I am drawing another early morning bath.
The lavender in the bath salts will look like mouse droppings in the water. I will pinch my soft belly as I soak and wrinkle my nose.
The high that’s held me aloft for the past 48 hours has begun to melt away.
I wish you could have saw your face last night, from across the room, from my view.
There you were, you were smiling, you looked peaceful. You looked like you were home.
There was a confidence, bravery, and a knowing you were exactly where you needed to be, in that moment.
Your life is changing in front of my eyes. You were surrounded by your people and you looked confident, that you were on the right path.
It’s such a beautiful gift to be by your side in your journey.
My sponsor, ever an early riser, sent me this message well before dawn yesterday.
She was right, I had been glowing. In our weekly CoDA meeting, I once again organically shared the heart of me. My energy was joy. My energy was love. And I felt it reflected tenfold.
Our home is uniquely empty. Our one house guest left yesterday for a week up north, and I didn’t realize how liberating it would be. We slept with our bedroom door open. We had sex without concern about how loud we or the girl in the porn we watched was. He lounged in his shirt and underwear. I shuffled to the coffee maker this morning half dressed.
It feels like we’re on vacation, I told him.
And then, this morning.
He received his annual bonus.
Finally, I’m not broke, he announced.
It was bigger than expected: $10,000 to be exact.
I’m paying off all my credit cards. $1,000 of it went into my 401K. I’ll still have money leftover.
I had been preparing for this.
You’re so bitter, you’re never happy for me, he’s said.
So I was.
That’s great! I’m happy for you! You deserve it!
I am tempted here to defend him and by defending him, I mean throw myself under the bus. I am tempted to laud him for his transparency with how big his bonus was when I kept secret that I’m getting a tax refund this year. I am tempted to laud his generosity last night at the taco truck, covering most of our tab when I had only four $1 bills, and several $50s and $100s hidden away (note to self: dentist appointment Monday).
But then there was also the conversation about our annual trip to ride ATVs in the hills of West Virginia for his birthday, which I have paid for the past two years.
Do we want to go again this year? If so, we should start saving, I commented.
I don’t know. Not while I’m in debt. I wouldn’t feel right about it, he replied.
But then, there was my footing his airfare and lodging and half our meals during our recent visit West. For which I sent him a hefty sum to repay him for the rental cars, for which his USAA membership secured us a better discount than I had access to. Over $900 sent to him hours before his company dropped $10,000 into the same account.
The balance on my credit card looms at $5,000, and that’s after the nearly $700 payment I made this morning.
I admit: I am jealous.
I admit: I am feeling like a failure.
I admit: I am feeling triggered.
I admit: I’m feeling alone, vulnerable.
I admit, I’m asking myself: What am I good at, if anything?
I am good at me, is what the wiser inner voice whispers back.
And when it comes to me, I am rapidly approaching Level Expert.
Black Belt Ninja of Self-Awareness in the making.
Penthouse of Recovery Hall-of-Fame, next stop.
P.S., my inner voice adds, maybe you should watch “Eat, Pray, Love” again.
I hear my sponsor’s voice telling me I’m a “recovery bad ass.”
I watch a video sent to me by a friend in which she tells me that she loves me, that she thinks I’m pretty awesome.
I think about how my boss trusts me with his business, with his money, with his private concerns.
I think about how my daughter glowed during our video call two days ago as she gave me plot updates from the book I bought her during my last visit. The girl who’s repeating second grade because she’s struggled with reading is reading. I tell her how proud I am of her. She beams.
I think about how a CoDA friend encouraged me to call her when needed late at night, and I was filled with joy because that’s exactly what I’ve been wanting to do. Because, as I tell her, I think she’s amazing and I want to get to know her more. I’ve been thinking the same about you, she says.
I think about a sponsee sister who shared her experience learning to pay attention to opportunities from her Higher Power. And how her experience helped me recognize my own “second chance.”
It is ok to have feelings, I tell myself.
It is ok to feel jealous.
You do not have to justify, analyze, defend, or explain.
Nor do you have to listen to negative messages you’re so used to telling yourself.
What is the next healthy choice?
God, I love this question.
What can I do in this moment to move forward my goal of a healthy me?
The answer is not exciting, but nonetheless: Finish my bath and get ready for work. And don’t forget to wear boots–it’s raining.