Being severely loved is kind of a nuisance. Even at 29, I feel like the kid swatting her mother’s kisses away as she gets dropped off at school. Aggh, Maa-om! Staaahhhpp…! Which does nothing to deter a mother’s hugs and kisses and well wishes for the day.
It is very hard to be this severely loved by people when you fathom yourself only as unloveable drunk (or addict, or depression-case, or neurotic, or pick-your-poison.) This isn’t a pity party by any means, nor a confession of being a horrible person (I swear, I’m not, I don’t think…) it is more like, “How can this human being, so awesome–so cool–so put together, love someone with their head so far up their ass that they can’t see? Like me?” (wait, sounds familiar….)
These thoughts are a lot more heartfelt and sad and less annoying when you’re sober. In fact, they are welcome. Now in sobriety, I feel like a total schmuck for having to learn how to be a normal human being again. What do you mean if I don’t pay my bill on time that people will call me and harass me for money? What are these oil changes you speak of? I’m not supposed to talk about my alcohol monitor in public??
But DESPITE ALL OF THIS, I have these eyes full of endless hope and love just staring at me. The eyes of my friends, of my family, of the strangers at meetings hearing my story for the first time, of my dogs, of the guy at Subway that I spontaneously started crying in front of…. (sorry Raul) of God, Jesus Christ, my Savior.
It is amazing the amount of things that I can get done when I care about the people caring about me caring. (Did I lose you?)
|Here he is, being a stud.|
In January, I attempted to hike Cowles Mountain, the highest point in San Diego, with my then-recently-on-again boyfriend. The day was gorgeous, the conversation was amazing, the moment was loving, and the trail was… hard. I had been exercising regularly and yet every switchback made me want to go back down the mountain.There were stupidly smiling people coming down, already accomplished, already better at life than me, as I was here still struggling to get half way up the mountain.
At one moment, after just scaling what seemed to be a steep-ass rock and thinking, “How the hell am I going to get back down?” I threw in the towel and told my boyfriend, let’s go. He, knowing better than to argue with a defeated and sweaty me, looked up longingly at the top before helping me down the mountain.
Cowles Mountain was a bust.
The following month he took me on a suicide hike (maybe I’m dramatizing just a little…. but no really, were you trying to kill me, ZACH!?) for Valentines Day that I never would have attempted in my life if I knew about it. It was fun, adventurous, dangerous, beautiful, and the payoff at the top was stellar and breathtakingly romantic. He was by my side and my source of strength when I thought I could go no further. If he was ever afraid, he didn’t show it. He led me with love and encouragement and caught me when I fell. Like, literally. I slipped, fell, and slid toward a steep ravine but he caught me and dragged me back to safety. Thank God for his muscles and for me not being a bitch to him that day.
More than anything, I thanked him for believing I could even do the hike. I was bruised and sore for the next week but it was so worth it.
Fast forward 6 months, Cowles Mountain is still on my mind. Along with a library of other thoughts ranging from fiction (lies) to history (my past) to horror (errr…life.) My newfound sobriety is kind of a drag and a blessing, and the relapse of several friends has me questioning my role in their lives.