Day Eighty One

Day Eighty One

I just watched the Disney film Soul, so I’m a little sentimental about this, but they told the story of the fish who asked the older fish where the ocean was. The older fish told him that he was in the ocean, and the fish replied, “But this is just water!”

That was my entire existence. I said I’d be happy enough to live drug and alcohol free when I completed a certain degree. I graduated, and the fear overtook me of what came next. I thought a competition win would take away the seeking, but after I won it all I could think about was how it didn’t feel like I thought it would. I was told by a mentor that in all likelihood I would reach my greatest career ambitions, and my first thought would be – “What now?” She was right.

This would lead me back to the comforting embrace of alcohol. Whether I got what I wanted, or was still in the pursuit of restlessly reaching for it, it was always a perfect excuse to drink. When I was in music school they asked us to draw a picture of what success looked like. I looked over to see the student next to me drawing a picture of herself humbly playing the piano, enjoying herself. I was confused, because how could that bring her success and happiness? Just existing in the world? I drew myself on stages, with standing ovations and public prestige. To an extent, I got that eventually. It didn’t give me the peace and satisfaction of a day well spent, enjoying the simple gifts of sobriety. Now I realise that’s what I wanted all along, a moment of peace inside my own head.

I still have big dreams, I still work towards them every day. But I know they will not give me what I need, and they will be better enjoyed if I am savouring every part of it and not just the desired outcome.

Writing prompt:

A big one, what is the “thing” you are looking for that you think will give you the stability you need? How can you find it right here, right now?

Three tiny things:

- Write a gratitude list.

- Laugh at something today.

Draw, doodle, sketch a picture of yourself, living successfully and happily