I heard the following joke recently. A man falls down a deep hole that extends miles into the earth. He manages to stop his fall by grabbing onto a root with one hand. As he begins to tire he looks up at the small circle of light above him and yells, “Is there anybody up there?!” Suddenly a bright light from shines down and a deep voice says, “I am the Lord thy God. Let go of the root. I will save you.” The man pauses for a moment and then yells, “Is there anybody else up there?!”
Real leaps of faith, by any measure, are not easy. They often mean you’ll be holding hands with some gut ripping fear for a bit. Which is exactly what I felt this past Sunday when my landlords, a truly good and decent couple, informed me I would need to move out of the home I’ve been renting from them for nine years, in 30 days. It seems their marriage is coming to an end and the husband need to take up residence in the house.
I don’t need to tell you how frightening it is to lose your home. Home is far more than a physical thing. It is a spiritual, physical and emotional sanctuary. Not so when you realize it is lost. Frightening for anyone, with an added degree of difficulty when the very part of your brain that allows you to manage emotion is damaged, which is where my damage is. The frontal lobe. And so for the first day I was pretty much incapacitated, difficulty speaking, trembling, hunched over, knowing what it was that was happening to me but unable to shake it and knowing too that that’s okay. Those disabling moments still grab me during the day – and night. We are all allowed our human experience, even when upsetting and unpleasant, and we make a mistake, albeit an understandable one, when we try to avoid the more unpleasant experiences of life.
I long ago learned that the only way to get through a terrifying or heartbreaking time is to give myself permission to go through it. In other words, allow the experience.
And so here I am with my three dogs hoping that I will be able to find a new home in time. I have already gotten a storage space and will begin to place things in storage and look for friends to watch my dogs for me if the worst happens and no new home shows up in time. I have been homeless in my life and the homeless monster is, even though I know intellectually it will not get me (I don’t think), bearing down on me with glistening hatred eyes.
There is one thing this experience will not take from me. My sobriety. One of the wonderful things about being sober is when all hell breaks loose in life, I can look the circumstances in the eye, snarl to myself, and say, You can’t take my sobriety.
Anyway, one day at a time. Keep the faith, even if doing so is a leap. It is for me right now.
And remember, it’s okay to be afraid, don’t let it scare you.