Silly title, I know, but it was only recently that I came to the realisation that once again, I have been sucked into the "orbit of self" of a sober alcoholic. I was gobsmacked when I began to see the pattern.
The details are irrelevant, what does matter is that I am still, 2 1/2 years out of my long-time marriage to an alcoholic, susceptible to some of the behaviors.
I have spent many years trying to be a use and a comfort to those in need - on the Crisis Line, in Victim Services, as a sponsor, so it takes me a while to stand back and say, "Wait a minute, I'm not comfortable with this - why is that?"
This time, it took me a couple of days, but when the light finally dawned, it illuminated some of the old, old patterns of behavior I've fallen into, so many times in my life. I can still get sucked in to the "Poor Me, See How I Suffer" dance, and be whirled around the ballroom a couple dozen times before starting to think, "I'm feeling some dizziness and deja vu, what's really going on here, inside my head?"
I can start out wanting to offer encouragement, support and help, do it willingly and gratefully, and it can take me ages before I am able to see that the supply line is only going in one direction. In good friendships, it goes both ways. In times of trouble, there can be a momentary shift, but it will soon settle back into a mutual give-and-take.
I'm deeply grateful for a sponsor who has the directness of honesty, the love of program, and the willingness to suggest oh-so-gently that I'm, well, barking mad on a particular subject. She's off on holiday right now, and I hope she's having a magnificent time. She made a point of letting me know that I could still reach her by email, and we've exchanged a few. Whenever I think of her, I smile, because she's such an enormous gift in my life. It's powerful to know that this person I love will take me to task if she thinks I need it, but do it in such a gentle way that I can hear what she is saying, and feel nothing but gratitude.
Yesterday I had a visit, from the partner of the friend whose death propelled me to look with clarity at my life and my marriage of 17 years, and was thereby instrumental in getting me out, into this new and amazing life with Robert and my program friends down here.
Their anniversary, and my dead friend's birthday are coming up, and his partner is struggling with his grief this time of year. We sat and talked and laughed, because like Robert, my friend was one of life's great masters of humour, able to use it to comfort, to enrich, to warm, and I spent many hours with him, laughing so hard I'd have tears in my eyes, having to take off and wipe my glasses, and beg him to stop, oh stop, my sides hurt from laughing.
He was such a gift, my friend, he and his partner would still, after 21 years together, light up at the mere sight of one another. I remember being delighted at the strength of their union. With Robert, I understand for the first time in my life what it is to feel safe, loved completely, and know that this wonderful man walking in the door, will have me laughing myself silly in no time. We spend a lot of time laughing together, over life, and over nothing at all.
I'm going for a CT scan on Nov 6th, in the hopes that it will show the cancer to have been reduced somewhat. I wasn't nervous about it at all, because the two lumps I have which are palpable, have been greatly reduced in size, and that's good news. But Robert admitted that he is a little frightened.
I know I would be, too, were our positions reversed.