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The Waiting Game

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Ugh.

What looked to me like a baby cockroach scattered across the cutting board and behind the jars of flour this morning.

I haven’t had coffee and I’m trying to be a morning person, I’ve been awake since 8:20ish am. The dog shrieked because I got his fur in the collar, then the door somehow hit him. He’s fine…and I’m trying.

After being displaced from our home the second week we moved in due to flies and maggots the last thing I wanted to see this morning was a possible hint of a cockroach infestation. I didn’t signup for this and if, somehow, my name made the list I need it to be erased. Stat.

When I text my Dad to tell him what’s going on he tells me “welcome to the real world.” And I know. This is normal. These are normal, adult problems to have. Bugs. And yet, I’m looking for the grownup to tell me it’s all going to be ok.

I didn’t freak out as much as I have this morning when the bug the size of my thumb nail came scattering out. I didn’t wake me sleeping partner and I didn’t make the dog bark. I just stepped away and came back to bed.

I’m starting to think that being sober is kind of like being an adult in a lot of ways. There is the unexpected constantly, you’re always uncomfortable, and sometimes the memory of what happened is actually a lot worse than what occurred. Also, sometimes not.

I always felt prepared for the real world, that is until I graduated into it. I don’t know. I think I’m learning every day, and some days I feel like I’ve taken 100 steps back. Other days feel exhausting. I find joy in pockets.

This bug situation is forcing me to ask for help and to learn how to take action in the moment. I know I’m going to have to use the kitchen later and I know I may see my little friend again. I’m going to try to not scream bloody murder and I’m also going to try to take care of the problem so it doesn’t build up and keep me bedridden for the rest of the day.

I know these problems are small potatoes and I also know this: we learn from discomfort, we can’t escape discomfort, and discomfort might be more scared of us than we are of it. We keep showing up, we meet in the middle, and we learn to keep going.

I had a girlfriend once who convinced me how little I was worth. I needed her she said, and I believed I could no longer care for myself in the way I had before she came along. I let her treat me the way she saw fit and tried to convince myself that I deserved it. I let alcohol do the same exact thing to me. Alcohol is the worst relationship I’ve ever had, because even my worst ex never left me waking up unsure of what had happened the night before, desperate for some assurance that I was okay. Alcohol brought me to my knees and subsequently taught me the importantance of learning to stand on my own two feet without it. I never would have been able to deal with this bug problem constantly imbibing. When I chose sobriety, I didn’t get to circle “just good.” Living life sober means every moment, not just the ones I want to Instagram.

 

…into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.
-Mary Oliver

Bugs? Alcohol? Who knew! If you’d have told me five even two years ago that this would be my life today. That I would wake up one morning and decide to meditate (finally) and then actually ask the universe if the baby (I think) cockroach was a sign from them…well I would’ve asked you out for drinks, maybe flirted a little, and then forgotten about the whole exchange by morning. Or I would’ve written about it. Probably, both.

•••

Life will throw you the biggest burdens in the whole world, she’ll also pepper loopholes where you least expect them. It’s ultimately your choice how you deal.

There’s light outside.

There’s a flickering chance, a question, a possibly life-changing answer.

Do you take the bait? Or do you hang tight, waiting the hard stuff out to get to the good?

 

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