Happy post-holidays and happy 2018 to all of you lovely people!
I’ll start with the fact that I stayed sober through all of the awkward, wonderful, and not-so-wonderful experiences I had over my 2 week holiday in Ontario! I hit my 8 month mark on Christmas Day, hooray! Not only did I shut down the bar I spent much of my drinking life at, I stayed up all night with an old flame and had a magical evening reconnecting (I was 150% sober). It had its (very brief) weird moments but it was definitely worth the tiny discomforts I felt. I went to a few bars on this trip, actually, and either drank sparkling water or a fancy coffee. It felt natural and I didn’t question myself at all. No hesitation whatsoever. What a reassuring feeling, that confidence.
I saw my (other) best friend C, and his high-energy partner, J. They have a handsome 2-year-old who I adore. I met my niece for the first time, too. She is a radiant little thing at 3 months old. I ran into a few people (and more old flames) from my past, all of whom I love and respect and covet time with. God, it was such an eye-opening trip. Even the less exciting parts were just beautiful. It was all new and shiny and not bogged down by the heavy news my family received just before the holidays.
I used to remind myself that people have real problems whenever life was holding me under water. I also used to tell friends that just because their problems don’t seem important doesn’t take away from the fact that they have them, and that they are real and big and scary nonetheless. Spot the inconsistency? I was certain that my problems were in no way worth the distress they caused me, but everybody else’s were worth using all the mental super powers I had. That’s flawed logic and not a healthy way to approach life’s ugly stuff, but it did help put some perspective on things that are also known as ‘first world problems’. Anyway, it’s no secret that life is draining and exhausting and as you get older things get more complicated and the weight we carry forward with us only gets heavier. The trick is to prioritize what’s worth testing our mental abilities (I’m terrible at this).
We found out that my wise and wonderful father has cancer. They found a mass on his pelvis and he’s currently in the hospital getting treatment. The outlook isn’t great. 10% survival rate at 5 years. The numbers from the first year of this type of cancer are even scarier. Fuck statistics though, right?
This has put a lot of things into perspective for me and I don’t really know if I’m ready to explore the vast ocean of ‘what ifs’ just yet. All I know is that this is real. And that this is a priority. A worthy use of my time; my dad. Letting go of what fell apart between us the past few years. Enjoying the time we have left. Realizing what is important when the foundation starts to crumble. I am terrified. However I won’t let my fear be as strong-willed as my courage. I have to go through this (most people do at some point) and I will face it as best as I can. I will not numb myself out in any way to avoid this reality.
I’d love to say that this news slapped me into a rational head space in terms of my heartbreak, but it didn’t. It helped quiet the obsessive idiot in me a bit, but I’m sad that NB isn’t here to help me through this. How silly, right? I remind myself daily that if he wanted to be here, he would be. Period. End of story. More importantly, I have Roomie and my work family and my actual family by my side. These are the people who matter.
This life matters the most as it’s the only one I’ve got.