Saturday, February 16, 2013

Just a Walk in the Alps

I feel like my journey as a human being has been something akin to living as a nomad in the Alps.  I climb these enormous slopes, get sideswiped by landslides, ski down glaciers, eat in alpine meadows, and fall prey to wild animals continuously.  The view can be spectacular, but man it takes a lot of energy.

photo credit: √Čole via photopin cc

Since Riley's birth in 2008 and my really wild post partum anxiety/OCD part of the journey, I feel like I've been walking some of the strongest and most peaceful parts of this alpine path that I have walked in my whole life.  I've named all my dragons.  I've built some strong weapons.  I've fought hard for inner calm, and been carried so wholly by Love, from God, from Brent, from all corners, that I've won.

The thing that drew me to Brent so magnetically in the beginning was how much peace he brought me.  And he continues to give me peace on a daily basis.  We tease each other and get on each others' nerves and push each others' buttons: we're married.  Not angels.  But we only really FIGHT once or twice a year.  Usually about housework.  I can fall deep inside this peaceful man and feel so loved, daily.  Good LORD am I lucky.

Probably precisely because I'm in such a stable place on the journey, I've been feeling it was time to do some "work" on myself.  This fall I had a number of significant dreams and memories surface regarding my childhood.  I had loving parents who are incredibly committed to family, and good people who raised us well.  But I grew up with alcoholism and some significant mental illness.  I felt like I coped, as a kid.  I had a happy childhood, and we all tried the best we knew to love each other well.  But it started catching up to me.

Part of the prodding I felt last fall from God to pull a Haggai and "rebuild His house" was to address some of the stuff that was surfacing.  I felt like God was pulling it up out of the depths of me, and my job was to follow His call to pay attention to it.

Being the resourceful type, and fond of resources that emphasize individual boot strap hauling, I started going to an Al-Anon group in my area in January.  I've been four times.  I also called a counselor who came with a very good recommendation and started seeing her.  I've been twice.  She's amazing.  Al-anon is amazing.  I've walked four thousand emotional miles in six weeks, it has blown my mind.  I bought a new real, live papermates journal and a new Bic pen and am making serious inroads into keeping these companies in business, I'm writing so much.  It feels like something I want to keep folded within myself, mostly to protect my heart, but I'm also experiencing so much self discovery that I had to at least share with you what I'm up to.  Some days, I feel like a manatee hauling myself up on a dock somewhere, shocked, cold, totally bewildered.  Mostly I feel like I'm coming home to myself.  Taking out parts and learning to love them.  Putting one foot in front of the other on the path, and rebuilding something big.

Terribly frightening.

But God doesn't say, "Come when you have your shit together," He says, "Come, follow me*" and "I am with you**."  So I go.  Breathless.  One foot, then the other.

*Matthew 4:19
**Haggai 1:13


Rachel Lautaret said...

Wow, friend. Wow. I mean, hell, I just saw you in December and all this is happening now. I am so thankful that you shared this glimpse into what's going on.

I had a sense when you were here that maybe some big "address the past" stuff was going to happen in your life, based on things you indicated, and it's all happening. I'm so glad it's happening and that it's good. I'm so glad that you are even at a place in life where you can do this. I'm so glad you have Brent. Your description of him have me goosebumps. This is a hard road, but it's a good one. Like a long hike in the wilderness, you will be changed and at the end -- you will feel strong and whole and revitalized.

I love you so much.

tamie marie said...

One of the interesting things to me about looking at your journey from the outside (vs. living my own from the inside) is that I see how you *already* have to be strong in order to take on such a huge journey. And yet, from the inside it often feels like, "I'll be strong just as soon as I get my shit together about X." But actually, it shows your strength that you can even have the thought, "I gotta get my shit together about X." It takes a lot of strength to trek around in the mountains.

Another interesting thing is that I rarely consider myself an outside observer when it comes to your life. I consider myself a participant, a fellow pilgrim.

These are huge things you're taking on, and you're taking them on in such a wise, grounded way.

Oh, and I can SO identify with what you're saying about traveling 90 million miles in a few weeks. There are things I've come to understand in the last 6 months, esp. in working with Jay, that it's like I can't really remember a time before I knew those things. And yet--on the other hand--I remember very, very well what it was like to not know those things. I'm sure you can identify.

I want to hear as much as you want to tell, both about Al Anon and about therapy. I'm so proud to be a fellow pilgrim with YOU.

lori said...

Great analogy; yes, bravery and isolation and hard breathing and peace and and and.....these journeys: they are already difficult, no matter who you are, and then *some* people choose to take on the real work of digging deeper into themselves for discovery and growth. You go, woman. Trek on.

Yes, I'm so glad you wrote this about what's going on nowadays. It's easy to blog about the daily happenings, the outer world we walk through. And it's important, yes! That's mostly what I do (did, back when I was more part of the blog world) and what I'll probably do again when I bravely pick it back up. But this inner stuff - this is where it's at, man. This is where we get to know each other and have a much better idea of the others' "real" lives.

I'd be super curious to hear more about the things you're learning, and how it is to be part of a group of individuals who were so affected by alcohol but probably from many angles. I understand the blog may not be the best format for it, but truly, I'd love to hear more.