Seasons of Change

This may be funny to no one but me, I am about to write a post on change, and I am typing this on some “new, easier way to create” on (please read the part in quotes with the sarcasm I am intending).  I already hate it, which probably is an indication of where this post is going.

I think about the changes going on in my life right now, and the word that comes to mind is “layers.”  When I first started thinking about the content of this post, my initial thought was not to write it at all; after all, isn’t anyone with kids going through change right now?  Mine is a bit more complex than years past in that both kids are attending new schools, and the schedule change is dramatic for everyone in the house, but other than that, who doesn’t experience change this time of year?

Plus we just got a dog, which in my life I never thought we’d have, so there’s change with fitting Dimple’s schedule into the mix.

Plus the usual rigmarole of sports, and no one wants to listen to me talk about that nonsense.

So this week has been a hectic one, filled with missed buses, forgotten alarms, lost lunch boxes, but, and maybe this is the recovery talking, but… I can put all of that into perspective fairly easily.  It is week one, and sooner or later this stuff will become as habitual as getting ready for the pool was a week ago.

The change that has me a bit more unsettled in within me, and I’m not sure I’ve diagnosed it properly myself, much less found an answer to it that settles me.

I used to look forward to the beginning of the school year the way a child looks forward to Christmas morning.  I’m sure if I were to go back to last summer’s posts, August would be filled with countdowns, and rants about the kids driving me crazy.  I’m sure if I went back to the first day of school last year there would be some sort of celebratory post.

Not so this year, and I’m still trying to figure out why.

I can, with no small amount of shame, confess to some of the realizations that occurred to me as I puzzled over this non-excitement.  The first:  I was, until a few shorts months ago, a secret smoker, most especially secret from the kids (well, secret in my own mind, anyway).  So kids in school meant the ability to smoke with relative freedom.  Sounds ludicrous, but bear with me, I’m getting to a point.

Another obsession from which I’ve recently disentangled myself:  soft pretzels.  I have been threatening to write a post about my feelings on soft pretzels for years, and I may still find it within me to do so.  I was obsessed to the point that I knew the one and only place I wanted them from, the people knew me there, and it was almost a ceremony the way I sat down to eat them (Recovery-minded readers:  remember the ritual of getting that bottle of wine and your favorite glass?  Not far off of that, seriously).

And, like the progression that alcoholism takes, I preferred to eat my pretzels uninterrupted.  So, again, kids running around, asking to share the pretzel, etc = not fun.  Kids in school = pretzel-eating fun.

And as I considered all of this, I got that “someone walked over my grave” shiver, because all of this was exactly as I behaved in active addiction.  Because those substances, in addition to being mind-altering, were my little secret, my reward for… well for what exactly, I don’t know.  Waking up that morning?

So this day one of school season felt really, really different, and I really can’t give it a label like “good” different or “bad” different.  I guess the word I can best come up with:  uncomfortable.  On the one hand, I consciously recognize that there are a bunch of unhealthy coping mechanisms that I have risen above, evolved past, what have you, and that is obviously to the good.  On the other hand, there’s this vaguely empty, “now what?” feeling going on.   I have learned enough from my recovery experience that I can sit with it, and realize that it will pass, but there’s this nagging voice telling me, “You’re not working hard enough to figure out what you have to learn, come on, just get there!” And then there’s the counter voice, “Come on, you may have given up all of those things, but can’t we find something to replace them?!?”

One theory has occurred to me as I’m typing:  in addition to having all of the external changes going on that I listed above, I am on the cusp of some personal change as well.  I am on the tail end of the “clean-up process” of the consequences of active addiction… the finish line is in sight.  So perhaps this uncomfortable feeling is the set-up for the next chapter of my life, preparing me for, God willing, a professional change.  Although the finish line is in sight, it’s still far enough away that it’s not yet time for me to write a whole lot about it, there will inevitably be more to come on this subject.

Other than that possibility, I’ve got no other thoughts, but I’m open to possible solutions.  Which, now that I think about it, is another big change:  being open and willing to consider anything other than my own opinions.  Because, no matter what happens, I am alive, and I am sober.  Everything after those facts is icing on the cake.

Today’s Miracle:

That I typed for as long as I did in the “new editor” of WordPress.  I have no idea where spell check is, so I now have to switch to classic mode, but still, I lasted a lot longer than I thought I would! 


Posted on September 4, 2014, in Parenting, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Good morning Josie – I like the term “layers.” That describes where I’m at as well. It feels almost like pulling off layers of dead skin and allowing the new skin to thrive. New and pink and delicate. I’m having fun filling this empty space of time with healthy habits and hobbies. So refreshing and fulfilling! Enjoy your time of change. Trish


    • Thanks for the comment Trish (and, just so you know, still smiling about your last awesome post!)! Your analogy is much better than mine, and it feels comforting, somehow, having a mental image to apply to the feeling, much appreciated!

