Sober Life is like a Mary Oliver quote

I’ve been more committed to practicing gratitude lately and I base it around one general concept to get me started. I’ll try to explain.

So back in the day whenever I had anything from a severe hangover to just the tail-end of mild hanxiety, I would emotionally assault myself about why I, AGAIN, was feeling like dog shit and wishing that I hadn’t gotten drunk. During this process I’d have this vision, or daydream maybe you could call it, of what it would be like to be a person who could say truthfully and confidently out loud “I don’t drink.” It felt like being in fresh air, or being in the forest in the Fall, alone, something like that. It felt exactly like a freaking Mary Oliver quote and gave me butterflies but also made me sad because I couldn’t avoid getting drunk long enough to make my life like that. It was just a wish.

I thought about it all the time, probably daily, and it came in two versions. The first was kind of a combination of the feelings that can come up when seeing someone’s “perfect” life (i.e. highlight reel) on Instagram, mixed with seeing a woman in a cute outfit who’s out for a morning run looking happy and peaceful while I was on the bus to UBC trying not to vomit or have an anxiety attack. This version is based on wanting what we don’t have.

The second version was more like what I first described, the Mary Oliver quotes! This version is based on knowing what we want and knowing it’s possible, somehow, but still feels really far off…

So, back to the gratitude practice. I remind myself that everything I wanted back then, I HAVE IT. Fresh air. Rainy runs. Trails. Morning coffee without nausea. A sense of being grounded that I can tap into if I decide, even on days that are overwhelming or stressful. All I have to do is think about the fact that as long as I pay attention, life now feels like Mary Oliver quotes most of the time, and it’s fucking awesome.

What do you have now that you always wished for? Happy Sunday xo

Jamie

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