So then I was tired.
After my first round of shoveling the boys wanted to make cookies so we got out all the ingredients and then we needed the butter to soften to room temperature. Both of them knew what that meant and I was surprised. So I lay down on my side on my bed and was glad for the butter excuse.
Asher found me within 30 seconds and he walked up to the end of the bed and said, Hi Mommyyyy in his sweet and high little voice. Usually his voice is very low so this is funny. Then he added, You look beau-i-fow.
I'm such a sucker. Yes, child, you can get in the bed with me.
I don't know why so much of my martyr attitude went away with the drinking. I can never explain why so many things just poof! went away. And sometimes I'm not even aware of those things or I just can't quite name the good things. Then I sometimes second guess that it's worth it to not drink for the rest of my life. My mind plays tricks on me and does the very cliche, maybe it wasn't that bad...I had such a high bottom...and on and on until I can't see what's so good about sobriety anymore. I don't know how in the world I could ever NOT see the difference, or lose track or forget or lose sight of the gifts. That's just what happens. Addiction is a rotten thief.
These are the things we have to say, we have to just keep talking.
So I said it loud to have the truth spoken because there's no shame in exactly how I feel. It just is.
I told Ellie all about it, about how I can't see the difference so much of the time.
And then she did what Ellie does and she said that she completely understood exactly what I'm saying and that at one point in her sobriety an idea came to mind for her. Then she told me about standing in a room in her mind's eye and all around her are doors. The door to drinking is now closed. SLAM. LOCK. FOR GOOD. So she's just looking at it and wondering what's next or why what's behind it is really all that big of a problem, that drinking life back there, gone quiet.
And then the thing about the other doors is that they are not slammed or locked. Each and every one of them is about to open. Sometimes slowly, over time. Sometimes opening three at a time, maybe even in just one day, with unimaginable surprises. She said she needs to think about those doors. The ones that just would not open without the door closed on drinking.
That drinking door has to be closed because no matter what the amount or how often or how deep the obsession and dependence, addiction is a nasty thief all on its own. A cunning thief that sucks the grace wind right under its door, even when we don't know it.
Yes, I thought, while she was talking. Sobriety is about what is to come. It's about what stands around the corner of the future, one that's possible because the door that lets gifts leak on through and out, missed or ignored, is sealed.
So everyday I'm going to be looking at the doors in my mind's eye, thanks to Ellie. I can already tell you about so many open ones. If you've been around here since I quit drinking, you've seen them too. And then there are many that only I can see, when I'm looking at them, like Asher's eyes at the end of my bed. Yes, I'm the kind of person that always appreciated the blue of those eyes and the lilt in that voice, but new layers of that appreciation came with sobriety. They last longer for me now, those moments of grace. As long as they always were, it's just that now I'm staying with them. I can sit in them longer because I don't have to feel the pull back to that once-open leaky thief of a door. It's closed and locked and I notice it less and less.
This is an awfully big room with many many doors. The one that is closed is just one. A very small one, with its knocks and clawing and scratching from the other side growing quieter. The other doors are big and loud with, You look beau-i-fow and Ellie and a new baby and less martyrdom behind them. There is no end in sight to these doors so I guess if I had to describe grace with an analogy, that's how I would do it.
Doors with no thieves. Endless gifts with no games. A power that shrinks and quiets the darkest of doorways.
Thank you, Ellie. What would I do without my Ellie door?
P.S. You have the whole weekend to enter the Gifts for Life giveaways, friends. (That last one is a dooozy, huh?) Thank you to each of you who have come along. It was a labor of love and I'm so honored to help Bead for Life! Thank you...