How’s living clean and sober? My inner child is a monster.

This is not going to be an ongoing theme in my writing, or maybe it is. But I’ve been off the weed for a few months now and I’m not saying it’s easy or has changed my life radically or brought me wizard powers but there’s some interesting shit happening.

I also just lied. I smoked it once last weekend.

I got high and lay down and I asked the question “what is different? What is different about this state than being sober?” and the answer was immediate.

“You are covering me up.”

It was a tiny voice speaking. My inside, tiny little quiet voice that I don’t have time for often and the image that popped up was me (the big me) putting a duvet over the little me so that the little me was in the dark and finding it hard to be heard under the weight of the covers.

It wasn’t necessarily a bad image. There was no judgement attached. I was just being told the truth.

“Ok” I thought, “good to know. My tiny voice wants to be heard more often. I can do that” and my husband and I settled down to Netflix it up.

And then a few days later my ex-step mom came for a visit. She and my Dad split up so she’s no longer my step- mom but a few years after they broke up she took me out for lunch and said “I can’t be your step- mom anymore but I’d love to be your Godmother instead.”

My mother had just died so I was longing for that word…mother. “Yes” I said. “Thank you.”

Can you imagine that kind of kindness?

So we are very close, on an energetic level. She comes over whenever she can every few months and braves my mess and children and lets me unload my heart and then she heads to her dance class.

My Godmom is a visual artist, a sculptor and a poet. She’s also a therapist so our visits are always deep.

I’d just told her about smoking pot and my tiny inner voice telling me it was being covered up when I got high. She looked at me in surprise and brought something out of her bag for me to see.

It was a sculpture she’d just finished

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“This is the voice talking to you Emelia “she said” And she’s not tiny.”

“We all have her and we all cover her up and we all think “wouldn’t it be nice to let her speak” but I want you to see who she is. She’s much more frustrated than you think. She is wrath.”

Look at her eyes. It was the eyes that made me cry.

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I could see that she was fucking pissed at me. I could see that she was screaming to be heard. She looked scary. Relentless. But in her eyes there was heartbreak.

And not a gentle heartbreak, more like a raging betrayal you left me for my best friend when I had cancer kinda feeling.

She was so hurt and angry, so disappointed that I’d been ignoring her.

All my tiny addictions for all these years have added up to her, my soft little voice getting hard.

The pot and pills and smokes and food and clothes and travelling and cleaning the house and TV and coffee and sugar and Instagram and webinars and phone checking and pet buying and house rearranging and all the tiny little things I do every day, all day, my whole life that layer another layer over her face.

And she was not as fragile as I imagined.

And the more I smothered her the angrier she’d been getting and the anger, guess what that was transforming into? ANXIETY.

Because she’s been trying to get my motherfucking attention.

LISTEN TO ME this face was saying. Give me room. Please. 5 minutes. Start with that. 5 minutes. Just give me 5 minutes of OUR time, please.

But the anxiety is so hard to feel sometimes I want to shut you up I think, I cover you up with…all my tiny addictions.

“I’m just going to keep getting louder” she said back.

You understand?

So I’m trying without again. Staying lucid and here.

I’m not dropping everything of course. Pulllease. I’m sure this experiment with not taking drugs will give me adult onset diabetes from all the cookies and in debt with Amazon but one step at a time.

And I’m asking her throughout the day “how do you feel?” and she tells me.

Immediately. And I do what she says, or I don’t.

But she’s so fucking huge I can’t deny her anymore.

She’s way bigger than the fear.

She’s way bigger than the darkness.

She’s way bigger than the discomfort and she’s going to win whether it takes 1 year of 60 more.

So I might as well take the blankets off. I might as well give her some breathing space.

What’s she saying to you?

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Look into her eyes. It’ll ring clear as a bell.

 

*Feel free to pass this image on to a friend. The messages are coming in fast and furious.

 

Comments 2

  1. Reading this I discovered she doesn’t just have a voice, she has fists, it was a punch in the gut. Thanks for that.

  2. This is such an important point, that our big and little crutches, whatever they are, cover up what is needy inside us and actually make them worse. I would love to share this with a closed recovery group I’m in.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!