I recently secured my very own sponsor Al-Anon. How lucky am I? I thought that sarcastically for a while. I’m unlucky because I have to reach out to someone when I feel weak. I’m unlucky because all of the alcoholics in my family. I’m unlucky because I reached out for a sponsor “too soon” and “on impulse” even though I’ve been attending meeting for years now. Truly I just didn’t want to deal with the whole vulnerability thing, and more importantly I didn’t want to mess it up.
I am stressed. Burnt out. My life has been jam packed lately with everyone else’s needs. Several times I thought to myself, this is a good time to call that sponsor of yours – just do it. But of course, I wouldn’t.
Most of the time I’ll bend over backwards to help other people, only to later feel resentful when I don’t have time for myself. And that’s what happens over and over again. I show up for everyone else, and then don’t show up for myself. Or I do show up for myself, and everyone else feels left behind. Where’s the freaking balance? At this point my mental health is at risk. I can’t get up in the morning, I don’t want to take my meds, I don’t want to talk to anyone.
So I find moments when I feel okay and I phone a friend, my mom, my sister.
Reach out, find a connection, keep yourself from falling into a hole you know all too well. Once you fall, you’re stuck for a while. And crawling out is slow.
Tonight I put my daughter to bed, sat down, and did absolutely nothing for 3 minutes. It was beautiful. Thinking about the rest of the week, which is mild in comparison to the last week or so, exhausts me. How the hell am I going to make it through? The thought came up again, Call your sponsor.
Every time I pulled her name up on my phone my heart began to beat faster. I paced my house. I’m not going to do it. Just do it. No, yes. fuck. Breathe. Why is it so hard to just talk to someone about your shit?
But you know what? I called. I called and suddenly felt okay. I called and was heard. With every word my body softens. For the first time in over a week it feels like there’s room in my knotted up chest.
“What are you doing for your own self care?” she asked. Well, nothing I guess. Did I notice I wasn’t doing any self care?
“How do you schedule in time for yourself?” Hm… I guess I don’t. But that might help.
“I get it. It’s really hard to reach out, but don’t stop trying.” Fuck yes, and fuck yes.
I feel better and I did it. I survived. I feel better. I have some hope. Then suddenly I remember, this is not my life. This is just one season in my life, things will slow down, and most importantly – I am in control.
When in doubt, just pick up the phone and call your sponsor.