This is NOT a successories post. I'm not going to say QUITTERS NEVER WIN AND WINNERS NEVER QUIT or some other bullshit that is likely true, but leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I will say, it is possible to get through the shit and come out the other side and smell pretty damn sweet. See? I know, cliche and silly. But true. I can't help myself.
I've heard from a lot of twin mommies lately. Who've been through the shit with their babies who were born premature with terrible odds of health problems, and so many made it through and are today happy, healthy kids. They didn't give up. They were fighters and they beat the odds. There are others who fought just as hard and didn't make it. And there is no explanation for that tragedy. None. I sit here typing with shaking hands as I cannot begin to understand the cosmic reasoning for this fact that we lose some souls every day who fought just as hard as the others but didn't make it. I feel that way with us being pregnant, why us and not so many others who so desperately want this and have tried all the same things we did, WHY US?
And then there are the addicts and alcoholics out there who want sobriety, who need sobriety and yet, cannot grasp on and keep it. WHY ME? Why am I given this gift every day? I do the work, but so do many others and they don't get it or they die. This disease kills people every single day. I see it and know the people it kills who are just like me. I cannot sit and focus on the WHY ME aspect of this second chance I've been given, all I can do is be grateful and PASS IT ON. Pass it all on as much as I can.
I have this friend. Who is struggling to find a job. To find a place. To find comfort in every day things that most of us - in this country anyway - at least those of us reading this blog, take comfort in. That we will have gas money. That we will have enough food to feed our children and ourselves. Our pets. That we will be able to pay our phone bills. I know this friend is trying her damnedest to make it all work. She is not sitting on her arse waiting for someone to hand her all the answers, she just wants a damn job! She is grateful for what she has, but she is frustrated. I'm pretty sure she wants me to SHUT THE FUCK UP with all my positivity and THIS TOO SHALL PASS nonsense. But I keep saying what my sponsor and others said to me when I was at my lowest, which was after I got sober, by the way, because things don't magically get better just because we get sober.
It's ironic that I should say never ever ever ever ever quit, as I am the QUEEN OF QUITTERS. Smoking, drinking, caffeine, sugar, fake sugar, soda, meat, dairy (which has come back a bit since being knocked up), anti-depressants, cheating, lying, being a terrible person - those are all things I've quit. And yet, I still say, never ever ever ever quit when it comes to fighting this life of battles.
You know my story. I had it all with my family growing up. I drank it all away and was homeless for a while before going to jail and finally getting and staying sober and having to build everything back up from NOTHING. But I did it. But I didn't do it alone. And I kept going, even when all I did every day was go to AA meetings and didn't even have enough money to put a dollar in the collection basket. Back then at the clubhouse I went to, they would say, "if you have a dollar, share; if you need a dollar, take it and pay it back later." I prided myself in not taking those dollars, when in reality they would have made a big difference in how my everyday life went at that time.
To think that one dollar can make that big a difference in someone's everyday existence changes EVERYTHING. If you've never felt what it's like to not have enough for a bus ride, then you don't know what I'm talking about. But we all should. We all should experience what it really feels like to have nothing and be dependent on the kindness of strangers and our gumption to get us through the day without crumbling and giving up. People do it every day, for years, for a lifetime. I was fortunate in that mine only lasted a couple years. I didn't have kids to support and frankly, I have no idea how women who do get through all of this without losing their kids, which many of them do.
So back to my friend who is struggling so hard right now and feeling defeated and like the world is against her and all her hard work of filling out job applications and praying and working the steps and doing all THE NEXT RIGHT THINGS she can muster, I say, KEEP GOING. I have been there. So many of us have been there and it will get better. IT WILL GET BETTER and the only way you can be truly grateful is to have weathered the worst of times and come out of it a better, stronger, fiercer fighter than you ever were before.
I've met so many bitter, hardened, life weary people in my life and that doesn't make you tough. Hell, I used to be one. People say I've softened in the past few years, and I admit that I have. I'm not as bitter or anxious to make sure YOU KNOW WHAT REALLY SUCKS ABOUT EVERYTHING as I used to be as life is pretty damn good once you get to the place of acceptance and gratitude. What makes you tough is going through HELL and all the SHIT and being the lowest common denominator and coming out of it with hope and grace and dignity. And passing this shit onto the next person who needs it.
At a meeting last week one of the old guys said to me, "I seem to remember a blonde girl pounding on this table yelling, RELAPSE IS NOT PART OF RECOVERY!" And yes, that was me. I was angry and I wanted to shove everything in everyone's face. I don't have to prove anything these days. I just need to be there for people and not judge them.
The richest people in the world worry about protecting their wealth, when you have NOTHING, anything you have is a gift. I never ever EVER take that for granted. I've been on both sides, and I rather like having my comforts taken care of today. I'm not going to act like I would look forward to having nothing again, but if I had to, I hope I would carry this attitude of THIS TOO SHALL PASS even though it all fucking sucks and I AM TERRIFIED into the next chapter. Hell this having twins nonsense scares the shit out of us and we don't know how we're going to to do it, but we will some how some way. And it's all going to be OK.
None of us know what is next. None of us can control what happens to us in the grand scheme of things. All we can do is mentally and emotionally be prepared for the shit to hit the fan, and what will we do when it does? How will we handle it?