If you’re one of my OG readers, you may recall that the first few months of my 2015 sobriety were, well, nothing short of a shitshow. By mid-April of that year, I had lost my job, I lost my apartment, and I had my heart broken. One of the reasons I wanted to do a year of sobriety all over again was because I felt like this time around, I was in a much more stable place. It was almost like I was challenging the universe by going sober again. “Whatchoo got for me this time around?”, I’ve thought a few times in the last month, as I skipped merrily along, rubbing my stable, happy life in the universe’s face, until finally, I had the wind knocked out of me last week… a few times.
You ever have one of those days, when you throw your hands up in the air, as you ugly-cry, while blasting Miranda Lambert in your Prius on the 101 south, and you can’t help but wonder what you did to piss off the universe, or God, or whoever is in charge around here, because what’s coming at you feels like it’s too much and you have no idea how your supposed to get through all of it? Asking for a friend.
On a more serious, and honest, and vulnerable note, the last couple of days were really, really hard. And, I couldn’t help but wonder… why is this happening to me again? The details of what transpired this past week will remain in my diary, for my eyes only, but I will say, those details are eerily similar to what happened three years ago. Of course, there were differences, it wouldn’t be fair to the people involved to say it was exactly the same. I think what I’m trying to say is the way it felt, feeling like you’ve been knocked on your ass and you never saw it coming. The last time I felt that was three years ago.
I’ve always looked for patterns and repetition in my life. I’m one of those people who gets déjà vu and considers the possibility that I might actually be clairvoyant. Comparing past events with my present and drawing conclusions is a way I feel some control over what happens. That’s always been a big thing for me. This need to control things that most people easily realize are uncontrollable. My mom always tells me that I can’t control what happens, I can only control how I react to it. Instead of absorbing that wisdom, I see it as a challenge. “Oh, I can control what happens. I got this”.
Even at thirty years old, I give into the residue of my rebellious teenage years and set out to prove any authority, especially my mother, wrong.
Well, last night, I decided to get out of my sweatpants, slap on some makeup, and go out. My roommate was part of a storytelling series being held at a theatre in our neck of the woods, and though the task of washing four days worth of dry shampoo, grease, and tears out of my hair sounded daunting, I knew it would be good for me. The theme of the evening was “Groundhog’s Day”. My brilliant roommate took the theme literally and gave a well-written, eight minute eulogy to Punxsutawney Phil that had me belly laughing the whole time.
Then, another woman got up. She took the theme of the evening less literally. She latched on to the movie “Groundhog’s Day”, specifically, the repetition that takes place throughout the film. She was about to read a poem, but prefaced it by talking about repetition in life, she called it an “echo”. I have no idea what she said after that because that word was ringing in my brain so loudly. I loved it and loathed it at the same time. It was the perfect word to sum up, not only these last few days, but that need to control that I’ve spent most of my adult life giving into.
Then, an epiphany: I’ve been so focused on listening for the echo, I’ve hushed all the other noises around me.
My best friend, Chris noticed this about me and stated it in a different way the other night. He came to my rescue with Chipotle and boy advice. I tried to tell him that it was happening again, I tried to explain the patterns I was seeing and the echos I was hearing, and he shut me down real quick, as he does when I’m being ridiculous.
“Quit trying to paint the picture, Amelia, just be in it”.
That’s a scary thought for me. Giving up the control or the façade that I have it in the first place. I wonder what would happen if I did though? What would happen if I wasn’t waiting for an echo, if I just lived in the moment, in the picture, if I listened to my mother….
I guess we’ll find out.