As of today, I haven’t had a drink in three years. A few months back, I wrote a piece called “Holding On” (https://theearthquakers.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/holding-on/) in which I allude to a dark moment when I was tempted to self-medicate with alcohol. In the post, I encourage myself by thinking of my children. I also recount the impressive efforts of my father, who struggled with Bipolar Disorder and substance abuse issues. My dad quit all drugs and alcohol for 10 years. He eventually died from a prescription drug overdose, but during my most vulnerable childhood years, he was there for me. I want to be there for my family for the rest of my life, not just until my oldest turns 14.
It is terrifying to me to think about the parallels between my life and my fathers. We are on the same wave-lengths in so many areas. There are key differences, of course, that make me feel like I have a chance at survival, the main things being awareness and acceptance. I am aware and accept that I have bipolar disorder. I am aware and accept that some of the unusual thoughts I think could be paranoid. I am aware and accept that I am capable of controlling my thoughts and thus my behaviors. I am aware and accept that I need treatment.
Over the past few months, I’ve had a few of those dark moments mostly due to intense marital conflict and the stress that comes from being mostly manic and feeling misunderstood. As this monumental day approached, whenever I felt like giving into temptation, I motivated myself, “I’m almost there! I’ve almost made it to the 3 year mark. I can do it. Just hold on.”
This morning when I woke up, though I didn’t have the urge to drink, I felt a shift in my thinking occur. What will I say to myself the next time I am tempted?
This afternoon I just happened to need something from the attic for the babies. I had to move a few items to get to it. Out of the corner of my eye, I spied one of my old storage boxes with a paper that had my sister, Starla’s handwriting on it. Maybe a sweet or silly note from a few years back? Though the babies were fussy and I had so much work to do, I just had to take a moment to check it out. It just turned out to be some of her old school stuff, but right under it was this collage that my dad had made and written on. So simple yet so fitting. Fitting and meaningful to me at this exact moment in my life.
Double Talk Quote: Sarah’s husband’s family enters the residence puts food on the counter and says, “Well, we’ve got to run.” And exit. My other brother-in-law, Jeff says to his wife (sister Starla), “Wow, they know how to get in and out.” – implying that the two of them get stuck!
Verse: James 1:14 “but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.”
Word that has Lost its meaning: odd coincidence, replace with “G-odd” coincidence
Relatable Lyrics: “Hold On” by Twila Paris https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jts9mmDXPCg