Saturday, December 3, 2016

New Visions

I go through periods of reading the meditation book our fellowship publishes when I first wake up. I did it when I first got clean many years ago for about a year, and more recently I was doing it every day from early 2013 through the beginning of this year. I got out of the habit, for reasons I can't really remember, and the last few months, as my meeting attendance increased to where I was going to one almost every day, I really hadn't seen the need to do it at home. But for some reason, I did so this morning waiting for the computer to boot up.
Often, the day's reading seems really apt and fits well with what is happening with me on that day. And today's was one of them; it spoke of a new vision of our lives in recovery. It's not unusual that I am up at 5:15 AM on a Saturday morning; it is unusual that I am home and waking up from a night's sleep. I took last night off because I am going to go see my significant other this morning, and a lot of what has been developing in my personal life the last couple of months has been the rising of a new vision of my life, and her life, too.
This is hardly the first time I have gone to visit her somewhere. She has struggled mightily with the disease of addiction, and addiction, honestly, has had the better of it for the last few years. And regular readers of this space know how much of a battle it has been for me to deal with her addiction and her struggles. I've thrown up my hands more than once and vowed to give up on her, most recently just a few months ago. I really did not think, after her most recent bottom, that I would be preparing to travel on yet another morning to see her again.
But it's a little more than "hope springs eternal." It's hard to explain intuitions and feelings on paper, but the best I can say is that when you know someone as well as I've come to know her, you can tell when something is different, when something has changed. And something--some things--have definitely changed with her. I'm still not totally convinced that happily ever after is going to happen. But I can envision a life together much more easily now, because of the changes I see, not just hear. There's a lot of ground to cover between this moment and that vision becoming reality, and I am aware that it's still a long shot to come to pass. But there is grounds for hope, much more than the whistling in the dark that, in retrospect, marked much of the previous few years.
And today will be the first time I've seen her in three weeks. The place she is in is more like boot camp than either a prison or a rehab, and access is very limited to the outside world for those in it. I haven't even spoken to her in a week. But the letters have been hopeful and consistent, and the message given through a mutual friend that came home this week has also been encouraging. I'm not sure what I am going to find when I get where I'm going this morning, but I think I'm going to be even more encouraged.
One of my favorite quotes is "Hope is oxygen to someone suffocating on despair." And that is true for me, with as much time away from active drug addiction as I have, as it is for her. We have been through a lot in the last few years, but one undeniable positive that has come out of it is that whatever attraction there was between us has survived through it all, even got stronger through all the adversity. And while it takes more than that to make a vision reality, it is a necessity, a part of the foundation. I've had many doubts over the last few years, and so has she--but if nothing else, those have been dispelled. And moving forward is a hell of a lot easier when you're not looking over your shoulder, and when you're not stopping to look under every rock by the path you're on.
It was a year ago today that she had a very unwelcome turn as a media star, and that unfortunate event was, unpleasant as it was, necessary for a lot of true growth to begin. That process is still underway, but all true growth really does go in only one direction. Today, that direction seems a lot less enveloped in fog than it ever has before. I'd rather not be doing this, to be sure. But I am hopeful that the vision--the dream, really--is a lot more possible and closer than it ever has been before. It's not just around the corner. But it is, for maybe the first time, not just a destination on a map, but visible in the distance.
A lot can happen, and a lot of steps have to be taken, to actually arrive there, and detours and stops are certainly still possible. But the renewed hope is like filling the fuel tank. I'm going to keep moving forward towards it, now that I can see where and what it is. And today is another bit of ground to cover toward making that vision become our reality.

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