1/27/10

Riding the wind


Seven days ago, these glasses meant only one thing.

Wine.

Today they still mean wine.

But they also simply look like really cool empty glasses.
Shapes and colors.

These small shifts happen, they say, with time. Sooner or later these glasses will not trigger a craving. With time. One day at a time.

My feelings are shifting like wind, moment by moment some days, hour by hour other days.

I've never been good with waiting. I like to skip ahead, pass up the hard part, let's move along now. Stop feeling stop feeling stop feeling...

That just can't be the case this time. This is just too big.

So looking at those glasses today gave me hope, the way they were so kindly showing me that they look a little like something other than wine, even though they still mean wine, for now.

And strangely, yesterday's blustery wind also came bringing me hope. It was a completely nasty day, the kind of Minnesota day that causes most of us to duck indoors and stay there, looking out the window and muttering things like, why do I live here and, would you believe that wind....uff da.

The wind got me thinking about seven days ago, how I woke up in the night, sobbing. Because it was like a blustery wind coming in. I reached for my husband and spoke my secrets like gusts, catching his breath and mine. I did it like I had no control over it because I didn't, in that very moment, for no definable reason, I didn't.

It just happened and I felt like I was floating on the wind and watching, helpless.

I am so helpless right now, riding that wind. That's why I know I haven't done even one part of this whole quitting thing on my own. (Step 2, anyone? Step 2?)

The dark of winter was blasting through with that wind that night seven days ago, with those words spoken in the dark. It was pushing us toward Spring. It was there, with such a strength we couldn't help but be pushed toward light.

An email I got yesterday said, shame is like mold, it grows in the dark, but withers in the light.

That's what we were doing, we were moving the mold to the light.

I didn't plan it. I didn't even want it, but Spring came anyway. Before it could bring its light though, I had needed to feel that wind, to duck inside a while, shifting in the dark, tossing and turning and crying out.

We Minnesotans know full well we have no control over the weather, the shifting of seasons. We wait and we watch, we're surprised and we're not. We long for Spring. And it comes, it always comes, even when we least expect it.

Even when we don't reach out and ask for it or choose it. It comes.

Even when we've become comfortable in our misery, hunched over, backs aching and tight in the cold and the dark.

Even then, Spring always comes. And it leaves no other choice but to surrender to its beauty.

And then we begin to till the soil, and friends, that's hard work. Good, but hard.

83 clicked right here to comment:

Kim said...

Oh I love you so much lady. I love that you were so YOU when you went to your AA meeting.
You are an amazing woman, do not doubt that for one second. You have a big weakness and are getting help, that makes you SO amazing.
I am proud of you.
I will call soon...you know when I don't have the hooligans screaming for every bit of my attention. What? It happens! ;)

Hyacynth said...

Your words reminded me of this ...
"As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." Genesis 8:22.
It rings so true in my heart, literally and figuratively. You're right, Heather; when you've suffered the strongest winds of winter, spring must be right around the corner.
We should all feel so encouraged. Thank you for sharing your heart. You've been giving me so much to chew on.

Janet Oberholtzer said...

You are brave and wise!
One day at a time is how I live my life ... well, try to. It's when I attempt more than that, that I usually fail.

Love your AA entrance ... those men must be so happy you are there :)

Wendi@Every Day Miracles said...

It's just plain true - they DID need some estrogen in the room. They really did.

Thank you for allowing us to go on this journey with you. I am learning so much from you!

Jami said...

Good for you, Heather! The first meeting's the hardest. (Unless you count the second and third.) It does sound like they were low on estrogen. It was kind of you to provide some.

Step two is a beautiful one. You are in my prayers.

Becky said...

Oh Heather... I so wish I lived closer I would totally go with you to those meetings and just sit there to hold your hand. And then after tell you all the stupid things I said in my Alanon meetings. Except they aren't stupid, they are wonderful but we (YOU!) are there.

So so proud of you!

Now just don't start smoking. ;-)

Bina said...

