As I embark on my third week of this quest to use alcohol wisely (meaning I have chosen to give it up for now), it hit me today that the reason I’ve never abstained for long periods of time before is because life is simply too heartbreaking to not occasionally numb it in some form or another. Food, drugs, alcohol, busyness – it’s all to take away the burdens that pile on us daily. I know this is nothing new – everyone knows this to be true in their own lives in one form or another, but this weekend hit especially hard. I had become so anguished at the horrendous behavior of fellow parents, that the tears flowed and my defeat set in at the hands of this cruel world. At first, just a heavy weight of knowing this world is so very messy forced my shoulders to hunch over in sadness as if trying to protect my heart from further attacks. Then it became anger and self righteousness as I saw the people involved as pure evil and could not venture further to think of them as anything but the situations they presented.
So today…I walked and walked and walked. And on this journey, the trees and leaves and dirt and all the forest smells calmed my ragged breathing and cleared my head and started to erase my self righteous point of view until I remembered that sometimes the emotional burdens placed on you by witnessing humans hard at work in their own burdened lives are so heavy that only nature can bring you back. No alcohol required.