Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Transcendence - Dancing With Denial

I started this blog in April of 2016, and came back to it again in August of 2016.  Today, Easter Sunday, 2017, the day in which I was raised to celebrate as "Resurrection Sunday," seemed as good as any day to resurrect this blog.  While I've been posting KB worthy thoughts and exchanges on my Instagram when they come, as well as carrying forth a couple of posts in the "Inspired Thoughts" album at Knowing's Facebook fan page, I've intentionally been avoiding this specific blog in process, and writing here in general.  It's literally taken me almost an entire year of processing, sifting and sorting to get here.  Not because of the pain of writing it, but because of the connection I have to the person whom inspired its reflections to begin with.  That "knowing" that the person I'm connected to, who was then thousands of miles away pursuing their dreams, was cycling through their own dances with denial and transcendence.  

It's taken this long to allow myself to own these words, unfiltered, and from the heart.  

You see, I grew up surrounded by friends (and lovers) who struggle with addiction.  Notice that's not a past tense statement.  That's because, the struggle never ends; it's a day to day, sometimes moment to moment dance between what one knows to do, versus what one's compelled to do.  I've also had to say goodbye to those who've gone home to the other side, due to the addiction itself, or the lingering effects of damage to the body due to having it.  I think we all have, we all know someone who has been touched by it at that level of loss.

For over 27 years I've been in AANA and OA meetings, countless churches, meeting halls in random places, with coffee flowing and smoke hanging from the ceilings.  I've been in the psych wards of hospitals, holding friend's hands, speaking the good word, focusing on the wins and what's beautiful about that suffering soul before me, crumbled and broken, and wanting to die.  

Those 12 step meetings, they were to support those same friends and loved ones.  I've been to Al-Anon too, and I read the Big Book to be in the know, to understand the process that is being sought of them.  To learn how not to be.  To learn healthy boundaries.  As a result of this wide open compassion and acceptance of those who are managing recovery, in adulthood, I'm surrounded by some of the most beautiful people.  People who just so happen to also be managing their addictions, transcending daily their old ways and hurts, and scheduling time to create peace in their lives.

Moms, daughters, fathers, sons, best friends, small business owners, people from every walk of life; no one is immune to it.  Addiction doesn't carefully select whom it's going to intrude upon.  Addiction has no selection process at all.  It just is what it is.  A crap shoot of luck, sometimes propelled by circumstance, genes or psychological make-up.  It certainly isn't something that someone wakes up to, wishing upon themselves one day either.  It's a disease, it's not a choice, and although it drives a lot of undesirable behaviors in people we care for, it's not the "real" person behind the wheel of their life.  

In all my years of loving people for who they really are, I've learned that we don't walk away from that which doesn't serve us, until we're damn ready to do so.  No matter what other people say, no matter how much we dance in denial, we do not budge in a permanent new direction until we've come to peace with the cards we're dealt.  Once we focus on what we have, what we want, and what we are grateful for, life shifts.  Denial isn't just something you flip a switch on, or have a come to Jesus meeting about.  It's a choice.  One so deeply rooted that we often don't even know it's there sometimes.  Thus, the word, DENIAL.  Bottom line, people change when they're ready to change.  No amount of ultimatums, loss, or bitching at them is going to accelerate that.  It won't stay and stick at least.  We have to want the change in order to be able to embrace it.  

So, here we are, being love, and allowing people around us to be who they are, without our judgment.  Just as Jesus would of done.  So we're told at least, and what I adhere to about that story.  That's how we're supposed to be.  We all have crosses to carry on this journey.  Mastering ourselves will always be our greatest call, and our most important challenge.  

I hope that when you're faced with creating healthy boundaries and unconditional love, that you'll remember that beneath the pain before you, is a person.  I hope you'll always remember that within that person is someone who would give anything to shut the pain off, and feel whole, in control, and at peace again.  Try not to shame or hurt those who are hurting.  Remember, people only can do as well as they are in that moment.  There are so many hurt people out there.

Above all, never give up hope.  They might just surprise you.  I've been blessed to watch a few transformations come to pass over the decades.  Even those in the deepest and darkest depths of depression, anxiety, and other types of mental illness have transformed their lives, choosing not to use their addiction as their coping mechanism with the same. I know that what we intend upon, put laser focus towards, and take action upon in our daily calendars, comes to pass.  If it can happen to those I know, it can happen to you.  Let those who have made strides inspire you to find your own.  No two recovery stories are ever the same, and no two people find their way to recovery on the same journey.  But, together, we can all get there.

Just let love lead.  It will see you through.  I'm trusting right along with you.  Remember that.  I love you.




Copyright ©2016 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Truth & Consequences - Part 4 - The Next Chapter

Lessons are repeated until they're learned. 

I don't like to give up hope on people, especially when they're young and inexperienced in the world.  I'd like to think I turned out okay because somewhere along the way, a few people didn't give up on me.  For this reason, my heart has always been open.

Winter would bring another change my way.  That kid I raised as my own, she'd come back into my life because of that stroke.  A new chapter would begin.  One where she's now become a mom, learning along the way what sacrifice really is and how resilient she is to do hard things.  I'm proud of the woman she's working to become and hopeful she'll find her way.  I did, so I can only hope she will as well.  Life has a way of figuring itself out.  This path of hers is no different. 

Children have a way of grounding us to this world.  They're an anchor in life's storms. As we navigate what's ahead, I wish that each of you out there missing a loved one, get the chance that Jennifer and I have had this past winter.  Don't let a health scare be the catalyst that allows you to let go and walk back into someone else's life.  Decide today to do it anyway.  Life will be better for it.  I promise.  Risk comes from reward.  Remember that.  I love you.



Copyright ©2016 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.