I am sitting to write this morning with mixed emotions. Hubs and I had a great, two-hour long conversation last night, revisiting the idea and plausibility of me going to a recovery centre for a month. A month. It’s not like being gone for the weekend, or even a week. But, an entire month.

The idea is terrifying.

It isn’t even the absence or time away that I think is worrying me, but the wild unknown of changing. It’s all of the unknowns, like jumping feet first into the blackest ocean, not sure if I will sink or swim, or what lies beneath the surface. Maybe that’s what I’m most afraid of. Seeing what’s beneath my own surface that makes me tick – and all of the things that has caused my clock to stop.

Stuck in time.

Like the dreams you have where you are trying to run, but your feet refuse to move.

My broken heart is already there, at the recovery centre (I prefer calling it that, over detox, or ‘the clinic’). I’m not sure where my pride is yet, or my courage. They are likely lost somewhere between my good intentions and darkest fears.

I’ve always done a good job of being able to do whatever I put my mind to (including subconscious neglect of myself and everything that matters to me). That is, until 2012, when I simply stopped. We talked a lot about my potential last night – and how when my Dad died I put a cap on it, bottled it up, and tucked it away to be forgotten on the highest shelf. I’ve been filling that void with alcohol, keeping myself as numb as possible.

Absolute, total neglect of as much as possible.

It’s not for lack of trying to quit drinking. Over, and over, and over again. It’s not for lack of wanting to. This journal, these words, this opportunity to go to a recovery centre would not even exist if it wasn’t actually for me wanting to break free from this addiction. Beneath the weight of all the shame, I’m clinging onto that one little scrap of pride right now: that I came to wanting this on my own. 

Just like the child at the amusement park, who begs all day to go on the scariest ride, then is too terrified to step on when it’s his turn…I’m scared to take the next steps and actually go. 

I keep reminding myself of the scarier alternatives of not going. Losing my marriage. My business. My health. My mind. 

I’ve spent decades neglecting all those things, trying to think clearly between the lightning strikes of torment in my mind. Or my heart. Perhaps both.

Neglect is a plague that will tear your house down.

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And that right there is what it all comes down to: “failure to care for properly”. It’s truly incredible how quickly things can fall apart. How simple it is to care for something, yet how easily we neglect to do so – usually, for the most important things. My Mom always said “It’s amazing how quickly an abandoned house can fall apart. But a house with people living in it seems to hold itself together forever”.

I have a feeling it’s time to move back into my “house.”

Back into myself. 

Last night, I used the words “absolute fucking torment” to describe how it feels inside my head lately. And that isn’t fair to anyone involved with dealing with me, helping me, or relying on me. How long can you go neglecting something – everything – until it all just collapses in on itself?

It isn’t fair to me.

Typing that makes me feel selfish. Leaving for a month to Kintsugi my sorry ass makes me feel selfish. Looking back at everything I’ve neglected makes me feel selfish.

I’m going to close today with something I wrote over 20 years ago, in a long-lost journal, but the line has never left me:

“Oh, the incredible deception between my hands and intentions.”

I wrote that 20 years ago. Apparently, some things never change.

Written by SJ VanDee

Recovery Blogger. Sober AF. Photographer. Storyteller. Writer.


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