Moving on is a very weird thing. Even if you have longed for it in one way or another for what feels like an eternity, when the time comes and you are really sure you are sure – there’s something in you that’s still not totally sure. It’s like 100% is just maybe not a real thing in any decision or situation in a human life. There’s always a teeny bit of your inner workings – your heart, your mind, your nervous system – that’s afraid, or hesitant, or resistant, or holding on tooth and nail in some kind of desperate last ditch effort to keep you from heading on out the door. Even if that is exactly what it’s time to do. And not look back.
It so happens I find myself in such a place right now as I make plans for the next phase of my life. My writing life. My work life. My sober life. My life life where all of the things that once felt so disjointed are finally starting to come together under the same umbrella that is me. The biggest driving force behind my sobriety has ultimately been my deep desire for integration of myself. Alignment of my values on the inside – my intentions, beliefs, world views – with my actions on the outside.
But just as there is no such thing as duality, there is no such thing as being in the new life and out of the old life with just the snap of a finger, or a change of address, as it were. Transitions take time. There is liminal space between what is dead and gone, and what is coming soon. I am in liminal space now, in every conceivable sense of that idea. A very big season of my life is over, never to return. Hiding inside of an alcohol addiction is a long and painful chapter which has mercifully come to a close. Hallelujah and praise fucking be.
To stop abusing of myself (it isn’t substance abuse, do you see what I mean there? you can’t hurt the wine, the wine hurts you) means not only to stop drinking but also to stop hiding who I am at my center, at my core, as it becomes clearer and clearer to me. And while removing the wine from my home was one thing, a tangible visible thing, what I am left with now to manage are the murkier realities, traumas, and disordered thoughts, which are all but invisible to the outside world. People can see that I am sipping Pellegrino now instead of (… god fuck, even to write these words causes a sick taste to slick the back of my throat) Sauvignon Blanc, but what they cannot see is what’s going on inside my mind as I take in my surroundings at a party or concert or picnic. While I’m thrilled to bits to enter holiday season entirely hangover free, I’m also so nervous my heart is right now racing in my chest.
Liminal space. The storm is over but the river is still swollen, still muddy, still turbulent. It will be some time for all to settle into its new way of flow. We must first die fully and completely. No going from summer right to spring. First autumn. Then winter. Winter, winter, winter.
As I type this, a heavy rain begins to fall outside my writing room window. I am reminded of how many times my writing has evolved with me over the years. How many absolutely beautiful, kindred souls have stuck with me through all the changes. I’m so damn grateful. Let’s keep going. I’ll still be writing. It’ll be new and new, right now, for me, is a very very good thing.
You can follow my new writings on my new substack account at allisonmarieconway.substack.com
I’ll see you there. I’ll see you so soon.