In yoga, when you are in these impossible poses and can’t draw a deep breath, the instructor will often encourage us to take “sips of air.”
Sometimes, that’s all you can do. All you can take. Sips of air.
Part of recovery is understanding that we are not separated from each other. For me, someone who loves to isolate in her mind and isolate on her couch, this is a struggle. I like to keep away and keep control. Even if I am only controlling the TV remote and my Netflix, I am away and in control. Pathetic, but true.
Being sober and awake is anxiety producing. Examples:
- My 12-year-old son cries because his middle school of 1,300 children in ONE FUCKING BUILDING is too loud and chaotic and he wants/needs nice and calm. I don’t have answers for him.
- I am on the phone with my sister and she is crying about her piece-of-shit ex-husband and what he says to her kids and always being so broke and having to move again. I don’t have answers for her.
- I read the story of innocents being slaughtered in Brazil by diamond miners and know that our world of greed and consumption created that evil. I don’t have answers for that.
I don’t have answers for anything. I am in control of nothing. Nothing except my breath.
So today, I am not taking a drink, which has not lost its appeal for me. In some moments, a drink seems like a perfectly reasonable answer to life.
Instead, I am taking sips of air. And telling myself to TRUST. Trust that there will be enough air, enough space, and enough of me to listen and witness. I guess that is what you gain with sips of air – the ability to listen and witness.
I am again reminded of the Rumi line: “We’re all just walking each other home.”
But fuck. It would be so much nicer to stay on the couch, you know? Stay on the couch with my cocktail and a never-ending stream of shows and not walk anybody anywhere.
Clearly I am struggling with this. Like I said, I’ve got no answers. Today, I am awake, I am sober, I am breathing.