The Cure for The Pain is in The Pain

I just received this framed quote and the most incredible letter from a beautiful, dear woman named Annie, who I met earlier this year. A stranger who is now a friend. She found me through a post on Facebook, from a comment on one of Anne Lamott's posts, which is just further proof (if you need it) that Anne Lamott is totally IN with God. After seeing a comment I made, Annie had the courage to follow a whim instinct and reach out to me, and so began a new friendship. When Annie reached out to me, she'd forgotten who she was, which is the most terrifying kind of forgetting. She thought who she was was the grief, the anxiety, the mistakes, the three kids and messy home, the aching body and the overtired and overwrought shadow of herself she kept finding in the mirror at 3am, after another episode of trying to numb it out. And of course, she thought she was alone. And of course, she was not.

So I did what we do for each other and I walked her back home until she started to remember. I reminded her, just as people have reminded me, who I really am--and maybe more importantly--who I am not.

For the past week, I've been underwater with a hellish cold/cough among other things, and despite being surrounded by incredible hope and love in DC this weekend at Unite to Face Addiction, I was struggling to feel a part. It happens. We forget. I just kept showing up and not believing what my head was saying, knowing it would eventually pass, as it does. But this morning when I showed up for work straight from my flight from DC, I was slammed into daily life again. And all day I've been dragging around my list of to-do's and cannots and all those heavy thoughts like a 500 lb backpack. Feeling quite like a tiny pebble getting tumbled over and over in an impossibly big sea.

But I came home and this package was waiting for me. I read the letter and I remembered. I remembered what it is I'm doing, which is what we're all doing, which is walking each other home. And sometimes, that means walking each other into the pain that we're so afraid to face, because what we know but can easily forget, is that there is only one way OUT and that is THROUGH. The cure for the pain is in the pain.

Annie reached out to me when she was lost, and then we walked together to remember, and then she reached back to me and reminded me on a day like today when I was lost, and then I remembered, and so it goes. And so it goes. See how this works? We are never alone, lovelies. Especially when we are in pain.

The best part of the letter is this:

I actually see myself in the mirror. I know me now. I didn't before. Here's the biggest thing...I like me. No, I love me. I used to hate me. I was actively trying to erase myself with drinking. Now I hope I can be around for a long time.

XO - Laura