So many words of truth...wisdom...reality...and then your final words, and I found laughter, real and pure, pouring from my lips. I am glad that you went...that you added some female to the room...and that you did it with a signature all your own!! :)

The glasses are beautiful...amazing how something pretty can be found amongst the ashes, eh?

Many, many hugs today!!
Bina

Becca said...

Seriously, estrogen makes every meeting better (and gives SUCH an excuse for the tears).

Know what would be pretty in those glasses? Pebbles. The kind you find in your shoe, the ones that bug and pester and hurt, until you pull them out and see that, in the proper place, they're really kind of beautiful.
XO

Kristina P. said...

Good for you, Heather. Honestly, I think that acknowledging you need to change is a huge hurdle to get over.

When we get a substance abuse evaluation from someone who actually wants to change, we cry tears of joy.

Midwest Mommy said...

Oh I love that you said that!!!

Kristen @ Motherese said...

You're right, Heather, you can't control the weather or the seasons, but you've shown here that you don't have to sit and wait for them to change. You can bundle up and go out for a brisk walk in the wind. Keep on walking, girl. We're right here with you.

Boy Crazy said...

Sometimes it takes those cold blasts of wind to knock the truth right out, when we never would have given it up on our own. (When you get a minute,go read what I wrote last week. About cold blasts of air knocking the prayers right out. I think you'll relate.)

I'm so proud of you. And you can always try another AA location, maybe find some with more diversity if you need it.

Thank you for sharing this with us. We're all here for you with support and encouragment and prayers. And Love. Lots of love.

xo elizabeth

Kazzy said...

A little estro goes a long way. You go, girl. Pulling for ya.

Jillene said...

Wow. What a beautiful post. You a one brave woman. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

I've been thinking a lot about Ecclesiastes 3 lately. When I read this, I thought about verse 5 - a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together. The coming days, weeks, months . . . there will be lots of casting and lots of gathering, I would imagine.

Time for everything.

gretchen from lifenut said...

Those glasses are beautiful. I like the idea of repurposing them, filling them with other objects that mean something to you. Fill them with wax and make candles.

Continuing to think about you and pray for you. The older I get, the more in love with spring I become because I see it as a grand gift. It's hope. This post reminds me of The Myriad's "A Thousand Winters Melting"---great song.

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

Today is another great day.

mandiegirl said...

Oh my goodness- you make me smile! I love that you said that- and even more, that you went. Last night, I, too, did something for the first time- I saw a therapist, and i slept so good without any medication, too. it's a good week, heather.

Tara said...

So beautiful and true, no matter how "okay" we become with winter spring always comes and new life grows! You are such an inspiration:)

Heidi said...

You've made me cry, and with this post you made me smile. "Uff da"? You mean I'm not the only person who says that? :-P (North Dakota girl here!)

You are brave, Heather, and beautiful. I love what Father is doing in you. It is not so different, really, from those of us who have maybe never had one of those "obvious" addictions yet still identify with the reality of addiction because really, who among us is NOT an addict?

I love getting to know you this way...in all your authentic, imperfect glory. :)

Rach@In His Hands said...

Dear Heather. I'm just now catching up on your last few posts....and want so badly to hug you tightly. You are brave and I so admire the choice you've made to be free.
That red arrow you speak of may BE there, but what's much more important is that The Healer and Forgiver and Savior has swiped that arrow away and replaced it with a stamp that saves "Saved". He will get you through, friend....and please know that so many of us are here for you as you walk this road. You are not alone.

Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings said...

Psalm 18:35 came to my mind when I read this..."You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great."

Keep lifting your eyes to God. He will strengthen you!

And I loved your comment to the guys! I'm sure it helped break the ice! :)

Praying for you Heather!

Ashleigh (Heart and Home) said...

Ah, Heather the Brave, Heather the Strong... bringing truth to light... one awkward statement at a time. :)

Praying for you daily, often. Your story has etched its groove deeply into my heart.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post. Praying for you daily and can't help but think that you did a lot for the group of old men at the meeting -- bet they are all looking forward to what you'll say next week. Destiny

PS See -- even without filling and drinking from those crazy cool glasses, you are CLEVER. Relish in it!

katdish said...

