love

My side of the street 

In the middle of the messiest years of addiction, I truly thought that was my only problem.  The chaos consumed just about all the energy I had, and I was living in a constant state of survival mode.  When I was so hyper focused on my husband and his addiction, I fantasized about how great life would be IF ONLY he were sober.  Surely all my problems would disappear and life would be perfect.  

Well I’m here to let you in on a secret.  That thinking was inaccurate on so many levels.  First on my addicts side of the street, drugs were the solution not the problem.  So when you take drugs out of the equation, you’re still left with the problem.  Then on my side of the street, I was so busy blaming everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) on the addiction that sobriety became my teacher of reality.  

My lessons continued as my addict was changing, and working on his problems.  His slowly started to disappear, and behind them were MINE.  All my crap was hiding behind all his.  Or really I was so busy looking at his that I couldn’t see mine.  It took time to see what I hadn’t for a long time.  I realized that blaming the addiction for everything left me with no power to change.  If I’m not the the problem there is no solution.  Its hard, yes, but it’s also empowering to acknowledge responsibility because it means I can do something about it.  

Long story short, I still have a lot of work to do, but my recovery began with working the 12 steps myself.  Now that I see all my own character flaws, and can take responsibility, I can turn to those steps to live in a solution. 

Acknowledgement

The reality is, it has been 9 years of loving my addict.  9 years longer than I ever would have imagined.

During these past 9 years, I have felt extremities of what it means to feel alone, terrified, hopeless, and broken.  I have felt heartbroken.  Real pain in my stomach through my heart and then to my throat and mind.  How did I end up here?  How did I end up alone?  Why do I feel so disconnected?

I didn’t see rest or peace as a reality for me.  Miserable with, OR without.   I felt like I didn’t deserve to suffer this much, to believing its exactly what I deserve.  I felt abandoned, not understanding how I could be married alone.  I felt embarrassed, like somehow this made me a failure I always deep down knew I would be.

I felt today like I wanted to offer connection.  Share your story with me.  Let me share mine.  Walk with me.  Read and feel that you are not alone.  Find empathy, acknowledgment, or hope.  Whatever you need.

“Grace is that thing that whispers, its dark and hard in there.  I cannot make it hurt any less, I cannot make it go any faster all I can do is remind you that you walked through this before.” -Glennon Doyle Melton

Old 

I feel significantly older than I am; measured in exhaustion.  Living through these years have felt like I have lived a lifetime.  It’s depressing to be so tired knowing you have a whole life ahead of you with no energy to live it.  Dreams and hopes feel completely different with no motivation to tag along.  I wish I could purchase motivation in the vitamin isle.  THAT would be great right?!  I guess that’s where the work is.  That’s where my work is.  

…But I’ll take both 

Tonight I was sitting here gloomy like I have been the past while.  I came across a blog post by my soul sister, Glennon Melon Doyle(if you haven’t read Love Warrior, do it NOW). Immediately a light switch flipped on. Immediately (I need to pause to take that in).  I don’t even know how I found it(well).  That moment was perfect.  I finally felt a perfect acceptance of myself just the way I am.  I spend so much energy hating myself, wishing for everything to be different, shaming myself. All on the inside of course.  That would sound extreme to anyone who knows me but it’s the God forsaken truth.  But that moment it all vanished just like the darkness.  I felt acknowledged.  Understood. Connected, not alone.  Glennon sat beside me, stared into me, and said, “me too”.  

 So because of this small big moment,  I decided to take Glennons’ beautiful writing, and make it my own because heaven knows it’s my story too.
“My highs are high and my lows are low. I love easily but I cry and yell easily,too. I am quick to hug, and quick to anger. I have many struggles, many times a day. But I experience pure joy too, everyday.
I’m not the type to roll with things. I get very down- for reasons I can never identify. I think eighteen times a day how no one in the history of the world has ever had a harder life than I do. Then in the very same second, acknowledge 10 examples of how that will never be true. If I could choose a phrase to describe the polar opposite of my personality, it would be “easy-breezy”.  

Sometimes I get so upset that I become debilitated. I’m talking crumble to the ground, tears, head in hands… the whole she-bang. My break downs appear to be brought on by one little thing, like a grocery bag breaking in the driveway – and so Daniel will say, “It’s okay Maddy, it’s just a grocery bag,” and I’ll say: “IT’S NOT A GROCERY BAG! IT’S EVERYTHING! WHY CAN’T YOU SEE IT’S EVERYTHING???” And I don’t want anyone to try to fix it or fix me – I just want to be upset. I just need to be upset for awhile. Because life is upsetting, obviously.

I do not cruise through life. I sort of crash through life. But I also “WOW” through life, too.

And so it’s okay. I’ll take the lows with the highs. The valleys are deep but the mountains are high and I’ll take both.” 

Chasing 


You aren’t supposed to let anyone decide how you feel, yet it seems that love decides for you all the time.

I feel out of breath.  I am exhausted from chasing love that I can never catch up to.  

I have been here this whole marathon.  I thought I couldn’t reach you because it was snowing, then raining, then hailing.  But now as the storms have calmed, I find myself still running and still not grasping.  
 
 

Dark


During the daytime you barley notice the city from afar.  It seems like normal buildings that blend in with the town.

During the daytimes in my life, I barely notice.    When my life is great and always goes my way,  it undermines my growth and progression.  It was hard to fully understand the absolute NEED of power, because I didn’t feel powerlessness.  I’m grateful today for the tremendous pain that brought me to my nothingness and importance at the same time; that brought me to understand that I needed God to go on.  That I absolutely could not do this on my own.  That is the best gift I have been given.

During the daytime you barley notice the city from afar. It seems like normal buildings that blend in with the town. In the dark however, the normalcy disappears and it turns into the city of lights. Tonight the sky is a perfect Charcoal the lights are perfect and bright and very much seen.  I guess sometimes you need the darkness to show the beauty.

Worthy


The battle I fight is never about whether I believe or not, never about questioning any part of the gospel.  But rather the too often pattern of neglecting the simple overlooked truths.  These foundational principles on which the religion is built upon.  I realize that we are imperfect, and herein lies the problem. My concern is the lack of awareness to the severity of this common problem we spread to one another.

This isn’t the common voice you hear saying love everyone don’t judge in the context of -“accept that there is no real truth, just opinion”.  I completely believe in truth and right.  But I also learned from my Savior a love that is unconditional.

What is worse?  Struggling with addiction, or treating others poorly?  Not attending all church meetings, or pointing out that someone isn’t attending church meetings?  I could go on and on.

I’m not sure why we always feel the need to take another’s inventory.  What does that accomplish?  I’m so tired of hearing the same heartbreaking stories of those already dealing with trials and struggles, then having peers shame them.  Do you even think about what you are doing? Why is it your responsibility to shame anyone?  How can love and shame co-exist?  What positive result will come out of that negativity?

The God that I have come to know, surely would be proud of me for doing my best in this life.  If when I fall I turn to Christ, if I learn to develop unconditional and Christlike love, and extend that to my brothers and sisters. If I serve those around me.  Surely, I would return to my Heavnely Father.

I feel so blessed to have the knowledge and understanding that I do.  Even with knowing all of this, I still can feel the weight words, and false concern, and burden of knowing the ones closest to me cannot love me unconditionally unless I live exactly as they wish I do.  What about those on shaky ground?  Please lift them up with weightless love.  This life is too hard on its own; we need not act like we are judges of whom is worthy and accepted.  Everyone is worthy of love and belonging no matter what is done or undone.