By the vague rules I set, as to not commit too much, I think I have partial success. I have smoked, repeatedly, but outside! And not-as-often-because-it-isn't-in-my-face.
But that isn't what I really want to talk about, I'm okay with my "failure". Yep, quotes around failure. I don't feel bad. It isn't like tripping up with drinking, that was a problematic state that needed a turnaround. I did that, I continue that, I'm so much better for that. This is minor, fine tuning of my wellness disguising the underlying need to improve myself, prove myself, drive myself...instead being able to love myself.
I'm currently listening to the book Present Over Perfect and relate to author Shauna Niequist's take to the root of her pushing, achieving, proving competency exhausting lifestyle: self loathing. Running from the self loathing into external affirmation or numbness. I have worked a lot to dig into myself and rut around into what is lurking there. But it is a long conversation.
I'm back to my family and how they trigger my emotions, my sadness, my failures, my resentment. I got a text from my Dad's friend, the firefighter, that my Dad called himself an ambulance and went to the emergency room. (I'm so glad I mined th firefighter's phone number from their newsletter-did I tell you that story?)
I called the hospital and talk to the ER nurses and he is just having a hard time breathing and has an elevated heart rate. I'm told that dad can't talk to me because he has on an oxygen mask. Okay, fine. I call everyday and a couple days later he is moved to a regular room. The hospital connects me to his room, no answer. His cellphone has no answer. I talk to The Firefighter and he says, "your dad is refusing to talk to us, he's being ornery." And there it is reflected back at me: my dad can't handle the love of his friends and family; the concern and attention makes him uncomfortable, he probably says it is no big deal.
When I see this in my father, it makes me sad, I want to tell him, "let people love you, we care about you. Your wellbeing is a big deal to us." Can I do this for myself? Better than him, not good enough for healthy.
On the the other side of the family, emailed to my brother to tell him that dad is in the hospital and to wish his boy a belated happy birthday. The email I got back told me his son is now 6 and not 5. No acknowledgment that our dad is in the hospital.
I used to drink with the best of them, but I don't anymore. My life is so much better for it.
-Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp