Life is an obstacle course and how we navigate the obstacles is up to us. I have overcome some pretty great challenges in my days: incessant torment in early childhood by older brothers, bullying by playmates and others, sexual abuse both in childhood and adulthood, loss of my father early in adulthood and loss of my mother much later in my life, loss of a sibling in my arms, loss of many close relatives and dear friends, episodes of debilitating depression, addiction, moving multiple times-the first across the country just before my senior year of high school, two divorces, dissolution of a 7 year business partnership…I could write a novel about overcoming, about resilience. Perhaps that is why sobriety fits for me, it is the hardest and biggest example yet of overcoming.

Right now I have two major challenges showing up for me: my dogs (who have been with me their entire years, and together for 14 years), are at their very end of life. Tears are flowing as it feels unfathomable to not have them in my life. My other major challenge is my work life, my coworkers. I am an outsider there, an alien -very different in my perspective, my outlook, my personality, my style with customers. I feel excluded, criticized and shamed unfairly on a regular basis, made to feel very small at every opportunity. I make a great living and love my customers, love the owners, love my highest level supervisor; so there are lots of beautiful aspects of my job. I have a decision to make…

Sobriety brings everything to the forefront. Everything is bigger and brighter, including tragedy, crisis, joy, celebration -emotions of all kinds. I have an opportunity to develop a tough skin, or to move on. There is nothing I can do to change the fact that my dogs are old and close to transitioning, but I have a choice about whether I stay or leave my work. Yesterday was a good day, the most difficult person is off on Wednesdays, so that makes the day automatically better for me. My customers were awesome, as usual. I came home to perky dogs as opposed to early morning when I left for work. Sadie, my 14 year old yellow lab, looked desperate and miserable and I had a hard time parting ways but was reassured that my friend was going to check in on her repeatedly. She was a ton better by evening. So for now, all is well. I will choose wisely, no impulsive rash decisions. I trust myself completely. I am reactive and sometimes want to bolt, sometimes the pressure cooker’s lid threatens to fly off, but I am also in control and grounded. I will remember to breathe…I will remember I am loved…I will remember all the blessings in my life. Everything always works out for me. I am a cat who always lands on her feet. Resilience comes from confronting the seemingly impossible, leaping to the other side across the enormous chasm that separates despair from freedom. The result is that we ultimately find ourselves standing up again on our stronger and healthier two feet, brushing ourselves off, and stepping into the next chapter. I can do this. I have so many amazing opportunities awaiting, with or without this particular employment. I will choose what feels best for me. I am supported, I am resilient, I am invincible. I am woman, I roar!

Published by Judes

After working decades in Hospitality and businesses related to drinking, I am making the choice to become sober. Here are my musings on the adventure. Thank you for being here with me!

One thought on “Overcoming

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