As a child, I dreamed very powerful things. Stories. Fantasies. It turns out, years later, that there are some dreams which are so powerful, they take over your life, having dreamed them, until you make them reality. I’ve personally felt lost in the sea change that takes over your life as the genie comes out of the bottle. Both in good ways, for example, when working with amazing people. Hanging out with my children.
In bad ways, too, such as when I lost myself for years in drinking
Trust me when I say, it sucks to lose yourself. Drown. Hurt. Ache, all over. Feel so lost you can’t recognize up from down. Left from right. When the tears have lost all sense of meaning and refuse to come, because while you are alive, you’re dead inside. A walking, breathing zombie, who crushes it, nightly, with a quantity of alcohol so profound it would kill the child or small adult who consumed it. The scars are still there, mostly on the inside, and sometimes when I look at the dark places I’ve been through, the light of the truth hurts.
I’m still here. Despite all my faults, all my mistakes, I’m breathing. Exhale, slowly. Unclench, I’ve though to myself more than once. This is what a super hero feels like, I thought this morning, fighting down my fear for the thousandth time. Or hundredth, perhaps. It’s been one hundred days since I gave up the bottle and put a cork in unleashing the demon every night. I still can’t track how many years it has been since I spent one hundred days. Dry.
Wrung out, warn out and tired, for a while. Daily fighting the urge to give in, to give up, to chuck it all and drink once again. The tears are forming now, and I’m tempted to let them out. It hurts to think about how much I wanted, craved and needed to drink again. Mom’s got cancer, time to drink. My step dad’s in the hospital again, it’s time to drink.
When the third time your step father is in the hospital, and you get fired when you want to visit him, and see your children in Hong Kong, whom you haven’t seen for four heart wrenching months.
Time to drink.
Over and again, it was time to drink. Recently, I’ve fought down the fear, the hopelessness, the rage. I’ve battled and won, time and again, without giving up.
This weekend, I had a profound, incredible realization. I’m feeling better than I have for a long time, the fear, the rage, the lost in a sea of soul crushing despair has faded. Tears are streaming down my face, and my nose is running, but, I need to write this now. The hope, the joy…I’ve lost myself, and found it all again. I can smile.
Laugh. Remember. The days add up, and the days are filled with joy. Gratitude, every day for the meals I cook, the joy I have in love, life, children and family. I feel better than I have in a decade, and then this weekend, in the midst of celebratory joy, I heard a voice.
Time to drink.
I didn’t. I’m happy, I’m crying right now, but I didn’t give in, I didn’t give up. I slayed the demon, for the hundredth time, and I don’t know when or how it goes away. All I know is, every day, I’m smiling. I’m happy. The issues are more rare, less frequent, and overall, I’m at peace.
I still have ups and downs. Don’t we all? We’re human beings, filled with emotion. Those highs and lows can wreak havoc on our sense of peace. Of joy.
Advertising, marketing, stories. They move us, the make us and they break us. The story we tell ourselves, about our lives, about our dreams. Are we okay with who we are, deep down?
I’m finally okay, and I know who I am. Accepting of the issues, the mistakes. I’ll try to repeat the ones I’ve made less often in the future, I know I’m not perfect. I don’t need to be.
I just need to be me; and I’m totally fine with that. Flaws and all.
Okay, my tears are dry and there’s one final thing I want to share, despite all how it hurt to write that, and then read it, and that it’s my name, my reality, and my story in this post. All me, and I’m good with that. If you open up, if you share your story, your vision, even if sometimes, you make mistakes and it hurts, you’ll be infinitely better off. Somewhere along the time, after my head exploded, I lost myself.
There is a message I have, and it’s a powerful one. Be thankful, try to improve, and find your joy inside. There’s a light there, it’s bright, it’s powerful, and we all have our own.