The estrogen comment? Awesome.

*Cyber fist bump*

jasonS said...

I know it has to be so difficult, but thank you for documenting this process for you. I think it's going to help a lot of people.

And if I were a guy in that meeting, I would laughed at your estrogen comment (just like I did reading it).

Good job and blessings to you!

Jo@Mylestones said...

That's what I love about you, Heather. Even in the midst of really big, difficult stuff, you walk in and say something witty (at least I thought it was witty). I laughed out loud at the sight of you offering to balance out the estrogen in the group.
Keep riding that wind, lady.

Kelly Langner Sauer said...

It's almost amazing that we can still laugh in the midst of all this mess, isn't it? Thank you for being you, for sharing your story with us, for giving me a smile today. Oh, and thank you for your comment at my blog last night. I didn't quite mean my post as such a confession; I had to bring the depression into my blog so I wouldn't use my blog to go away from my life like I do.

God is so strong for this, isn't He?

Kimberly said...

I bet you totally cracked them up, and if they didn't laugh in the moment I bet they did later at home. Hilarious...if a little awkward. =)

Love you sweet girl. Watching you tackle this is inspiring.

ZDub said...

Love to you, momma.

Lindsey said...

Bravo on the AA meeting. And thank you for the gorgeous imagery of riding the wind, and of trusting that spring will come ... I need to believe that right now. Thank you, and keep the faith. I am sending love.

To Think is to Create said...

I've been thinking about you, friend. I read your words and it strikes me how similar they are to my own feelings right now. Strange, how the moving and trusting and understanding and surrendering we go through is so similar, despite the source of pain. I'm going through so much more than just grief and loss, I had no idea those two would also have all these other "friends" packed in their bags when they came to my home to stay.

xoxo
Ari

Terresa said...

Your "PS" is the kicker.

I'm a chocoholic. And I often think, while nibbling my first piece of several, some mornings at 7am, if it was vodka, wine, beer, where would I be?

You are brave and amazing. You know, I already thought. But now? Even more so. Add gutsy and humorous. Man, I love you. Pass the estrogen.

Crooked Eyebrow said...

um you are awesome.

you have been in my thoughts and prayers.

MidnightCafe said...

I just got done lecturing...um, I mean *encouraging*...a friend of mine who is always looking back on things she said and feeling embarrassed or stupid. I told her that her friends already love her for who she is, and the rest of the world isn't paying that much attention.

I love you!!

Manic Mother said...

So glad you went to a meeting! AA is tough, stick with it, and find a group that you meld with. It will help tremendously.

L.T. Elliot said...

I love that the wind woke you and the first thing you did was turn to your husband. I whisper my secrets to mine too and even though they hurt, even though they're hard, telling him helps me make it through until I can find that sunlight that withers my mold.

I'm glad you were you at that meeting. You're so brave. You're so strong. And that, it shows me that YOU is the person really going there because YOU really do want the best for you.

Mary said...

I totally get what you mean when you say you don't like waiting. (Me either!)

I wish I was a tenth as funny when I get completely awkward. Instead I do things like accidentally ending a voicemail (to a customer) with "Amen". Yes, I'm still writhing over that. No, I don't know why on earth I said that.

Brianna said...

Even though I only met you once, I can just hear you with that estrogen comment. Good for you. Be yourself. You're beautiful.

Bri

Kelly said...

I would try a different meeting next time. There are 40 in my tiny town, so surely you'll be able to find one that better fits your demographic and needs.

Also, I think the glasses are beautiful and can be a testament to your progress. Perhaps fill them with something meaningful each time you complete a step?

Mommy Mo said...

My head is pounding and my eyes heart and I so badly want a nap, a nap that my youngest is refusing to give himself, yet I found a few moments to check out your latest post. I am so proud of you for going to that meeting and so impressed with what you call your "awkward" words.

Love you, my friend.

Corinne said...

I absolutely love that you walked in and said that :)
This was beautiful.

deb said...

