Exercise 19: write a list of all the technical aspects that you find most challenging, then work your way through them, one by one, having a go at each. Do what you are most afraid of.
Given that I haven't written anything for over a year perhaps I should start from scratch and see what it's like just to write something. I have definitely lost my ability to write where I am and connect to self. Perhaps that would be a good start, to be honest, its probably much needed. Hey ho, here goes.....
I'm sitting at my kitchen table, coffee cup in hand, butterflies in my stomach. It's been quite a year. I have a new home, mostly furnished by the love of friends and have the feeling that I've been carried through 2016. I am now separated from my husband who has a new love in his life and I have a future ahead of me that is a completely clean sheet. It is constrained by nothing except my own limitations and it has changed so much from the one that I used to have. I love its blank openness, that it gets bigger each day as I open my eyes to what I can do, can become and achieve. What I love most is that I have no plans for my future, that I am open to what will be and that if I just do what I need to do now then the future will take care of itself.
My focus for next year is building a platform for my children. The life we have today is very different to the one that I had planned for them. I brought them into this world to be part of a happy, vibrant, busy household. To be surrounded by the love of family and friends, to be awash with a variety to role models, to experience life on its widest form. What we ended up with was very different. A broken marriage is a long time coming. Initially the cracks are contained at home, shared only with those we love the most, our children. We put on the faces of happiness and contentment with visitors to our home for a while. We continue to venture out to see others, carrying on the pretence that we are fine, until we stop inviting, stop calling. There's a time when we will still come to see you, allaying concerns that we haven't been in touch. Then we start to shut down, it becomes emails, texts, we don't see you. You know how it is, the children have so much on and work is busy. Meanwhile, we isolate and no longer have to pretend to anyone that anything is fine any longer. We become unable to do anything as a couple, as a family. We become ships that pass in the night, sleep on our own side of the bed. All through this, our children think this is normal. They have no comparison, no benchmark for a family, no understanding that our lack of, and abrupt, communication is not acceptable or appropriate. We have no strength to face into it, unable to work together, we have given up on ourselves and our family. It's a frightening place to find yourself, indeed where I found myself. Then came the realization that only I could change it, that the love of my life had long since given up on me and was consigned to this as his future. Today is not like this. The children and I live in a different house in which I am trying to create a new home. It has been and continues to be an uphill struggle. I am continually reminded that nobody wanted this to be their story, that it's hard, too much, all wrong. I have to hold onto hope, hold it tightly with both hands, remind myself constantly that I did the right thing, that we were broken beyond repair. I know that I have found a better place for myself, that I have remembered how to laugh, to smile. My children are seeing all of me now, which is sadly the bad as well as the good but is a whole person, doing their best. We are going to have a different future to the one that we had at the beginning of this year but eventually it will be a better one. We will learn, we will grow and we will do it together. I am looking ahead and getting us out again, seeing friends, spreading our wings. I have taken responsibility for my actions and the outcomes. I brought my children into this world to learn how to be themselves, to trust that the person they are is who they should become. If I'm not prepared to do this for myself then how will they learn, what hope do they have. The future is ours for the taking but we have to turn up for it.
None of this would have been possible without my recovery, without understanding and acceptance. Without love and gratitude for my past, present and future, based on a faith that gives me the courage and strength to face into each day. The butterflies are ever present but they are part of my transition, my truth. They are there because I can feel them, no longer suppressed into the dark recesses that exist deep within. I am so excited about 2017, a new year, a new future, a new tomorrow.