Another New Year…. How did you “read” that in your head? Was it like, oh, another new year (insert something negative) OR OK! “It’s a New Year and New Me, and I got this!!” OR how about this? I don’t care when the time of year is; I need a change now…and it has to be a lifestyle change!?
I suppose you can speculate by now I more than likely feel more like the latter. All the New Year's Eve parties I have hosted, gone to, crashed, and who knows what. Those days are what seems like a very distant memory to me now. There are still those I like to call “lightening memories” that come flying in your head for a moment to crush and remind you of how something felt, or perhaps it’s positive memory, which in recovery, seem far less than the negative feeling memories.
There have been many different outcomes of New Year’s Eve parties, but many ends in alcohol abuse of some degree and argument or something negative ending the evening.
I continue to do what I can only call "learning myself" as a sober person, on anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medication, and as someone who genuinely wants to be an overall better human being. So, I look back. I look back on it; aside from getting married and having children, was probably the most influential and life-changing years of my life.
I have certainly had so many positives; I feel I have had so many positives; I have learned I need actually to stop and reflect after almost EVERY situation. It has astonished me what I have missed in my life, especially the shit that was right in front of my face. Unfortunately, some people have to have things almost taken away or at least threatened, in whatever form of their current existence that is.
How many times have you, after a situation, looked back and think, “wow, I really handled that wrong.” If never, congratulations, you are perfect and should quit reading this right now. In fact, thank you (you) for reading this and realizing none of us are perfect. I can’t explain what makes people handle a situation poorly but yet somehow justify it to themselves, so they don’t apologize and or feel bad. Some people can even be elderly and act a “certain way.” So you mean to tell me throughout their whole life no one “put them in their place?” OR if they did, why do some continustille continue to act negatively? I suppose it all comes down to what drives you and what m makes you happy.
Let me say this. I have unwittingly, anxiously, disrespectfully, and with malice chased “happiness.” What is happiness? You have to answer that question for yourself AND that answer will change over and over again throughout your life. What I know now to be true, is MY happiness win in front of me, waiting for me but almost gone….the whole damn time.
So what’s that saying, “you don’t know what you have till it’s gone.” Also, “I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger.” Well, older folks try to tell us all the time, and I am trying to say to my kids all the time, but most of us will never listen. We need to learn the hard way and some harder than others.
Not everyone is as blessed as I am through my recovery. No matter what I have done in the past, my partner is still here, still married, and still has kids. We are healthy and learning and growing every day. I now realize I owe my life to this lady. I owe my life to a lot of people. The person on the 988 lines when I called it 224 days ago, various people I work with currently, in the past, and all those friends that have come and gone throughout my life. I do appreciate everyone and every situation. As you read about mental health, you learn much about what makes things happen or the root causes.
I am at a place now where I have certain feelings, vague memories, and gaps in time within my memories as well. It’s hard to find the root cause of a particular issue if it can’t be traced back to a situation or problem. I feel if you don’t understand, you can’t work on it, and you there in won’t fix it. You will be doomed to be stuck in that vicious cycle that is like a hurricane; the only time you are happy is before, like the calm before the storm, and then you have a colossal hurricane, quick and painful, then spend the majority of your time cleaning up and rebuilding, only to see it happen again.
Again, not everyone is as blessed as I am with recovery. My alcohol abuse is much different than the stereotypical “user.” Still dangerous and irresponsible all the same. I was just able to function quite well still, but I know now it had the ability to suppress and numb or even blind what I was really feeling or needing to confront. Now, I have no choice, and even when I am super scared and nervous, it still turns out to be the best way to face it head-on.
I now find myself sitting back and just watching my wife. I thought of all the times I must have hurt her, made her cry, and wondered where I was and what I was doing, why I was mad, why I was sad, and all the anguish I must have caused. Yet, here she is. Still…stronger than ever, honestly more beautiful than ever, and still genuinely wants to be around me and loves me. After I most definitely tried to push her away. All I can say is I am so damn happy SHE didn’t give up. That has allowed me to be who I am today and, no doubt who I will become.
The man I strive to be going forward is someone my wife can be proud of and who resembles all the positives she deserves. I look to be the type of man my daughters would be proud of and the type of qualities they would look for in their partners. Now that I look at situations this way, it changes my whole perspective on SO many things!
I am slowly having conversations with my daughters about certain “life-learning” situations throughout my life, but so far, they seem not to want to follow in my footsteps. They got all the good of us in their unique way. If anything, when I leave this world, I can say those girls are strong and intelligent. Well, Happy New Year, reader/friend. I hope 2023 has some positive changes in your life, but I also hope you go through some negative ones to keep you so damn grateful for today and what you have today. We should never stop learning, and you can’t fully understand the enjoyment of a sunny day without a bit of rain. Stay strong and positive. We can make it through anything, trust me. I know this isn’t the end either, so buckle up and get your reading glasses on!
*any statements or opinions expressed within this post are not a reflection of the author's employer.