The Family Afterwards

Riding a Boogie Board on the frequencies of life…

 Oleksii

Maybe it’s the changing planetary alignments? Or an overflow of ideas that don’t always line up with the narrative life throws at you. Maybe it’s the coming darkness of Winter that fell all too early this year and the passing of years all too rapidly. Life is unexpected and surprising, unflattering and dull too. The practicing that goes into sobriety leaves me with layers of understanding that I had never known, or began to understand before. I am sure those who have any amount of years behind them in recovery of any kind can attest to some similar thinking. It doesn’t always provide what I expected though, and after almost eight years, there are still surprises that arrive.

With my recovery, my personal story consists of an exhaustive look into the psychology of it all. It was part of that finding myself that I will always be tied closely to, and a necessary part of finding my spirit, my – who I am. That part was important for my recovery, I didn’t feel like I should/could go out and try to find something if I didn’t know what it is I was looking for?… So when I found a part of that – who I am, at about the five month mark, I could then allow that part of my spirit to have a belief system. As I have said in meetings, at first it felt like the Green Lantern, a story filled with fear and willpower. That description didn’t last long, as visual ideas gave way to trying to describe feelings. The grace and grateful pace that life had freely given, the “God Shots” and warm fuzzy’s.

Photo by Johannes Plenio from Pexels

Being a bit more of a complex person, personality wise, left me with a lot more work to do in those areas of social interactions, depression, anxiety, and plain and simple, old, wrong, thinking patterns. With the help of those around me, I have been able to take great strides in the personal growth area of recovery. The practicing of better thinking, I know that sounds funny to say, but that is exactly what it is. That practicing has been being worked on consistently since I began this journey. The manners and actions, the triggers and mindsets that start the bad thinking, the depressive effects, and the built up anxiety. I write about it, I share those parts about all of this every week with like minded friends. I share with my wife, my love for over half my lifetime. It is here, in the family afterward that I found a vantage point that was more brutally honest than I realized.

Mt sister passed away ten years ago from complications due to alcoholism. I wasn’t sober at the time, but within a few years I had received my invitation to join the club of sober drunks. A friend, and also a sponsor pointed out that we are not always able to help the ones you love. It is a grand and continuing lesson on acceptance. In the last few weeks it has become more apparent that this viewpoint, this change of well… everything is more localized that I thought. The practicing of these betterment’s doesn’t spread throughout the entirety of life, or where I believed I placed them. My wife helped me see something that I didn’t see before, and it was not what I perceived… acceptance.

Photo by Shiva Smyth from Pexels

Work can be difficult for anyone, and stress and anxiety are a big issue for her at this time. Which is usurping her abilities to alleviate it at times. It is here, where my empathy shows up like mansplaining and the message misses its mark. I was telling her one evening that she was completely future tripping, a term about worrying about the future and creating stress and anxiety where there isn’t any yet. I was trying to explain it like the expert, because to be honest, that is exactly what I work on the most, practice the most, try not to think about the most. It’s like running the movie on fast forward, and skipping ahead to see the plot before anyone else. In that moment she dismissed my explanation and continued to talk about something that is supposed to happen in a few months. I had a hard time right then, didn’t she know that I had a wealth of information and knowledge about this stuff? Did she think that we talked about booze at all of these meetings I go to? Devastated, I closed up and just changed the subject, but it hurt.

These practices, and the evolution thereof over the years have led a profound changing of my nature, and nurture. So when life presents me with these issues, the desire to find the root cause that’s troubling me is strong. The difference now is that I know how to mesh it up with my reality, my right now, line it up with the multitude of tools I have acquired over the years. M.E.S.H. – My Experience, Strength, and Hope. Because of those abilities, I can look at the bigger pictures, know where I fit emotionally, physically, and purposely into those equations. It’s right here that I have to insert the huge disclaimer in that I am human and don’t nearly utilize my advice as often as I should apply it. But when things become apparent to me in moments like this, I go to my other current wordplay favorite. When things become apparent, it means it’s meant to guide you, a parent??

My wife was future tripping, but her dismissal of my recovery efforts and education about things was not what it seemed. She was where she was, and I was where I was, and in the moment I couldn’t see my too many years and not enough days reply to her situation. I had to listen to her first, not try to fix her, in my wondrous empathy play, I missed the time for sympathy. There is a lot of learning in life, and it takes what it takes for each and every person to get things, re-learn, and made aware of. So I try to pass along the “Whoa Nelly” moments and surprises I didn’t see coming. She had not dismissed what we both have come through in all of this, my recovery and her hanging on. I may have come a long way in the self care department of life, but just like recovery, you don’t get it by osmosis. It does take work, and the work is applied by those who need it as it needs attending to.

I asked her to Google it, read about it in someone else’s words. Because with all of my fumbling of it, I would just sound off putting and condescending somehow. Oh, yeah, that ability I have let’s me see my honest self and I know when I should just stop. One of my brother’s finest gifts he’s given me is the saying, sometimes my only job is not to make things worse. She agreed that she was doing some ill advised thinking and looked at ways to stop the anxiety train from wrecking around ten a.m. everyday. No, we are not remotely a perfect couple, but we know how to talk to each other. Our favorite saying, our secret of sorts to other couples is to listen to what the other person is saying, and not how they are saying it. A lesson I forgot to apply in the first place I should have. A noted reminder that in the change in life that comes with all of this recovery, this self care; we are still growing with the Family Afterwards.

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