Emotions & Learning to Live

I miss my friend Emily. She’s been on my mind quite a lot since she passed away in December — only the degree to which she encompasses my thoughts wanes. Ebbs and flows of grief, happy memories, regrets, relief, and sadness, oh woeful sadness.

Dealing with emotions, particularly the death of a young, close friend, is not one of my gifts in this life. Truth be told, I’m horrible at it. I used alcohol, drugs, sex, whatever form of distraction available to escape any emotion. When the big emotions came, I went harder into partying. The bigger the emotion, the harder the substance. Now that I am sober, I’m having to relearn how to live. Not just emotionally, either. I’m learning – properly this time – how to be an adult. I have a therapist to help me with the emotional stuff, plus the support of my sober network. I now have a nutritionist helping me to learn how to eat right and take care of my body.  I see a doctor regularly for medication and checkups on my physical well-being.  I go to near-daily AA meetings to help in my sobriety. I need to figure out who/what I need to put in place in order to make some sense out of my household. Perhaps that will come with time.  It’s just so interesting to me that I could be so book smart and seemingly street smart, yet have no real, domestic life skills.  Part of what I’m learning is that if you can’t take care of yourself, you can hire people to help you learn how to do so. That’s been a refreshing realization.

I’ve broadened my social circle and let more people in to the depths of my inner world than I ever fathomed possible.  I’m learning how to be honest – truly, transparently honest (as much as is possible).  I’m learning to listen to my intuition. To trust in my higher power. To believe that other people really do care about my well-being.  I’m learning how to live.

So many of these lessons have been fostered by the people I’ve bonded with as a result of Emily’s passing. I wish that I could have forged these friendships and Emily was still alive, but that’s not part of the plan.  Things couldn’t have worked out this way without Emily’s death. That’s a hard pill for me to swallow, but I know with great depth of conviction that it is true. I’m eternally grateful for Emily. She’ll always be a part of my life and not just because of the tribute tattoo I got for her with her twin sister.  She’s woven throughout my social circle now.

I have a long road ahead of me, but I feel like the blinders are finally off. There’s a great forward momentum. I am growing, changing, and evolving. I don’t have to run away from emotions anymore. I will eventually be able to function in a loving romantic relationship, should the right partner present him or herself. I will be stronger. I will be able to achieve anything that I want.  I have hope. To summarize, as Carl Sanburg said, “I don’t know where I am going, but I’m on my way.”