I picked up new glasses this week and right now, writing this, is my second time wearing them. They make me dizzy. Everything around me seems so clear that it can't be real. I took them back to the doctor and they told me to give it a week, to let my eyes adjust to the new lenses. To a new way of seeing.
It’s almost like coming into sobriety. I am still not fully used to it, after over a year, but it has changed the way I see everything, even things that are especially familiar to me. I can’t quite get a bearing on it all of the time. Everything is a little shaky. You start to wish for the ease that you used to feel, but even then, you know that that would be stepping back into seeing things blurred again. Of course it will take time to adjust to this, it takes time to get worthwhile things right. And it's worth that time. I'm learning that you can’t skip through to some imaginary future where you will feel fully comfortable, because it doesn’t exist. Things are always changing, life is not steady. There is a part of us that is supposed to feel uncomfortable most of the time, with brief moments of calm in between. I'm learning that too.
We're heading into the holiday season and I know this time of year can be hard for the newly sober. Hard for anyone really. There is travel and loved ones and so many moments where loneliness can creep in. Money worries, feelings of not being enough, and all of those memories that threaten to take you out at the knees. And the thing is, when you can see these things clearly, it doesn't help you to ignore them anymore, but I think it helps you to see the parts of them that are a lie. And I think it helps you see what may have gotten lost in the fray before. The joy, the strength, the resilience that is your birth right, just because you are here, showing up when it's hard. And you can see that in everyone else, because they are probably struggling too.
I think, in this clearness, that the only answer is to be fiercely kind. But, don't misunderstand…fiercely kind doesn't mean sending out a million perfect holiday cards, it means sending out just one when it counts most. It doesn't mean cooking the perfect meal, or posting the perfect picture, or having the perfect outfit. All of those things are a lie. They don't matter. The fierce kindness I'm talking about is to yourself. You get to protect what you need to protect to remain sane and sober and you, today and always. Giving of yourself endlessly is not sustainable, and no one gets to ask it of you.
You know, I don't have much to say this week. Just that I am working my way through these things in sobriety and it is hard, and if you are in the same spot, I hear you, I see you and I'm holding you so close. This will be my second sober holiday season, though last year I was just trying to make it through. Each day brought new joys and fears, but this year, it's different, clearer, more grounded somehow. But still, a lot of the time I feel like I should be doing more, or have more figured out, or be further along. And then I remember that I have time and I'm allowed to screw up. It's a gift, this new sight, the best one I could have asked for, if I had ever known to ask.