Yesterday, I arrived home from our eclipse-watching trip and found two packages from Amazon waiting for me. New sobriety books had arrived – a present from my last-week self.
The eclipse was – well, it blew my mind. We watched it from deep inside a national forest in western North Carolina, where we had camped the night before. It was everything I had hoped it would be. And worth the other-worldly traffic we found ourselves in as we drove home.
But back to the books … first up was the 30-Day Sobriety Solution, which asked readers to do this visualization.
I have done only one other visualization, during a SheRecovers yoga retreat this summer. During that experience, Taryn, the yoga instructor, led us through a visualization while we were lying on our mats in a light-filled room, listening to beautiful music. Taryn gently walked us through a series of conversations/meetings with various people in our lives.
The setting for this latest visualization was much different. The instructor was a voice on a YouTube video. Instead of lying serenly on a yoga mat, I was sitting on my couch, still filthy from our camping trip, surrounded by piles of dirty laundry and half-empty backpacks. My kids interrupted me three times to tell me they were (1) going to the pool; (2) ask where their bathing suits were; (3) tell me goodbye. (We like to give a lot of updates to each other around here.)
And yet – the visualization was still powerful.
It leads you five years into the future and asks you to see yourself as if you have continued drinking. Then it asks you to do the same if you have quit. What do you look like? What does your life look like?
I had no trouble picturing my still-drinking self: bloated, fearful, timid and isolated. Still sitting on the couch, surrendered to the TV and its images and voices of distraction.
The non-drinking self: she was clear-eyed and fit from taking care of herself physically. But, I couldn’t see the details of her life. It felt like she had a real intention and purpose, but I do not see what those were. They were not clear to me.
I think continued sobriety is like the books I sent myself from last week: a gift to my future self. I sort of know what is in the packages, but have to wait it out to learn the details.