Wings on the Way Down

I know, I know. I’ve been slacking. As much as I’d like to be the blogger who posts at least once a week, I’m simply not.

I’ve been busy doing things like quitting my job. And camping in the bosom of the mountains. And visiting my lovely family.

You’re probably still stuck on the whole “quitting my job” thing. It’s not as dramatic as it sounds. I resigned courteously with three weeks notice. But yes, I quit… with no concrete plan. I was willing to float up Shit’s Creek without a paddle.

I’ve been absolutely miserable for months. There are two big things that trigger me into the drinking and drugging danger zone: Heartbreak and boredom. I don’t do emotional pain very well and I also don’t do lack of mental stimulation. It could be the childhood ADD diagnosis.(Grade school was painful. Perhaps I self medicated to make my brain shut up for 2.5 blissful seconds.) At any rate, I have been bored out of my skull. I paced like a caged animal and I felt like a caged animal. I was selling myself short and accepting mediocrity.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not here to bad mouth and burn bridges. That’s not who I am. It’s unprofessional. There are a lot of elements that lead to my resignation and they do not matter. The point is that I was stuck in toxicity and sharing the story demonstrates how sobriety has taught me the fine art of Letting Go.

In my recovery program of choice, people often say that they don’t let anything go without claw marks. I can totally relate. Historically, I have stayed in unhealthy situations for years. When I got sober, however, I realized that not only do I deserve better but other people deserve better from me. I realized that I am not a victim. I have choices. Letting go is terrifying and it hurts but it gets easier each time you open you hands.

My natural way of being is not in harmony with the will of the Universe for living things. As I have said time and again, I am maladaptively geared for fatal self destruction. The natural way of things is to strive for survival, life, flourishing, and evolution (self actualization). For goodness sake, trees are so determined to live they grow out of rocks! When I drink, drug, and engage in compulsive behaviors, I am not living or evolving. I am killing myself. When I stay in toxicity, I am bucking nature’s loving will for me.

Does that sound crazy to you? A little crunchy granola of the not-so-charming variety? It’s like green eggs and ham. Just try it. Align your intentions. It works. It isn’t always easy but it works.

For example, I let go of three relationships with women in the space of eighteen months. I started to recognize sooner and sooner when something wasn’t right. The first time was excruciatingly painful but I did it anyway. It gave me strength. The second one cried on my floor (I felt so awful). The last called me names and threatened me. But I learned to listen to my inner voice and dedicated myself to building a life that was fulfilling rather than looking to someone else to fulfill me. And guess what? My future wife showed up.

How can there be room in your life for anything good when you are holding onto the bad? It’s like clutching the anchor you think is grounding you but drowning yourself instead.

So yes, after a lot of hemming and hawing, I quit my job. Having spent months submitting application after application to no avail, I was out of patience. I wrote my letter of resignation. And guess what? Before I even handed over the letter, a friend of mine learned about my predicament and said “I might know someone who is hiring in your field”. I kid you not. It was that easy. It wasn’t all those hours I spent sweating over cover letters but the simple act of letting go and making room.

The Universe has a funny sense of humor.

Trusting I would grow wings on the way down, I jumped off the ledge of uncertainty. I didn’t have far to fall.

This is what works for me. It is one of the many gifts of recovery I hope to pass on to others. You can have the life you have been dreaming about (it is never too late) and you are worth all good things that come to you.

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