onset of some memory issues.  Both my children got awesome grades even during a pandemic. I feel fortunate that our boys could go back to school with masks and have some normal days and be around other kids and learn in a classroom setting. My husband has been interviewing and will hopefully find a job in 2021.

I feel disproportionately lucky about the state we live in and the fact our boat club stayed open this summer.  We have been lucky in the sense that we are not locked down like others are but at the same time it is scary as you watch the numbers rise and the people around really not caring about others when they refuse to wear a mask.  My family and I were so lucky that we could go out on the boat, be on the lake and away from it all for hours. It was a wonderful escape for the kids and our family. Although not free of the fighting still a good escape for all of us from the boredom of the everyday of COVID life.

As I think back on 2020, I have learned many lessons, a few I would like to share include 1) I have matured a great deal over the past two years alone and I am proud of myself. I react differently in so many situations, I have the clarity to not tell myself stories, I am not drunk or hungover all the time and I don’t wake up not know what the hell I might have said or done the night before 3) I have grown in my sobriety, realizing that my journey may not always be a straight line and when my sobriety was meant to stick and I was ready for it to stick it would and has 4) I know everything is not my fault and recognize I need therapy and that I has many things I need to work through to support my personal and emotional growth, not to mention my sobriety 5) I am leaving space and time to let my emotions and understanding of situations unfold, not running from one fire to the next, that usually set myself to divert from the real things I need to sit with and give time to 6) I don’t need to be codependent and others can figure it out for themselves (this one is a work in progress) 7) Other peoples’ reactions and choices really don’t have much to do with me and I can just them go 8) I am a strong woman who is smart and learning more about myself everyday 9) Being sober is not just a label for me it is the pursuit of my best life 10) It is real life to feel all your feelings and have real authentic relationships 11) Sometimes things fall apart so you can rise again from the rubble even stronger. 

To move forward we often have to move through the unknown or dark places.  I feel like I have discovered quite a few things about myself this year and I know there is much I want to leave behind.  Though somehow I struggle to put my thoughts together in a cohesive manner about what to leave behind in 2020.  Not because I don’t have baggage or instances that I want to leave there – maybe I just have too much that I don’t want to take forward and that is the scarier part of what to leave behind, without leaving everything.  I am going to take a crack at the major things I can think I want to leave here in this year and not take with me in 2021 or any year moving forward for that matter.

I will leave my guilt and shame over things I did or did not do while drinking over the years.  I also want to leave my anger and resentments towards those people who have made choices to harm or send ill will toward my family.  I want to move through co-dependency and leave my resentments behind against my husband. No longer will I give so much weight to what others think.  Leaving all self-doubt and guilt behind about taking time to sit with myself and discover more about myself in order to grow. I am leaving the need to disappear for the benefit of others and giving others so much power over me and my life.

There are things I also need to start doing in 2021 like looking at my own shit, getting help from a therapist to understand why I am the way I am and why I choose to drink so much.  I want to explore more about myself, learn how to write, do more outside, not be held down by others and to know how and what to fight for in order to be the best me.  I need to start recognize when I am behaving badly, even when it is for a good purpose or point and change my behavior. I need to believe more in myself and find my strength without making others feel stupid. I need to reach out and put myself out there to make friends and more connections regardless of what I believe others think.  I will stop being everyone’s keeper and start encouraging and empowering my family to do things for themselves so I don’t get resentful.

Minutes, hours, days, months and years continue to click by we can make use of them, embrace them as they come or sit on the sideline and curse them out but they will keep coming – the choose is mine what I do with my time, my days, and my life.  Starting today I choose me and all the mess, brilliance and wonder that comes with my life.  I get to take back the wheel, steer my direction but still let things unfold before me. My wish for myself and my life as I move into 2021 is to love myself more, be true to myself and be open to path that begins to show itself in this new year.

I love you and always will. You are not a lost soul, you are bright burning star that brings light to many.  Keep searching for your spark, it belongs to you and you alone!

Love you always and forever,

~K from the Hill Country 

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