12/4/10

just one door

Yesterday it snowed and snowed. So much snow. I shoveled our driveway because the snow is just fluff and I'm a strong pregnant lady. I shoveled again later so Ryan would be able to get in the driveway after work. I swear the snow plows push more snow from the street to the end of our driveway than all the other houses in the world. I'm sure of it.

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...


20 clicked right here to comment:

Anonymous said...

Man, I love you Heather. Thank you. Yes...addiction is a thief. An ugly, sneaky thief. Thank you for putting this into words.
~Selena

~dawn said...

Insidious. I can think of no better word to describe the horrific beast that resides within us ~ today, as I respond to your post, that creature is quiet, far from sleeping, most assuradly, not dormant. Though I have my own experience revealing to me that, should I remain proactive in my recovery efforts, the 'ol evil one will become very distant, so much so that I forget, so much so that I hear myself questioning, "what was the big deal, really?" Complacent and dangerous territory we cannot afford to tread on. So, Heather, you are spot on ~ again ~ we HAVE to keep talking, keep sharing, keep reminding one another that the implications of opening "that" door will wreak havoc in our lives, chaos, and potentially erase the blessings we've discovered from subsequent open doors ~ poof!! ~ just like that, takes one relapse, personal loss, jails, institutions,,,, death ~ its all there for us, if we step off our sober path in order to pick up that key and open the locked door.
~its not an option.
Sober another day, ain't it a wonderful thing!!
~d

Melissa said...

A truly remarkable post. Thank you for sharing. Closed doors are always rattling around - no matter what you decided to put behind them. But you're right, if you can take your eyes off of them for a moment - you never know what you're going to find next.

One Crafty Mother said...

Oh, my friend. You made big leaky happy tears fall down my cheeks.

I adore you. And WOW. You write so breathtakingly beautifully.

I am so, so grateful to be in that space full of possibility with you.

Here's to many more open doors.

Love you to bits.

-Ellie

Suzy said...

When I quit drinking in 2005 I too wondered if I could ever go back.

It wasn't until I figured out what the real addiction was, the one that hides under all the substances of dope, alcohol, sex, shopping, gambling etc, when I figured out what I was really addicted to, that question never came up again.

Substance just hides the real addiction. Looking at that one is pretty painful. But enlightening.

Jessica said...

This is so true-and could be applied to any door that God has shut but we keep dwelling on and wanting.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

What an amazing way to look at ANYTHING and EVERYTHING and especially what you are facing right now. Thank you for this, and I love you for this.

Steph

rebecca @ altared spaces said...

"I don't know why so much of my martyr attitude went away with the drinking." But I'm so glad it did. I'm so glad you let it go. Poof! Yippy!

The holding on. This is the part I can always relate to. Holding on to the poison. I used to be a martyr too. Now I just laugh. What changed?

My sister used words so much like yours and Ellie's. She calls it "standing in the gap." You have to let go of one doorknob before you can reach for the next. And in that space in the gap...Everything shows itself.

I know which door is next. I know who I am. I know how to BE without a door. Standing in the GAP and knowing myself there...well...it's hello for real.

I'm SO glad you can see more smile and more eyes. And I want more for you even. Because I believe it grows as we appreciate it; as we say thank you for the smiles and the eyes and the beaut-i-fow. As we let the cover-ups fall away and let the Light shine through.

Love to you today.

Angie said...

I love this imagery! Life is amazing with a double ZING isn't it? Especially when we look at all the doors open to us.. all that possibility... each overflowing with grace and love and beau - i- fow's. You are a blessing, friend. Thank you for sharing your heart and your vision.

Cynthia said...

I love this post- may the magic of the doors NOW POSSIBLE bring you every possible happiness.

Andrea said...

Just beau-i-fow :-)

I am here in a place where many new doors are in front of me and it's the transition from old to new that tends to stretch and tear me down. Thank you for reminding me that the best days are ahead.

Elaine A. said...

Wow, Ellie IS awesome. This is such a wonderful way to look at it all.

Did I say "Wow" already? ;)

xo

Laura said...

Thank you...sooo well-written!!

charrette said...

p.s. I LOVE the beads and LOVE the cause and logged on to enter the giveaway before midnight, but it's closed. Drat those pesky time zones!

Love you!

Becky said...

I loved this. It was quite beau-ti-fow.

Michelle said...

You got it exactly right about the door. It gets noticed less and less. So much so that after a few years, you will turn and see it and startle, because you had all but forgotten it was there. This is a blessing. So is being able to see our children with clear eyes. I have a new baby now, after three years of sobriety. I can't help but think he is a present from the universe for letting go and moving on. Keep up the good work.

Aunt LoLo said...

Beautiful, as always. You manage to capture the beauty and mystery in life...and make it applicable to every reader, every situation.

Thank you.

Jen said...

I know you won't miss one door. Not one. Even if it takes a little while to stir up the courage to reach for the door handle.

Mammatalk said...

Love this post. I can see how this analogy can be used for other snarling thieves as well. Everyone has one lurking in a corner somewhere.

Shaina said...

Maverick, I clicked right here to comment because I wanted to let you know that I can hear you speaking in this. I can hear you like you're here, in my house, on my couch, and it made me miss you and wish I could squeeze you, even if just for a minute.

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