A Sobering Winter 

It is Febuary of 2017. I live in the United States. There is a winter storm coming. My husband is a recovering opioid addict. He has been clean for 122 days.

“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.”

— Bob Marley

This is inspired by an anxiety dream I had. 

I awoke to a sea outside of my window. Once there was a river with land between us. Now there was just a cold ocean before me, immense with bold and icy waves forming. Perplexed by the ocean, and the disappearance of land, I left my apartment to investigate this new phenomenon. I walked across ocean, the waves forming beneath.  Without land my walk was unsteady;  I had no earth to ground me and was abandoned by gravity. Science undermined, I felt afraid. I then came across a crowd. I could see the signs reading Black Lives Matter. I thought of a child and I mourned Trayvon Martin. The ocean below me filled with salty tears, rocky and deep, churning my soul, undercurrents beckoning.  I could now see clearly, the looming machinery, a monstrocity drilling oil, jackhammer pounding. Tear filled ocean, amuck with crude viscous bubble spheres, shiny and deadly. The liquids immicible and repelling. Sudden thirst ravaged my throat. 

I then discovered the crowd was in fact a group of protesters. I asked them what they were protesting. They told me “everything!” I abrupty realized I had left my husband and pets alone in the apartment. Bundles of dope and disease flashed through my mind. I felt gripped with worry and very alone, so I headed back up to my 6th floor home. Only to discover that I couldn’t get in. I looked around and saw metal bars, with small dirty windows, and shiny linoleum floors;  reflected institutional light blinding. I asked a woman in a jumpsuit, how can I get in? She told me, “I’m imprisoned here, they don’t give me a key”.  So I guess, then, I must be incarcerated as well. This was not acceptance, but an infinitesimal universe offering despotism, the vast ocean no longer in sight.  So tired and kept from my home, with my family just above, I observed myself sigh, shudder, and weep. Perhaps I knew it was a dream. The conscious observing subconscious, juxtaposition of privacy and surveillance. Back in my dreaming body, aka mind, I asked my new friend, why is my husband free and I am not? She replied, a cigarette dangling  from her lips, “because he’s a white man, and you are a Puerto Rican woman.” But I am not an immigrant contrary to common (mis)knowledge and he is a dope addict, I replied with dismay. She looked at me and shrugged. I figured I might as well smoke so she gave me a drag. I exhaled the smoke from my lungs, lightheaded, and depressed. I felt really alone stuck there in that prison. I thought of my husband above me and feared relapse. I couldn’t find an inmate and my ally was now gone. Left me solitary to ponder how I walked across an ocean of tears and oil, upon my own two feet, and by my own volition, only to be stuck there without means for escape. 

I then awoke with a start, free and well in my bed. I looked over to my husband sleeping, felt the warmth of my Chihuahua curled up by my side, and felt relief it was only a dream. Only to realize it is day 20 of Trump. Betsy DeVos and Jeff Sessions were confirmed this week, among other things.

Grateful my husband is 122 days sober. Awaiting a snowstorm in New England. Accepting that despair is a normal response. Allowing for mourning. Struggling but not giving up. 

This is an email I’m sending to my state’s city councils: 

I am asking you consider following in the footsteps of Seattle, WA and Davis, CA and divest in any banks, such as Wells Fargo or TD Bank, that serve as lenders to the Dakota Access Pipeline. In Boston let’s show the world we don’t put corporate profits over people. Let’s become an (even more) socially responsible city and stand in solidarity with the environment, health, safety, and human rights. 

Thank you, 

Marahu Falcon 

Image Credit: Facebook


22 thoughts on “A Sobering Winter 

  1. A powerful post, Marahu. It’s a compelling example of “spinning straw into gold” – transmuting despair into inspiring action. Thank you for sharing your metaphor – the power of snow in winter and for living that message with courage and compassion.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Loving the hope coming from despair. I try not to let this administration bother me, but it does. And to be lumped in with that typical “bleeding heart” snowflake thing is only a way to deflect from the power that we all have, regardless of affiliation. I think that quote at the end says it – we are strong and courageous of heart. And that goes to those who overcome addiction and those who love and support them as well.


    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you Paul. It is a hard time we are experiencing right now. Great point regarding deflection from the strength we may possess. Yes there is no doubt loving my husband has brought the fighter out in me, strengthened my spirit, and deepened my compassion. Addiction and recovery will do that to you! Empathy has been my greatest weapon fighting addiction. Blessings to you too. Marahu

      Liked by 2 people

  3. What a dream! What a vivid depiction! This is (another) wonderful post. As Obama said in his farewell remarks, our history has always been 2 steps forward and 1 step back. I think this time those 2 or even 3 steps are the winter you describe. It’s terrible right now, but I’m actually hopeful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello snowflake!

      Thank you for your kind words. The links work and they were wonderful to read. I am so so so grateful for recovery. It is a tough journey but meaningful too. I wrote in another post: finding happiness is finite and implies an ending, finding meaning is infinite and you can find over and over again along the way. (Plus happiness is much more frequent in sobriety). To empathy, compassion, and the the strength to fight for it!
      A fellow bad ass snowflake

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve come to expect this sort of alchemy from your posts. Turning words into gold. But this one has some particular resonance for me. Something about turning anxiety into action. I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

    A friend of mine comforted me by saying, “don’t focus on everything that’s wrong, just focus on one thing you’d like to change and do something about it.” That made great sense to me.

    I’m inspired to see you doing something about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mark!!! Thank you so so much for your comments. Yes yes yes action. From despair we can rise and we can fight. Addiction and recovery teaches me that every day, lessons of love and resilience. We absolutely must do the best we can for each other in this world, even when it’s hard. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome read. I love it. I can sympathize with your husband. I too am a recovering addict. I dealt with opioid addiction for over five years. Through my battle I learned so much about the subject that I wanted to give back and help others struggling with addiction, so I started a weekly podcast called “Addictions” on iTunes and Google Play. Keep up the great writing. Ill be reading.

    Liked by 1 person

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