Lost and found

oliver-jeffers-cover-from-lost-and-found

So it’s true, then.

Time really does accelerate as you enter the latter decades of your life. Standing here, on the other side of grief and trauma, I’m sucked deeper and faster into the mundane: a relentless flush down a very slick s-bend. 

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Source: gdyby.tumblr.com

I’ve cleared the best years of my life: so many reels of film flickering in the darkness: Travel to faraway places, sharing rooms with strangers, clubbing until 4am, talking passionately about literature, believing I would make it one day, falling in love, having my heart broken, moving across an ocean in search of a new life, falling in love again (for real) and having my heart broken again (for good). Becoming a mother: clearing the stage for a new performer, now sitting patiently in the stalls, applauding and encouraging and critiquing.

But all the while the ceaseless pull of gravity plunges me further down this endless chute. My weeks, measured out in meetings and manic writing, are bookended by vacuuming, dusting, groceries and cooking. Scattered within the drudgery are moments of delight: playing lego with Rosie, colouring with her, chatting to her, singing with her.

Never the right moment

Somehow, until this moment, there has never been the right moment to come back here. Ben is still clean – for now. He started working recently, but given the demands it places on him (he has worked every day since he got this new job, with exactly 1 day off in the last six weeks) it is far, far from ideal.

We are both exhausted. Too exhausted to throw our arms out and slow the fall.

But see?  We are alive. We are coping. We have emerged from the other side of addiction: he, no longer drinking (for now, always for now). And me, only occasionally suspicious. Old anxieties are replaced by new ones (he’s not taking care of himself, he smokes too much, what if he drops dead suddenly, leaving me to do EVERYTHING). Then I remember I’m doing virtually everything now anyway, so that this, too, becomes a bearable scenario, until I realise that losing Ben would lay waste to Rosie body and soul. And so the anxieties whirl up like a tempest of autumn leaves, swarming and dissipating with the wind.

Signs of life

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Erm, on second thoughts. Source: http://www.tumblr.com

And in those minutes and hours of dissipation, something flickers within. A waking up – a sudden need to fly off to another city, drop cash on designer wear, get a tattoo. Classic mid-life crisis material.

I understand the allure of it, the desperate last stand against age, against the loss of everything that I was before the drudgery set in. There is no shame in this.

I will commune with my past, accept it, embrace it. Resurrect my youthful spirit so that it may carry me through the next half of my life – the one that will spin ever faster, until I look up one day and find that Rosie isn’t here any more. That she has taken off down that path of travel and intrigue that I once knew. And I will sit with my old self, and re-establish old lines. And we will be friends.

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Lost and found

  1. I have SO missed your posts! I have been following your blog since 2010 (I think?) and it was in 2011 that my alcoholic hubby passed away. Our stories are mirror images, only you still have Ben. For that you must be grateful, in your own way. For me, losing Andrew, while the most painful event of my entire life, was also the best thing that ever happened to me, because I was only existing, with that perpetual nagging despair. The mountains of glory in the weeks and months that he would be sober, and the bottomless valleys when he would get up at 7 am and drink straight vodka out of the bottle till he went to bed at night. They say people drink vodka because it has no smell. I beg to differ. Anyway, I just wanted to reach out, to let you know that I know how I felt when going through what I went through, so I have an idea of your emotions on your journey. Be satisfied with as much as you can, as often as you can. If you want to reach out to me, I will be here: for support, for anything you need. I really feel a connection with you. ❤

    • That is so kind of you to say. In truth, it has been hard to return to this blog for many reasons which I hope to write about in the coming months. Thank you so much for following me and sharing your thoughts here. Ben and I are separated but he is still in our lives, being a good dad to his daughter. I suppose it’s the best for all of us. Thank you again. Your comments here mean a lot to me.😊

  2. I’m here to say, yes you will – being there now, that place – with my girl almost 21 and my addict(s) gone. Here I am again. Except for moments of feeling incredulous at how many years I spent waiting for that other shoe to drop – I look forward to whatever I’ve got left with a feeling more like a beginning than an end.
    Break out the champagne, indeed!

  3. So good to see you writing here again. I have often wondered how you and your daughter are doing. I can relate to turning your attention to other health issues. I had a showdown with my husband one Sunday last November over smoking. He’s in great physical shape except his last physical revealed that his lungs were very damaged. I have health issues of my own and simply can’t stand cigarette smoke. I went to the local vape store after doing some research and returned with everything he needed. I had enough and issued an ultimatum. Fortunately, he complied and has been cigarette free since then. I was completely prepared to divorce him and he knew it. I don’t issue an ultimatum that I’m not prepared to accept the worst possible outcome. My husband’s drinking taught me that what I may have perceived as the worst possible outcome may be a blessing in the long run. In the past I’ve built walls, formed contingency plans, all the things we do to protect ourselves while we pray the other shoe doesn’t drop. Hoping the peace and calm lasts…….

    • O crumbs – ignore that other comment I posted just now (and have now deleted). I was trying to reply you and my phone just automatically re-posted my reply to JLynn… :/
      Thank you so much for your kind words here and for your advice, too. Ben and I are separated, so ultimatums don’t have much effect. He did try vaping, but I think he wasn’t ready for it. I’m so glad that things have worked out for you and your husband and that he’s off the cigs. Take good care of yourself and I’ll see you here again… more frequently I hope! 🙂

  4. Your story gives me hope at a time when I am feeling desperately hopeless that there is a path forward. I fought so hard to create my family and here I am now fighting to save it from crumbling. Thank you for writing. Thank you for the hope.

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