Just between you and me, I’ve always been a little crazy on a full moon and this week the perfect storm was hitting the East coast just as I suffered an emotional twister of my own. I had ample warning and thought that I was prepared for the worst. But no. I had my supplies tucked in, but it still cost me plenty when it hit. Even though I was battened down and nailed up… I was flattened for a few hours.
I’m praying for the people I love who are facing the worst storm imaginable and I’m not comparing the rejection I’m dealing with to the life-threatening storm of the century, only making a metaphorical parallel. I’ve been in recovery for a few years and I’m grateful to have my own emergency supplies at hand. Without these, I might reach for my substance of choice (committing a relapse), become suicidal, or at the least, lash out in reaction.
In a meteorological storm I would stock up: batteries, water, ice, canned goods, first aid kit, blankets and a generator — for starters. In the case of my emotional storms, I’ve laid in emergency supplies over the years, too.
- Batteries are friends. I talked and cried with three yesterday. That helped keep me calmer. I emailed more today, but didn’t share my issues. I find it’s soothing to just keep in touch when I feel rejected. So I initiate, not isolate.
- Ice (once useful for whisky, in this context not so helpful)
- Food is spiritual truth. I read: AA textbook, blogs of friends, powerful poetry.
- First aid kit is essential for my well-being. I looked for any resentments and found two, marked them Hashtag Sandy. I worked the 15 Minute Solution of Step 10 (sidebar).
- Blankets, keep us comfortable. I stayed away from challenges — didn’t even cook yesterday. (Wait. I did make homemade bread and ate half a loaf)
- Generator, for me, is prayer. Yesterday I prayed the serenity prayer often. I didn’t feel drastically different, but I know I’m going for more than a change in feelings. I need a change in my thinking. It takes time.
Before the storm arrived, Newsday gave this summary from an East Coast local as she was loading emergency supplies into her vehicle.
The storm, she believed, is all but certain. “You see this calm? I’m from the islands. Before a storm, there is a calm. And I can actually smell this storm. It’s in the air. It’s definitely coming.”
I, too, could smell this climate change far in advance. I’m in recovery, but when the storms of my lifetime hit, does recovery work matter? After all, everyone can expect times of trial. The difference between me and the unsuspecting main-lander is that emotional turmoil of this type almost took my life once… but now I know how to stay prepared. Because of AA, I have the tools. I’m very grateful.
PSS: I’m more than fine, for those of you who really might worry. In fact I got the most amazing good news just after this published! I am blessed, truly. So, no worries.