View this post on Instagram
Removing alcohol from my life changed the way I experience everything.
The joys and the sad times are different. The ups and downs are less jarring.
Everything is better. Even loss.
As I grow, I see clearly that each relationship can teach us so much. If we pay attention. If we can get past hurt feelings and bruised egos. If we can get past the disappointment. Past the sadness of lost hope. If we can look at the situation through honest eyes and an open heart.
If we can do those things, each relationship is a gift.
Even when it ends badly.
Even when we get our hearts broken.
Even when all our plans revolved around it.
Even when we do not know how we’ll make it to tomorrow.
Even when we aren’t sure what went wrong.
Even when we strayed from ourselves for a bit.
Looking at a lost relationship with honest eyes and an open heart is hard. So very hard.
Broken hearts and bruised egos need something to blame. They long for something to lash out at. They are desperate to explain why another person did not see their value. To dismiss the notion that they were not enough. Or why they could not make something work even though they wanted it to so badly.
I used to drink through breakups and sadness. Wine was a partner in crime for my broken heart and bruised ego. Every sip fanning the flames of the story I was telling myself. Every glass clouding my judgment about what really happened. Every bottle searching to explain the sometimes inexplicable.
Wine kept me from looking clearly at loss. Wine made a broken heart feel irreparable. Wine made a bruised ego feel bitter and angry. Wine made the loss of hope feel like a testament to my unworthiness.
This time, as a relationship ran its course, I am sober. I can examine its path with clarity and honesty.
Free from wine, I can honor my bruised ego, yet know bruises eventually fade. I can sit with my hurt feelings, acknowledge them, feel them, and then let them go. I can recognize that I am sad about the loss of hope, yet realize that hope always remains.
Without wine telling me what to think, I can think for myself.
I can take an honest look at myself and see where I could have done things differently.
I can take stock of things I will not accept the next time around.
I can identify the reasons I settled for less than I deserved.
I can accept that if something isn’t there, you can’t force it.
I can recognize that sometimes two perfectly good people are not good for one another.
I am sitting with the feelings of not being good enough. I am feeling the weight of things I wish I had done differently. I am shining a light on the fact that we were destined to end from the beginning; I am finding peace in getting to know myself a little better. I recognize that I am happy I gave it a chance.
At 15 months sober, I can see it all with honest eyes and feel it all with an open heart.
Seeing all these things clearly leaves no need for blame or bitterness. It was just a learning experience. Each moment meant to build on a life well-lived.
It was a gift.