I call it the spiral. One moment, life is good. I go to work, do my job, love my life, exercise my body, encourage others and eat really good vegetarian food with some fish. The next moment, I contemplate a change. And from there my thinking starts to get out of control. My fears start to get out of control.
I didn't have a lot of what one might call 'consistency' when I was growing up. Not a lot of firm ground. As a consequence, my fears always culminate in me losing my job, my house, my loved ones and ends with a picture of me and my cat living under a bridge by Seattle, with our own shopping cart and a machete for protection. Don't worry, I know how to use it. For variety, my fears now include taking my husband with me and his favorite handmade afghan for comfort and warmth.
Anyway, a few things have happened lately to make me think about insecurity and the more distant idea that someday I will lose everything dear to me. It all boils down to fear and not being in control every minute of every day. I think that some people would do well to maybe just let me run their lives- as though that were my business and as though I could do so. I can barely manage my own life, let alone someone else's.
It's about alcoholism, of course, and my bad reaction to it.
When someone I love gets all crazy in their sickness, I almost never give an outward sign. It's not my business. Except when it could hurt someone besides themselves, says my brain. No. It's not my business. Alcoholism always does hurt others, but mostly the alcoholic.
I used to
For me that means not to rescue anyone from jail. Not to offer to make things better. Not to enable, not to nod affirmation to something I think inherently is not right. It means that I love and don't judge- or at least do my best to not judge by saying mean things to or about someone- and that I keep my own circle of sanity nice and clean.
It's not really that I worry that I'll end up living under a bridge. Eleanor is a tough old cat. We'd have an afghan and a machete. G could tell jokes and everything would be ok. We like rain.
I worry about the fallout for everyone else, for people that aren't as good at curling up in a little ball as I am, as we all wait for the current hurricane to pass. I try to not take this personally. Because really, this isn't about me.
I am reminded of something we used to say a few years ago, in Al-Anon. It's an organization for the friends and loved ones of alcoholics. Ready?
Making a little note to myself.
I spent a lot of time in Al-Anon, and I am forever grateful for the women and men who helped me when I so desperately needed help with boundaries, detaching with love, and giving myself permission to enjoy life. Sorry if this is somewhat of a bummer of a post. I try to keep the things I write light. If I'm not careful, I can drift too far towards the ills in the world. But you know, life isn't always light or bright. It's what we do in those hours that define us.