“Its the Most Brutiful Time of the Year”

So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong

And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let’s stop all the fight”

~John Lennon~ , “So This is Christmas”

Twinkle lights, shiny bulbs, snippets of Bing Crosby, UPS trucks round the clock, and sugar crashes to tide you over until the new millennium.  Ah, yes ladies and gentleman, its Christmas Time again! For so many of us Christmas and time with families can be brutal with a capital B. I like to refer to it as “brutiful” as one of my personal shero’s  Glennon Doyle does.

Glennon (yes I call her Glennon, because I like to fantisize we are already friends)’s explanation on the brutality of life are as follows. “Most days I decide to show up,  because I was right when I was little. Life is brutal. But it’s also beautiful. Brutiful, I call it. Life’s brutal and beautiful are woven together so tightly that they can’t be separated. Reject the brutal, reject the beauty. So now I embrace both, and I live well and hard and real.”

(Insert Mic Drop or A’Ha Moment.)

Among the tinsel and joys of the season I have been convicted lately. Despite the immense gratitude I have for my recovery, nearly 90 days of sobriety from alcohol at Christmas, and for the turnaround to my life as 2018 ends–I simply cannot escape and ignore all of the brutality around me. Instead of goodwill to all, there is literally a go fund me campaign going on capitalizing on the hypocrisy of “Making America Great Again.” This Christmas in America there will be children who go without, people who struggle with poverty and homelessness, sick without ability to be properly treated, veterans who need so much more than what is provided and addicts still suffering. Yet, we are going to put money in reserve  for a fictional wall built to keep people out instead of loving inviting them in and offering help. There is nothing great about this; its fucking brutal. Its the least Christ life thing I have heard of and yet those who donated will dress in their finest and smile at their neighbors in church on Christmas.

Seriously?

The beauty of my own recovery is that it allows me to break free from any masks or facades I once proudly displayed. It has given me the gift of realizing what things really matter to me. I am a woman steadfast in her faith, who will always stand up for what is right. I show up in the brutiful world out there. I show up and I am unafraid to stand up for what I believe in. Hell, I was tested just this morning by someone looking for a fight to prove his own agenda for greatness.  Christmas didn’t come so we could all pursue our own agendas, one up each other and oppress those others who have less than we do. God knows life is brutiful and can be very hard. Recovery is hard. Showing up is hard. Christmas is a time for us to remember the real reason of the season. I believe Jesus stood up for all of us and got more of the brutal end of the stick.  I do not believe Jesus would not contribute to making anything great again. Great is not a fruit of the spirit.

Peace and Harmony.

During this Christmas season I wish for you all to be able to enjoy this brutiful life with peace and harmony. Show up. Know you are enough. Know that no wall will keep you away from God’s love. Know you are worth it. Know you do not have to numb yourself from anything or live with conviction. Fight and continue to pray for the beauty. I know I will be.

One prayer at a time.

One day at a time.

One miracle in every mess.

 

Merry Christmas.

 

Love,

Kate

“Haven’t Got Time For the Pain…”

“All those crazy nights when I cried myself to sleep

Now melodrama never makes me weep anymore

’cause I haven’t got time for the pain.”

 

Time.

What is time mean to you?

Time recently became redefined to myself as a a tool to do some painful hard digging, really understand why I keep regressing back to the same place yet harder worse, and scarier. Time is dwelling on why I keep relapsing into alcoholism. Why the warm feeling in my blood is needed to numb away every feeling I loathe. Time takes me back to being broken and battered on a sidewalk over two years ago. Time is taking the cloud of numbing isolation away and making me think hard and feel. This past week, time has been my friend AND foe.

Time has been…welll my least favorite word ever….

…..time has been a motherfucker.

I have come to realize this week that all of my relationships with men have had a common denominator. I am still reeling back the bile in the back of my throat upon this startling revelation. Every single one of these men at the end of the day lacked one underlying factor. Dependability. Kind of an important trait in a relationship, right? One was older an emotionally unavailable, quite a few were long distance so there was the built in excuse for dependability, one financially drained, and the last one took about every shred of ingrained trust I give out and destroyed it. It’s not about money and cuddles though. It comes down to not giving me the stability and security, and dependability I craved and needed.

So now at this avenue, time has pissed me off. Have I been that desperate for love and belonging that I allowed this behavior? Am I really THAT doormat girl? Where the hell did I learn this behavior? Carly Simon croons out to me…”suffering is the only thing that made me feel like I was alive…” Carrie Bradshaw has an entire season 2 episode of Sex and the City about being a masicist in her relationship with Mr. Big. I don’t have Daddy issues. My Dad checked math homework, made breakfasts, played board games with us, taught us to fish and drove us to church every Sunday.

So I have to ask myself the painful question. How did I learn this was going to be my thing? The serial and forever heart broken girl.

The truth is raw, uncut, and painful. It’s because deep at my core I have never loved or even liked myself. Ouch. So really pain and relational suffering has become an entirely different caveat of my addiction. A side of myself that said as long as I smiled pretty in photos the tears two hours prior when my carefully constricted plans when to shambles, again. A forgiveness dinner on Labor Day made spending the Sunday before wound up with me alone reading on my balcony….again. The jab about my appearance and weight that stabbed my sole like a jagged triton in front of his friends was forgivable because we will go to Happy Hour at the place you like. Irresponsibility became a common theme of behavior I was willing to accept.

At the core of it, I am actually not a Fixer. Time has made me realize this. I am worse than the woman who seeks to fix everyone around her.  I am the (self diagnosed) “I don’t judge, I accept you as the kind of person gal.” I am an imposter of an acceptor. I am an imposter because at the meat of every relationship, I am constantly let down and self-talking myself into WHY I deserve this treatment. Oh, but wait I am supposed to be the woman who understands: addiction, gambling, low self esteem, emotional unavailability, financial woes, infidelity (yes, I went there), breadwinners who hold the cards, and someone who is clearly trying.

So this behavior is accepted. This behavior is accepted and impedes darkness on my self esteem. “You deserve this because of that time you got too drunk on New Years Eve and passed out in you beautiful gown on the couch.” You don’t want to be judged, so don’t judge others I tell myself as memories of “I can’t believe you wore that” in front of his friends flashes in your mind. Don’t judge Kate, you say, you are a broken alcoholic. Kate, you don’t want to be judged. Another lie brushed under the rug ends with you ugly girl crying to your Mom about abandonment on Christmas Eve. Mistakes at my job and a friendly I want to get to know you and help with your career. My non judgmental self does her best but winds up in a fetal position alone 10 days after a brutal sexual assault after hearing,”I can’t talk to you anymore. Good luck.” I wind up miserable and drunk on “one” glass of Merlot that brought my feelings full circle and number simultaneously.

It’s time to understand that by “not judging,” I am thriving another addiction. This one doesn’t come with a commercial price tag and a corkscrew. This one is to emotional pain. The price is my soul. Haunting, life altering emotional pain. Pain so deep I now wince when I look in the mirror. My tanned skin and blond hair have dulled to pale and an unkept version of myself. Years of allowing this has turned me into what I perceive to be a shell of myself. Dark roots, twinkle missing from my green eyes, runners psyche that’s gone to complete shit.

I can’t blame the emotional addiction and codependency on others anymore. It is time (that word again!) to pull myself back up, and put myself back together again. Not for anyone else but for ME. The me that so deserved more all these years and brain washed herself for years.

And this version of me has decided she “hasn’t got time for the pain.”