What do I do when my world has changed? When that which was at the center is no longer there? And by the center, I mean denial of my wounds and addiction. For it was those things that were my center. My world revolved around them. Those things were what defined me.
So, what do I do? Those things are not my center, but I don’t know what my center should be. I am learning or relearning what it means to be me. So, I go back to activities I recall I enjoyed for now, like this trip down the Danube that I was on.
I wrote the following on the cruise.
Cruising the Danube
I am in Eastern Europe on a riverboat cruise down the Danube. I recall genuinely enjoying my time years ago when we went down the Rhone in Southern France. And I am enjoying this. I love exploring the towns along the river and then having something known to come back to on the riverboat.
The staff on the riverboats are excellent as well. I enjoy my interactions with the crew and the other guests when it’s one-on-one. Remember, I am an introvert, something that I am still relearning about myself.
Relearning about my introversion, among other things, is making this trip a bit challenging. Also, we are eighteen in our group, which is too much for me. Hence, I am writing this day and not out exploring Vienna on the guided tour.
I needed a break. I am on the boat with only a handful of others that stayed behind. The crew seems surprised to see me sitting alone in the lounge.
No worries, my fellow people, I am going on a tour this afternoon to eat all the local nummy food.
Relearning How to Walk
I am also learning how to be me, wounds, and all, without covering up my true self with alcohol. Just as important is learning how to cope with the things that trigger me or make me feel unsafe. The Before Times Me used alcohol to do much of that. I think people liked that person. Maybe better than Today Me.
I liked the old me too, but I like The Now Me better. I did too. The Before Times Me appeared unencumbered by the weight of immense pain and addiction, even though that was so far from the truth. I hid all of that from others. It made me uncomfortable, and I knew it would make others uncomfortable.
But, and here it is, the before times me, did not remind people that the world can be harsh to our most vulnerable. And that I am a walking reminder of that which is the most core pain that many of us carry with us and never address.
And not only do we not want to address it within ourselves we do not want to see it in those around us. It reminds us of our failings as human beings to protect those around us. It is a reflection of our perceived failings. Yet, we deny that those things happen and that people like me are trying to heal from years of abuse and trauma.
Now, I am different; I am changing, becoming who I truly am—beginning to be unencumbered by my pain and addiction. I am working hard on not returning to those two things.
Even though that was at the center of what I believed was everything. So when I decided to stop drinking and start looking at what was at the root of my pain, I thought my life was over. That was it. I would be too somber (something that people used to tell me). And I would ultimately be consumed by the pain of my past.
Lately, I feel like I am becoming my self-proclaimed prophecy of never having fun again on this trip. I am struggling even though I am having a great time.
I am missing things and especially being with my hubs. I worry that I have placed a lot on his shoulders. I appreciate him so much. But, I miss those times when a couple of the people, mainly hubs and I, closed down the bar on the boat.
I don’t miss the drinking as we stayed up late. But, I do miss that time spent with my hubs. And I miss the smaller group conversations. Although now, as a sober person, being with drunk people is difficult.
I don’t like watching people I love and care about slur their words, barely able to follow a conversation and weeble wobbling around trying not to fall. I feel helpless and sad. And so I don’t participate in that. I tried a couple of nights, but I couldn’t stand to watch that downward slide of intoxication.
And yes, it did remind me so much of myself in years past. That was hard to consider that it wasn’t that long ago that I was that person who could barely pronounce words and stand upright.
And I wonder, why can’t people be a bit more like me? Enjoy the world without the effects of drugs.