There are three needs of the griever:
To find the words for the loss,
to say the words aloud
to know that the words have been heard.
I don't know how many hundred photos we take in a year.
Too many hundred.
This is the one photo that defines this year we are about to usher out. I remember what we were crying about and I know what we feared. The months ahead proved to be disorienting and painful.We are all grateful to bring a year of confusion and disappointment to an end.
I have previously shared here that during this challenging year I became a daily evening cocktail person.(I recognize that this reference to the troubling events is vague and it is intentionally so. I apologize for that.)
In October when Troy and I went to Alberta for our 20th wedding anniversary I had the space and time to examine the way my habits had grown more and more unhealthy.
I was pushing away anger, sadness, and grief by having a drink or two every night. Occasionally I waited until the kitchen was empty to go have a third drink. It happened so gradually without me really steping back or seeing myself and how often I was choosing to numb out. I believed and told myself, "You deserve this. Your life is stressful."
On our trip to one of the most beautiful places on earth (HI CANDADA!) I had a lot of time to sit in the beauty of creation and talk with God. I had time to listen. I chose to allow myself to not be ALWAYS busy so that I could hear. I think staying busy and never sitting in silence is another way I numb out. I decided while we were in Canada to work on feeling all the terrible feelings and to attempt to not numb anything. I stopped drinking 61 days ago. I am still uncomfortable with the clarity it provides and the extra time it gives me to feel and think, but I am trying to be less numb and less busy in order to intentionally meet with God.
I am so shocked by the number of people (women especially) that shared that they feel they are also in an unhealthy relationship with food or alcohol or internet or or or any number of things. To each of you that wrote and said, "me too", thank you for choosing to be vulnerable with me. You made me feel less alone in my struggle.
There are so many great resources out there for "gray area" drinking habits. I found these two articles especially helpful:
An excerpt that explains my motivation for sharing from the link above:
It’s one thing to want to stop drinking in private, it’s another thing entirely to tell the people in your life that you’re actively cutting back. This makes a massive difference in your success.
When you privately want to stop drinking, you’re still living within the same relationships and environments that are leading you to drinking in the first place.
It’s easy to justify drinking when no one is holding you accountable, when you haven’t changed the dynamics of stating you’re no longer drinking.This was a hurdle for me, because if I told people about wanting to be sober, I actually had to do it.
If you don’t tell people, you’re basically planning to fail. So tell someone, tell your friends you’re cutting back, you’re only drinking 1 night a week, or whatever goal you have set. Make sure it’s a concrete goal (ie. I’m not drinking during the work week) instead of vague (ie. I’m cutting back on my drinking). That way it’s discernable and measurable for you and everyone else around you."
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I don't have a lot of advice to offer at day 61, but I do know that a lot of folks are dealing with wounds and you are not alone.
In spite of the challenges we faced, God faithfully and generously provided. He worked with our wound. Heartline Ministries had a really good year.
Happy New Opportunities for wholeness in 2019.
T & T & Crew