I think about this blog a lot even though I obviously don't blog a lot.
The truth is I have been struggling with what direction I should take this blog and my writing.
I originally created it with the intention of deleting my first blog, "Quiet Raging Waters" as I was certain I was ready to move on from being the wife of an alcoholic. I was certain I was ready to write from a different "place." But that place never seemed to make itself known to me. Then I was reading some reviews of my books as well as some emails and two in particular stuck out to me. Two women who, like me, have been in this drunken purgatory for 20-some years. Two women like me who are trying to figure out where did 20 years of their life go. Two women who, if they are indeed like me, aren't being very kind to or easy on themselves as they ask themselves, "why the hell didn't I do something in those 20+ years?" The woman who wrote the review closed with "now what?"
All I want is my own house. Desperately, deeply, achingly so, just my own house. Of course, I don't have the means nor the earning power at this moment to buy my own house. My husband, for as miserable as we both supposedly are in this marriage, has no need or desire to dissolve it. Which brings me back to the Now What question.
And I actually think I know.
Or at least I think I know the first part of that answer - because it's probably a very involved answer.
It came to me as I was watching a POD cast with Rich Roll. His guest was Mike Mahler and of course he wasn't there to talk about alcoholic marriages. No, his expertise and interest, among other health related things, is hormone health and optimization. He was leading up to how he came to be interested in nutrition and hormone optimization when something he said burrowed into my being like a little heat seeking missile of self awareness and discovery. He said, in referencing a period in his life when he had a major health crisis due to an abundance of stress,
"...I was in a really self destructive marriage."
And just like that! I know what I have to do. Or at least where I need to start.
I need to stop thinking of my marriage in terms of an "alcoholic" marriage. I need to stop taking it so personally. It no longer matters why I am where I am. It did matter. Once. Oh yes, it certainly did! The alcoholic marriage is nothing one just "gets over" or "moves on" from. There is a lot - 20 years worth sometimes - of pain and anger, grief and regret - to feel and understand and process. But then one day, it doesn't matter because you are where you are. And if you don't want to be where you are, what you need to do has nothing to do with the why or the how of how you came to be where it is you don't want to be.
It's like your car breaks down in the middle of no where as you're driving from the east coast to the west coast.
It matters why your car broke down as you stand on the side of a dusty road, trying to get it started again.
It matters why your car broke down as a Good Samaritan stops and tries to help you.
It matters why your car broke down when the tow truck shows up and tows your car back to "Rusty's Garage," the only mechanic for 100 miles.
It matters why (your car broke down) as Rusty tries to fix it and orders parts or can't get parts or get parts but they are the wrong parts.
All this time it really does matter Why.
Until Rusty looks at you and says,
"I can't fix your car. You'll have to walk the rest of the way."
And at that moment, as you take your first lonely steps out into wild blue yonder, it does not matter why you are walking.
You can tell everyone you meet,
"My car broke down."
You can lament as you walk through the day and night,
"I wish my car hadn't broken down."
You can blame Rusty or the car company or your ex-boyfriend for talking you into that car. You can blame the damn country for being so big or your great grandparents for setting up their life on the east coast rather than the west. You can find all the reasons you want, place all the blame you'd like for why you are walking but it ceased to matter the minute you left Rusty and your stupid car behind.
My life is not where I want it to be.
I am not who I want to be.
This is not how I want to live.
It not longer matters why or how such came to be.
It only matters that I start walking.