I am pretty sure others have their point of the year. That time when the epitome’s of life desire a turn in the path, a jog in another direction. The existential nature, and nurture takes hold of long term visions, shorter term goals, and life’s eventualities… If it doesn’t work, try something else. Historically these things happen to myself at this time of year, after the annual familial gatherings and another full rotation of the long count calendar. Years, and life goes by, but those holiday gatherings and check in’s with the entirety of your life mark a different time scale. So it’s no surprise that I examined myself and direction almost immediately following those times. It was part of the please everyone nature that my nurture had instilled, and my spot in the family pecking order almost ordained. Grand plans and expectations, wishful thinking, and a confidence that is usually absent much of the year otherwise. I joined the Army, sold magazines around the country, changed jobs more than I can remember, and dictated that at this point next year everything would be very different… Things were always different, but the declarations, and expectations I purported at these times were hardly the reason.
The last eight years of recovery have seen similar behaviors, similar grand reaches of self that never really took hold. Through it all I have seen the differences that time has had on me in the recovery processes, today though, the perspective is wider, and the waters of the soul are calmer. I can only speak for myself when I say it’s the emotional buoyancy, and management that is indeed different. Maybe it is just like anything, and with the more time you apply, the better the overall picture becomes. I don’t handle my emotions the same way I used to, that much is certain. The parts of the psyche that were troubled, or working incorrectly have been placated, and managed by the work and practices that I have compiled. It is a wonderful feeling, and at the same time, for myself, one that closes off the easiest doorway to my creativity, via my emotional states. Over the last six months I have noticed that the inroads to my creative processes have had a longer journey, the emotional doorways were closed, leaving me at a loss as to where to go to connect to the creativity. A lot of hoo-ha to say that I may have fixed myself to my own detriment, or there are grander sailings left to do?
I have found some of the routes, some of the synapses needed to get to here from there. A longer trip that is sometimes interrupted, the staccato rhythm replaced with a quarter note scale. These are signs of recovery, whether it be from alcohol, or substances, prescription and otherwise. These are the outcomes of practicing, doing some simple steps, not easy at times, but simple. I am not “cured” in a manner of speaking, but rather more able to respond to life instead of react to it. Which is why the buoyancy, the leveling out of expectations, reality, and my emotional sensibilities, all canceling each other out is a wonderful change. In these times of historically reactive decisions, the ability to turn up the throttle in a more conscious manner is a net positive. The negative aspects though have left me wondering what to write about? What to paint? What to draw? What to build? What to create? What medium to use? From exotic hardwoods, to lapidary challenges, 3D printing, or CNC millwork? Musical lyrics, or electronic devices? Desktop publishing, or decoupage? The latest culinary tastes, or photography experiment? Life has left me with a plethora of interests, an innate ability, and a spattering of talent. Toss in a personality type that is idealistically high ended, it’s a wonder I can do anything at all.
I am writing this as my 101st published piece on my site, one that has been neglected too much as all of the above rambles on. It is a point to reflect on and one that I hope will find continual change. When I first walked into the rooms of AA, the first thing I was asked to do was change everything. That is a task which I have undertaken with diligence, with passion, and with apathy at times as well. It has come to me through life itself, and the challenges that physical health, and a better mental health bring with them. It is not an easy task, to be an INFJ in recovery, especially one that examines the avenues of it all as I do. Each person has their own difficulties, mine are just mine. The rewards, the promises that were also spoken of all those years ago, when I was asked to change, have come true, have revealed themselves to me. It is not the end of the journey, or the work, it is simply a scenic point in the journey in which to get the camera out and take a picture. It is what I do in this journey of discovery, and recovery. A constant effort to keep the balance, and a chance to enjoy the buoyancy.