I was playing double solitaire by myself, rocking back and forth on the bar stool. A stranger laughed at me, then asked if I was winning. Then he reached out his big, man hands to teach a little girl how to play by herself. In this game, in life’s game, sometimes we find ourselves playing a two player game alone, double tasking, conflicted about which hand we are rooting for, and yearning for a partner to make the game whole again. In that moment, he taught me how to find a new path and play a new game, able to solve life’s problems independently.
I learned a lot growing up in AA. The depths and complexities of life and the human soul are readily apparent when you are sitting in a smoke-filled room, full of alcoholics, rocking on a bar stool, yet not a drop of alcohol is in the room. Instead of going to the kiddie area with the little ones, I frequently sat in on the meetings. I was too big to fit under the legs of the chairs, but sometimes it felt like I was. How else could I be so privileged to hear these raw, powerful truths, deeply personal stories, and twisted, dark laughs?
Just this very moment I am enlightened with the realization that this upbringing profoundly shaped my soul, all for the better. Sharing their stories with me, I grew up believing in the beauty and power of the raw truth, and being open and vulnerable enough to grow from that expression. I learned tools for healthy coping and the consequences of their absence. Because they laughed at themselves, I can laugh at myself. Because they courageously shared their stories, I have the courage to tell mine. Because they were so freely available to help each other, I believe in the power of community and being there for those around me.
I am fortunate to laugh, drink, and make jokes about alcohol; but that is only because I had a family of strangers teaching me how not to abuse it.
I do joke about alcohol and occasionally enjoy a sip or two. That is ok, because this is my life, my truth. No one should dim themselves or cower because their enjoyment makes someone else uncomfortable. That is their problem. (as long as you are not hurting anybody, of course)
That doesn’t mean I am not sympathetic to the cause though. I read hundreds of recovery blogs and spend a lot of time, especially on days like today, outwardly praising people who have taken back control of their lives and eliminated things that influence them otherwise.
The Struggle Is Real, @ 4realrecovery.com is the most powerful, poetic, and artistic recovery site I have seen. I am continuously impressed by his posts. It’s real and it’s beautiful. Even the hashtags move me, like #builtnotbought, #inthegrip, and #whiteknuckles. Oh, and the art; it blows my mind. All images on this post are credited to The Struggle Is Real.
No matter what you are enjoying or abstaining from this evening, I encourage you to check out this page, https://4realrecovery.com/, The Struggle is Real. This is a bonafide, 100% approved endorsement from Free The Truth, #builtnotbought.
His latest piece, Tattooed My Soul, is listed below, but don’t stop there! Taste The Rainbow
I got a pocket full of posies in a world full of posers, but it won’t protect me, it doesn’t do a thing for me. So, move the fuck over! It’s been a weak since I’ve had some good sleep. This god damned medication is fucken week! My life’s become a well-wrought work of havoc.…
All images credited to The Struggle is Real