“Quote words that affirm all men and women are your brothers and sisters.”
-Aberjhani, The River of Winged Dreams
Days Sober: 110
When my husband was using my bones were brittle from stress, my back bent with burden, my walk labored with stress, my mind tired from the worry, my thinking distorted by anxiety. Since my husband has been sober and home from rehab, life has been easier. My husband is 110 days sober today, he is back at work, going to meetings, and taking the Vivitrol shot along with counseling every 30 days. We are talking and connecting again and enjoying life’s simple pleasures as a married couple; shopping, cooking, movies, breakfast, date nights. Much of the heaviness that comes from living in the day to day of active addiction has fallen from my shoulders, a forgiving of the tremendous load, my curved back straightening, my mind clearing. A few weeks ago I remember thinking, this must be what life is like for “normal” people (whoever that is…right?).
Days since Donald Trump took the office of Presidency of the United States: 7
It has been a long week. We are living in a shadowy time. A time that threatens religious, gender, and racial persecution, that promises censorship and “alternative facts”, that is wrought with corruption, conflicts of interest, and greed, a government that houses a white supremacist and self-enriching billionaires, that will realize mass deportations, contain more humans in detention centers, ramp up militarized policing, with possible reinstatement of torture, a time of Muslim bans, a turning away of the refugee, probable repeal of healthcare for millions, building of toxic pipelines, climate change and science denial, enactment of voter and protest suppression, nominations against civil rights and public education, and policies against women and reproductive rights. I have to admit, many of the old feelings are coming back, the darkness I experienced when my husband was using. Feelings of exhaustion, devastation, fear, helplessness, frustration, anger. The tremendous weight, the burden to shoulder…well…it’s back. It weighs heavy on my heart. My back may be bending, but I will not let it break. My heart may be heavy, but I will not let it break.
As I reflect back on the obstacles I have faced, that I still face, with my husband’s opioid addiction, I realize I have much to learn from my history with addiction. The actions I took when my husband was using will serve me in the days that lie ahead.
-Take Care of Myself: I will be no good if I’m a wreck. I must remember to sleep, eat nutritiously, exercise, and turn off social media. I will allow myself to unplug and do things I enjoy like watch HBO, read, do yoga, and spend time with friends. I will allow myself to take breaks from the news and I won’t feel guilty. I will continue to go to therapy.
-Education: Ignorance is bliss, but it is not an option. I must continue to educate myself and stay in the know with facts. I will not normalize or fall into a state of complacency.
-Support: I will continue to support myself and my husband in sobriety. I will support those in need in the community.
-Action: I will dedicate at least 40-60 minutes per week to take small actions to enact change. That may be petitions, emails, letters, or calls to senators and reps; meetings with groups, acts of civil disobedience, or marches.
-Community: I will stay engaged in my community, offer my time and support to local groups when I can, and help others around me. I will participate in community actions and offer my time and assistance to grassroots organizations.
-Work: I will not get distracted from my work treating children with communication disorders and their families (and I need a job of course). I will continue to write in my blog.
-Marriage: I will support my husband to do his part during these dark times, and that is to keeping working the steps and stay sober. He is staying off of social media in order to remain centered and focused on sobriety.
My struggle with addiction has allowed me to discover my voice. Your voice. Our voices. They take shape in many forms and we all have our own role. All of you whose blogs I follow, who follow me here, you have powerful voices; I believe now they are more important than ever.
Our voices of resistance take shape in the smallest and biggest of undertakings. Across diverse modes, in multifaceted expression. In the way we live our everyday lives. Resistance and love resounds in
the work that we do
the people that we support
the art we create
the words that we speak
the prose that we write
the thoughts that we share
the dialogue we exchange
the facts we demand
the songs that we sing
the dances we choreograph
the research we do
the prayers we recite
the science we investigate
the spirituality we cultivate
the love that we give
the way that we listen
the actions we take
the choices we make
2016 was a year of obstacles. In 2016 and in the face of adversity and addiction I said yes to love and no to divisiveness. I said yes to strength and no to defeat. I said yes to self-worth and no to stigma. I said yes to empathy and no to judgement. I said yes to independence and no to codependence. I said yes to knowledge and no to denial. I said yes to connection and no to detachment. I discovered a deeper compassion and shaped my voice. I will do the same in 2017 and moving forward always. I will do this in spite of the times, I will do this because of the times. Because in these times I MUST. I will continue in love, compassion, action, and resistance by learning from history’s lessons.
As for this country, well, I hope we can learn from history as well. I fear what will happen if we do not.
I will leave you with some pictures from the Women’s March (NYC)
One last thing. I found this website with scripts, numbers, and actions you can take by making calls if you have any concerns. It’s so freaking easy. Your voice matters!
Peace and stay strong everyone.