You're the best.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

The awesome thing about Biblical hope is that it's the same hope we Minnesotans have for spring. It seems FOREVER sometimes, yet we KNOW it's coming. It's not a wish. It's a certainty.

Hope doesn't disappoint. And yes, even though the wind chill is -15 today, I catch a whiff of spring.

Rock on, estrogen-laden one. Rock on.

Amber said...

Beautiful, just beautiful! Thank you for sharing. Just...thanks.

Kristen@nosmallthing said...

I have a lot of hope for you, my friend. A lot of hope.

And um, your comment at the AA meeting? I nearly fell of my chair when I read that. You are one funny girl. Did they laugh?

Amy said...

This is beautifully written. And I love what you said at your first meeting! Way to make it memorable for them!

sara said...

way to break the ice!!! and be yourself!

LutherLiz said...

I know that your story will help so many people, firstly you! Way to be bold, awesome and courageous!

Kori said...

Funny, I have read two posts today from newly sober alcoholics, and the difference between the two is night and day. One full of anger and bitterness about AA and the spiritual principles and all the bullshit about it, and then this one; sigh....this is lovely. And I don't know where you live but if that first meeting doesn't fit, don't give up on ALL meetings; keep looking for the one that tells you you are home, and keep and open mind. I send you big hugs, and while I know that you have lots and lots of support, know I am also here if you need me to listen. Now that you have my email address, that is. :)

Lee of MWOB said...

First of all, those glasses are awesome. I dig 'em. And I guess it's time to fill 'em with something else.

Orange juice?
Diet coke and a lot of ice?
Mike and Ikes?

And yes, my friend you are riding a brand new wind...to a new horizon. Good for you.

xoxo

Life Laugh Latte said...

I have to say that I just feel privileged to read your words. Proud of your first steps. Love your proclamation at the AA meeting (i would have said the same kind of thing:). You have an unbelievable sisterhood out here that long to see you succeed, and will be here if you fall. Praying...on our knees for your strength. Holly

Nili said...

Hi Heather~ I read your post 7 days ago and you have been on my mind and in my prayers every since....I just wanted to let you know and encourage you to continue walk in the light!
Love and God's Grace to you and your days and nights!
Nili

Ann's Rants said...

Silent cheering. Arsenio arms, slo-mo, huge mouth, fake jumping, HUGE touch down dance.

in celebration of ONE WEEK

Angie said...

Winter is the quiet, fallow time when the earth prepares for the rebirth of spring. Unless the seed is put in the ground to die, it cannot be born. (~Madeleine L’Engle)

You are bravely putting that seed into the ground and I can imagine it feels like death to you... and I can't wait to see what grows. You amaze me. You really do.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh you.

(this is one of my favorites.)

steph

amanda said...

tee hee :) it was probably their most favorite meeting ever!

xoxo

Lara said...

Heather,

I am just catching up on your blog and I am completely amazed by you. You are amazing. What a beacon of light you are for us. It takes major strength to do what you are doing.

And yes, they definitely needed estrogen in there. Good luck with all you are facing, I will be thinking of you and praying for you.

I know you will do this.

Bonnie said...

Heather, your words moved me as they always do. I love your honesty, you are so brave. I will be sending warm, supportive thoughts your way.

I'm reading a book right now called "How would love respond?" by Kurek Ashley. I don't know your beliefs but I've found it very helpful in giving me hope that anything is possible if we just believe it can be.

Heather said...

Much love to you Heather. I have been thinking lots about you, praying for you. You are so incredibly strong and I thank you for sharing your journey into the light with me.

xoxo

Graceful said...

Seven days, Heather, seven days. A milestone in a line of many. Keep tilling; you've got good soil that will just get better and better.

I bet those AA boys sure were happy to see you -- and I sure loved that comment!

Praying and loving...
Michelle

Keyona said...

Good for you! You've been on my mind. I am unbelievably proud of you Heather. I totally *heart* you!

Debbie said...

