God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Some days these are the only words that get me through the morning, like today. Anytime there is a change in routine, a change in my life, I start with an uptake of mania, which includes lack of sleep and anger, and then fall into depression. Normal bipolar behavior does this over months. Mine is rapid-cycling. I can cycle through highs and lows in days or months. Last month was my high. Now, I’m in my low. I know my triggers, and the bigger the change, the more impact it has on my psyche. I’ve been managing it without medication, something that isn’t easy, but I’ve learned through experience the pills are ineffective and often counterproductive for I lose the sensation of who I really am: a witch, a walker of between worlds. Losing that tether doesn’t prevent the Otherworlds from contacting me; it makes it harder to discern what is and isn’t on the earthly plane. I don’t like it.
This morning I woke before Colin, as usual, and wrote in my journal. I keep track of my moods there, my thoughts, my happiness, my dreams. I hadn’t thought of suicide in quite some time, but it came again last night, so I wrote about it. I would never do it. The darkness that swallows me I now identify it as something “other,” not my true light, my true soul, and it makes it easier to invite the light back into my being and dispel these thoughts.
I meditated, repeating the prayer that has left my lips more times than I can remember, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” They’ve saved me in the past and continue to do so. I consistently work the first two steps of Program by recognizing my life had become unmanageable–that my addition is inclusive of my negative thinking, not just substances. There is no magic pill that works as a cure. There is no person that can fill this fracture in my head, this void I believed could be filled by something external, and yet I have to ironically give it up to a Higher Power. I’ve been sober nearly thirty years.
Most days, more now than ever before, I am happy. I am well, and more whole than I have ever been. I won’t deny Colin’s presence in my life has amplified my happiness; I am so deeply in love with him and so very grateful for his love. But as Program has taught me, I am responsible for me, my thoughts, my actions, and filling that fracture by accepting every part of me, the good, the bad, the in-between, is the only thing that will help. It’s a process that requires daily work, some days more than others, like today.
I listened to the familiar sounds of the house as Nic woke and padded down the hallway. I don’t hide my tears from my nephew. I do wipe them from my cheeks.
“Some days are hard,” I tell him. “And on those days, I have to admit to my emotions. I have to acknowledge, ‘I am sad’ because as addicts, we use our drug of choice to avoid feeling.” I wipe away another tear, and feel better for releasing the emotion.
He looks solemn, as if I’d given him something to think about. I hope I have.
I begin to make breakfast and hear Colin muttering as he gets up, and find it utterly adorable how grumpy he is in the morning. The thought brings a smile to my lips, as does seeing my fiancé stroll into the kitchen looking disoriented, brown hair springing in an array of direction. He’s beautiful. So very beautiful.
“What?” he asks, scratching his head and trying to smooth down the strands.
“I love you, that’s all,” I say as I palm his cheek and kiss him. He melts into me, wraps an arm around my waist and pulls me close.
“I love you, too,” he replies, “but I really need some coffee.” He kisses me again and releases me. Nic tells us to get a room, but I can see he is happy for us. There’s a little sweetness and sadness in his eyes, and I wonder if he’s thinking of himself or of his parents. I don’t ask.
I finish cooking the eggs, adding toast to fruit to each plate before serving my family. I love this morning because it affirms no matter how dark my mind gets, I can always find my way back to the light.
Shout out to Paige Gabriel for the beta read. ❤