My gut reaction when I was confronted with the reality that I had to quit drinking if I wanted to keep my daughter and any semblance of a proud life - not because I wanted to, but because I had literally no other corner to hide in - was, "But, who will ever love me again?"
It isn't rational. It makes sense to no one who hasn't experienced it. It doesn't even make sense to me. But it does illustrate how deep this thing runs and how brainwashed we can get.
I thought I would never be loved again. Or really, that if anyone ever actually saw me, they could not possible love what they saw. Not really. Not actually. Not fully. That day was over a year ago and I have drank many times since, but through the process I have come to know - through both taking sober steps and fumbling wildly - that people love you more when they see your struggle for exactly what it is.
People love you more when you do not hide. They can love you when you don't hide - because they can see you.
All the pretending and house of cards bullshit I pulled (for good reasons!) only distanced me from exactly the kind of love I was afraid I'd lose. The importance of this lesson to me cannot be overstated. It is something I come face to face with every day, but it has shifted shapes. I cannot connect to my own loving heart so long as I put booze or drugs in between me and it. Same goes for other people.
What I meant when I had that thought was, "I don't know if I can love me."
I struggle with this daily. Often alcohol or drugs or food or sex or anger seem like the fastest way out of this doubt. Sometimes, it was - for a long time, actually. But it stopped working.
That's all, loves. I'm grateful for you all.