“Sometimes, the way is not clear.
Our minds get clouded, confused. We aren’t certain what our next step should be, what it will look like, what direction we are headed.
This is the time to stop, ask for guidance, and rest. That is the time to let go of fear. Wait. Feel the confusion and chaos, and then let it go. The path will show itself. The next step shall be revealed. We don’t have to know now. We will know in time. Trust that. Let go and trust.
Today, I will wait if the way is not clear. I will trust that out of the chaos will come clarity.”
This daily passage, March 11th, from the Language of Letting Go marks where I am in the current moment. Just yesterday I finished my first ever successful semester of school, each one past ending in stimulant abuse and near-fatal overdoses. In a sense I am proud of myself but at the same time fearful of my depression, scared I will always feel sad and lonely. However, there is hope. In two weeks I am starting a treatment called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, TMS; a therapy using magnetic pulses to stimulate key areas of the brain underactive in people with depression. Over the years I have been on almost every antidepressant, anti-anxiety medication and antipsychotic drug but have found myself resistant to all. Luckily however, even though I am dreading next quarter in school and the monotony of daily life, exhausted from trying to keep my head above water, suicide has not crossed my mind. Yes, I still play around with the thought of death as an option, imagining my funeral, but this time do not see it as reasonable (sometimes very much so). I am living in a state of indecision; do I take time off school? If so, does that make me a failure? Would my parents be disappointed in me?
One of the greatest experiences in my life was visiting the Dead Sea in Israel. I had no doubt I would float. No indecision whatsoever. I trusted the stories I heard and just let go. It was so wonderful! But my whole life had been feeling like deep water and six months later I am having trouble trusting. I know I must believe, spread my arms and have faith that God, like the sea, has me and will hold me up, will help me to survive, but the fear of drowning is overwhelming. Learning that I could swim and float showed me that i would not drown. I want nothing more than to lie back, release the tension in my body and let my head tip on the surface of the water. Although I may not like parts of my past, how I feel in the present and what happens in the future, my faith in a Higher Power helps me surrender and know that the tide will take me where I need to go, if I like it or not. Fear and courage go hand-in-hand. I am scared to be vulnerable but willing to put myself out there. I am nervous about school but accepting I don’t have to be perfect. I am unsure of who I am but desperate to discover. When I commit myself to change I have the courage to put myself on the line, to be open and take risks. Today, just right now, I know I am safe and protected, willing to embrace whatever my next step may be. Even in fear I am held, always and always.
A passage from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous helps me in these painful unsettling moments of uncertainty; “In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while.” Undeniably it takes courage to honestly look within and trust intuition, the utmost daring audacity and determination to believe in oneself, to remember you are loved. But the opposite, stagnation and withdrawal, does not equate to failure. For so many years in my addiction I had an inability to coexist with the discomfort of uncertainty, a space etched with seemingly unbearable suspicion, fear, longing and uncomfortable manic-like euphoria but now am bravely facing my greatest fear- the belief I am unlovable, never going to recover and forever doomed.
I am a 24 year recovering alcoholic from New York City with Boderline Personality Disorder.