I bet you were a breath of fresh air waltzing into that room! Good for you. And good for you for going.
My dad was just telling me yesterday that after 16 years of not smoking, he still craves cigarettes every day. He doesn't ever touch them, but he always craves them. I think it takes a great strength - one I'm sure you have.

Dedee said...

You? Are awesome!

Wild wind here means the world being torn apart a bit. But then it's so much cleaner and easier to breathe when it's gone.

I'm rooting for you as you ride out this storm! (And yes, it will pass.)

Marisa said...

I love "shame is like mold"! I needed to read that! Your estrogen comment was great! You put a great big smile on my face!

Rebecca said...

I admire you.

It takes a fearsome strength to confront your own weaknesses. It's much easier in many ways to hide out in the dark instead of reaching out to the light.

And I'm so glad for you that you can tell your husband your secrets. I do the same with mine. It helps mightily.

I'll include you in my prayers tonight. :)

wendy said...

It is good ---and hard ---taking this journey with you. I pray for your success in this struggle. It brings up memories of AA meetings with my son, ALANON meetings, rehab. It is such a struggle, such a -----well, the only word that comes to my mind is journey.

You make me laugh at your sense of humor at your AA meeting. Sometimes we have to approach things with some levity. It is what helps us through.
I have great faith in you.
You will get through this.
and think, seriously, of the lives you will bless along the way.

Jeff and Valerie Carr said...

Bravery and honesty are beautiful traits!

Praying for you in Spain today.

Jessica said...

There is so much wisdom in this post. Spring will come, however far away it seems . . . and that shame is like mold . .. hopefully others will learn from your courage and bring to light the things they are ashamed of, to find healing and grace. We were talking last night about how the cross is a symbol of shame and God makes it a symbol of victory, hope, glory . .. what God does with our shame too.

Kathy Rauenhorst said...

Heather good for you!! Life will get easier it always does! All of us have secrets and issues,,some people are just braver like you!

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

I am so proud of you!

Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy League Insecurities said...

Keep riding the wise wind. Keep writing your wonderful words about tough things. Keep glimpsing those glasses. Empty with hope. You are doing a brave, impossible thing and have so many people celebrating every little step of your progress.

I love what you said at the meeting. I love that you are able to be funny and you in the midst of this storm.

There are sunny skies ahead. Not because of Mother Nature. Because of you.

Gracey said...

Keep up the good work, Heather! We are all so proud of you. Your comment was brilliant and hilarious, btw.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I love that you said that. Keep saying things - those old guys really do need a little estrogen in the room.

denise said...

ooh i could relate with the "stop feeling stop feeling stop feeling" and it is ironic coming from you because i can FEEL you as you write and appreciate your honesty, integrity, sharing who you are despite allowing yourself to feel it yourself...

Chele said...

Hey girl, all I can say is I am praying for you still. I love that you are being so open. It will be healing for yourself! :) Hugs!

Motherboard said...

You have a beautiful gift with words.

And I think you were probably right. You were just what those old men needed. A breath of fresh air.

You're brilliant.

Elaine A. said...

Those looks like some awesome juice glasses to me... ;-)

I love that you said they needed estrogen in there. Perfect.

charrette said...

There's something in the wind, that's for sure. My last post sounds SO MUCH like this, truly. (NOT a request for comments...but we're clearly thinking alike.)

Cynthia said...

What a beautiful post. I'm so incredibly proud of you. Your life can be too big, too full to let that mold grow inside, rotting away the most precious parts. We'll all walk with you- through the light AND the dark! One day at a time.

You can do this and by doing it bravely, openly, you'll help draw others to that same light. You'll help others UNDERSTAND that path and through it, others in their lives who share the same struggle. THAT is your power with words and I know you will use them to bring yourself into the fullness you desire and deserve!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

You're probably one of the brightest, shiniest thing that AA group has seen in a while. Their attendance may triple. :)

Rebecca said...

Ecclesiastes tells us "There is a time for everything, and a season for everything under Heaven". Many many prayers that your long winter is over and this Spring is enduring.

Alena said...

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Alena

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