Sticky or Not

My brain has been on a high speed mission of late.  It seems it wants to cycle through all of the memories for the last 10 years.  I’m trying to follow the meditation path and just watch them, like a movie, sit with the feelings they bring, and then let them float away.

It’s not that easy.  I get stuck.

Some memories are not as sticky as others.  Memories of my children over the last 10 years are easy.  I can watch them over and over (and I do) and I love the feelings they bring.  Well…except the nostalgia…not real fond of that one.  But the love, laughter, and pride are wonderful; and even the exasperation, anger and disappointment are fine.  They are all part of parenting and they are mine.  I own them.  I watch them, feel them and then release them back into the universe until they come around again.

Other memories are extremely sticky.  Like those of when I was at my worst drinking. Or when I was dealing with my mom while she was busy killing herself with a lifestyle. Or poor decisions I made as a result of both. Sticky.  And like chiggers or those spiny gumball things that fall off the trees, they can be painful if you hold them too tight or sit with them too long.  So I try to watch them and let them float away on the wind.  But they don’t float.  They stick in my head and begin to damage my already fragile sense of self.  So I have to push and shove before I can get them to go.  It often leaves me exhausted.

Some memories have both sticky and non-sticky attributes.  The last 30 years with the hubs comes to mind.  Most of these are the kind that I sit and enjoy as they pass by and they leave me feeling loved.  Others?  Not so much.  But really…30 years is bound to have some good and bad.  As long as the good far outweighs the bad, it’s all good.

Memories of my childhood are like that as well.  Even though my family was a hot mess and I had no real parenting (besides me), there were some good times.  They tend to be tainted now because the ugliness is so big, but when one comes to mind, I like to sit and watch it while pushing and shoving the stickier ones out the door.  I like to remember my days as a pom-pom girl without looking too closely at the fact that my mother was always trying to upstage me.  I like to remember the time my mom and dad took my best friend in to live with us because, if you can believe this, her parents were more of a mess than mine.  i loved having her around.  It was fun.  Until she got pregnant with her biker gang boyfriend and moved out.  The fun part?  Not sticky.  The biker gang baby daddy?  Sticky. 

The most important thing I do when my brain gets going like this, is to remember not to stay with any of these memories too long.  Living with what was, or what could have been, is what kept me drinking for so long.  Those old resentments and feelings of being slighted (the sticky stuff) created a hole in my soul that I sought to fill with Chardonnay.  The good stuff could prove just as bad.  Because they were not sticky, I chased those memories, constantly trying to recreate the good times.  When I couldn’t it left me feeling empty and dissatisfied.  So of course, I drank then too.

Now I try to stay in the moment.  Not living in the past or the future.  Just trying to enjoy what is happening to me right this minute.  The past is gone, the future will take care of itself.

I want to be stuck in the now.


6 thoughts on “Sticky or Not

  1. Maybe instead of batting those painful memories away you should try to reshape them. Look at them through the eyes of you today – a powerful, wonderful, strong, adult woman – and realise that you came through your childhood with so many amazing qualities and good things about you. You have a wonderful husband are holding down a successful (real) long relationship with him. You possess the strength to give up booze and stay sober. You have oodles of unconditional love that you give to your sons and other loved ones. You have smarts and organisation when it comes to career, money, household management. I could go on! A lot of good came out of that messed up childhood! You came out of that messed up childhood. You. Try to embrace those memories and know that they led you to where you are today – my wonderful, smart, wise, real, honest, lovely friend Sherry xxxx

  2. On the top five list of “what I've learned in sobriety”,,, the concept of staying in this moment, takes lead.

    Sherry, I missed SO much of my life by dwelling in the past and/or anxiety ridden over the future. It was a MISERABLE existence. Then, to learn, I can't change my past and I have ZERO power over the outcome of my future (beyond living each day to the best of my capabilities).

    With this basic knowledge a whole new world was opened to me. A level of contnetment I never knew possible.

    I like me. Right now. right at this very moment. And I'm ok.


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