      Please write a post on some of your favorite new healthy habits and hobbies, I know for sure it would help me, and I’m sure many others as well!


  2. This. Is. Fucking. Brilliant. Thank you.

    And I love soft pretzels too. I’ll go out of my way when traveling just to get to Philadelphia Airport so I can get my favorite.



    • You’re welcome, and thanks as much, if not more, for the compliment!

      Interestingly enough… my sister flew into town via PHL a few weeks ago, and she brought to my house (as always) pretzels from the airport. However, they looked like stupid WaWa pretzels, which are the worst (of course, in a pinch I would still eat them). I said why the hell did you get pretzels from WaWa when you were at the airport? She said that’s how they had them there now, due to germs and whatnot. I was horrified. Still ate the pretzels, of course, but horrified nontheless.

      I hope you have better luck than she did next time you fly in. And now I know what I can bring to the party if we all ever do out blogosphere meet up!


  3. This is a truly slick post. This really levels the playing field for a lot of things that used to screw me up pretty badly, mainly because I was always weighing the value of my addiction against the “mercy” of my theology. And I’ve been through enough healing in 64+ years I’ve decided that anything I love more than God is an addiction. Carry on.


  4. Great post. In the best of times, I am coming to try and embrace the change. This reminds me of one of my favorite poems by the Sufi mystic, Rumi:


    This being human is a guest house.
    Every morning a new arrival.

    A joy, a depression, a meanness,
    some momentary awareness comes
    as an unexpected visitor.

    Welcome and entertain them all!
    Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
    who violently sweep your house
    empty of its furniture,
    still, treat each guest honorably.
    He may be clearing you out
    for some new delight.

    The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
    meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

    Be grateful for whatever comes.
    because each has been sent
    as a guide from beyond.



    • Robert, you are a treasure. I have copied and pasted it into a word document, where it will be in close reading proximity. In fact, I just had lunch with my sponsor, and this poem fits so perfectly for her, I will be emailing it as soon as I am finished.

      Always you teach and inspire me, Robert, and I thank you for it!


  5. Wow. I didn’t know you gave up soft pretzels and smoking. That’s huge. I’m not even sure which is huger. You are amazing, and I hope you know this. I know those comforts of escape and guilty pleasure too well. This is a tough time of year because of back to school, sure, but you applied a lot of insight here that really got me thinking. I love how you’re looking forward to personal growth, which does often start so uncomfortably. This is what recovery is all about, these miracles. This post is the perfect launch to indian summer and I’m going to carry it around in my head (and my phone) for comfort. xo


  6. I’m not sure which is huger either, because they were both pretty difficult. Well, probably smoking wins, because I can (and will) have an occasional pretzel, whereas smoking is as off limits as alcohol, so I guess smoking is huger (the more times I type that word, the less I think it is a word). Thanks for the accolades, it means a lot, Kristen!


  7. Reblogged this on club east: indianapolis and commented:
    Great post by Josie at themiracleisaroundthecorner. Peeling back the layers, really:
    So this day one of school season felt really, really different, and I really can’t give it a label like “good” different or “bad” different. I guess the word I can best come up with: uncomfortable. On the one hand, I consciously recognize that there are a bunch of unhealthy coping mechanisms that I have risen above, evolved past, what have you, and that is obviously to the good. On the other hand, there’s this vaguely empty, “now what?” feeling going on.
    Read the whole thing.


  8. Best. Post. You. Have. Written


  9. Hey lovebug, I’m back from a long August hiatus. I started reading a few posts last night. I must say that this is one of my favorites and resonates deeply: Starting with “layers” then moving through “pretzels” and “labels of good and bad” and finishing with “finishing line.”
    I use the never-ending-hourglass as my image: Sometimes I’m squeezed through the narrow neck of life and at others I am in the bounty with plenty of breathing room and space. For me, there seems a mini finish line to a new level of awareness, but I always seem to arrive at new, grander, and more challenging lessons. Hmmmm.

    All-in-all it’s all good, because it forces me to stay in the moment. Right here, right now in this second with my beautiful and glorious God (as I understand him). I always manage to get what I need and this alone is the on-going miracle in my life.

    So, I feel like I missed the whole summer of you and the family, but I’m back now and will be hanging out in the Miracles Hall. I’ll try and send over a personal email later and get more caught up.

    Love you, love your sobriety, thanks for always being here. xox Me


    • LISA!!!!!

      Man, have I missed you. So glad you are back, I am hoping I get to read where your summer has taken you (all good I’m sure), and I love what you’ve added to this post (as I always do). Staying in the moment is such a challenge, isn’t it? I think these champagne problems are mine are really just nudges from Him to remind me of that, and just how good I’ve got it!

      So, so, so glad to hear from you 🙂


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  2. Pingback: Can sobriety drive you insane? | There's more to me than this

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