Life is good (in general)

It’s day 41 here – I had to find my phone to check on that. I was going to post for 5 weeks but I’ve been so busy getting into my creative work I didn’t get round to it.

Not everything is great, such is life. The company I work for has announced another large round of job cuts. My shift has survived this time but my job is definitely looking less secure each day. I’ve resolved not to worry about it. I have savings so losing my job would suck but it wouldn’t be an immediate emergency. If/when it happens I’ll worry about it then. I’ve spent far too much of my life worrying about stuff I can’t control – it never prevents anything and just wastes my time and energy.

I’m currently reading a book that is worth a mention here. I can’t remember how I stumbled upon it; maybe it was mentioned in a podcast or web article. It’s called Blessed Are The Weird by Jacob Nordby. I thought it sounded like my kind of book so I bought the kindle version and got stuck in. I’m only halfway through but I can already tell it’s one of those rare and precious gems that has the power to utterly transform a life.

Fairly close to the beginning this passage was the first of many to reach deep into my soul:

Where it all begins, I cannot say, this sense of being a stranger in a world full of people who seem to belong in it. All I know is that some of us are not like the others – something in us doesn’t fit.

Well hellloooo! The gems just keep coming:

The problem is the numbing.

The problem is that we have forgotten how to make our own lives works of art and we cannot seem to find enough ways to gorge ourselves to fill the aching sense of emptiness this leaves behind. Because we don’t know how to fill up the space of our lives with ourselves, we turn that job over to others and then wonder why we are never satisfied.

Does that sound familiar at all?

There is also a beautiful quote from the poet Mia Hollow:

Every now and again, you will feel a dull ache in your soul. A gentle humming around your heart. A longing for something without a name. If I ever told you to obey anything, this would be it. Listen to the call of your authentic self; that part of you that lives just outside your own skin. Let it have its way with you. I have died a hundred times trying to ignore it.

And I have drunk a hundred times (and the rest) trying to ignore the dull ache, and shoehorn myself into the socially agreed version of an acceptable life, career, drinking habits etc…

The book addresses many of the recurring issues that I struggle with myself and regularly read among other sober bloggers. A feeling of never quite finding our place in the world, social awkwardness, the tendency to isolate or that feeling of having missed the point somehow. I’ve always had a feeling of there being ‘something more’. On the very rare occasions I have voiced this I’ve often been made to feel ungrateful because although my life has had its fair share of ups and downs it has (in general) not been so bad. It’s not been bad enough to ‘justify’ developing a drinking problem, according to some.

I was tucked up in bed last night, reading in utter amazement as the book basically spelled out the story of my life. I realised that the lack of connection to my deeper creative soul is a big part of what I’ve been trying to drink away. Over time I became so disconnected that I couldn’t even remember what it was I was missing but I kept drinking anyway.

I was thinking about that illusory first drink and its misleading buzz that we chase over and over. It’s just a poor photocopy of the magic that we have forgotten can be found within – a photocopy degraded a thousand times. The magic is never going to be found in the drink, it’s all within ourselves and we all have it in our own ways. It’s the magic that we saw everywhere in the world as children but lost as we grew up. The hard part is remembering and reconnecting 😦

So, as you can probably tell, I’m quite excited about it all. I’d go as far as to say I think this book is going to do more to cement in some core foundations of sobriety than the many books I have read about quitting drinking.

I’m still running with the poetry that keeps popping into my mind. I’m going to combine it with the visuals that are forming too. It looks like illustrated poetry is going to be my ‘thing’. I’d never have predicted it but the more I focus on it the more I can feel the magic creeping back into life and the joy and excitement growing. I’ve been so busy and uplifted by turning towards these wonderful new things that I’ve gone long stretches of time forgetting that I’ve turned away from drinking. This definitely feels like a breakthrough in the right direction.

The sun is shining here even though it’s still cold. I love those first few times of feeling sunshine on my face after a long, dark winter. Gratitude for the small things feels good 🙂

I hope you’re having a good week so far. Hugs to anybody struggling, keep going and keep writing – it doesn’t matter whether you’re on one year or one day, your sharing will be helping somebody out there x