Just more than a year ago, while sitting at our neighborhood pool with my husband, with no drama or fanfare or readily-apparent reason, I drank a beer.
And with that non-event beer, eighteen months of sobriety was over and a year (+) of navel gazing began.
Why? Why do it?
I wanted to be the same. The same as everyone around me. The same as my friends, my husband, my neighbors – who don’t seem to overthink or overdrink.
I wanted to be different. Different from everyone around me. Different from my sister and my father and my uncles and different from the inescapable truth of my DNA=AA/Family of Origin bullshit.
The result of this latest drinking experiment surprises me not at all. Eventually, despite my clever efforts and exacting plans, I have come back to the same place/moment I’ve been before. And, just like before, it seems I could stay here, in this “high-bottom/low-top,” indefinitely.
NOTHING DIFFERENT EVER HAPPENS: I always keep it together on the outside. I always lose it on the inside. And I stay stuck.
I have a friend, a devout Christian, who refers to the world as “broken.” All the time. Whenever we discuss life’s loss or despair or unfairness she always says the same thing: “Well, we live in a broken world…” (reaches for yet another Belgian Beer…)
I hate that. We aren’t broken. The world isn’t broken. Right this minute, as I sit here uncertain and scared and vulnerable, I am not BROKEN.
Powerless, yes. In need of a Higher Power, yes. Desperately wishing for a Spiritual Awakening, yes. Fully human, yes.
But BROKEN, no.
So, I am not the same as my friend.
And, I am not different from my sister.
I am, as Carl Sagan wrote, “tiny and insignificant and rare and precious.” And I believe that I belong to something that is greater than myself and that I am the same and I am different – but I am not alone.