I believe in the power of the fortune cookie. Somehow, the universe is able to send me messages through seemingly random slips of paper encased in slightly sweet crispy cookies wrapped in clear plastic that is sometimes printed with roses. I like those. I keep all my fortunes, have for years and whenever I need a little direction in life I dip into the pile. Sometimes I have a question on my mind, like it's a magic eight ball, sometimes I just dip with a clear mind and an open heart.
Today I woke up feeling a little lost. I think I'm on the right path, I'm trying to do the next right thing. I've been sober for eight months. Eight months of recovery, healing, strength. Recovery is a funny word. Whenever I heard it before I only associated it with recovering from illness, or recovering from a disaster, like it was synonymous with healing. It's not though, it's not about getting better, it's about getting back what you've lost.
Addiction will slowly steal so much from you. It comes in on kitten feet and takes the tears and tatters of what makes you you. And silent and sleepwalking you don't notice or you don't care, a bit of joy, a bit of creativity, your energy, the things you love, you lose them, you forget. Yes, drunk people may get in a horrible car accident and kill someone, they may lose their jobs and families, but the people who don't still lose so much. I lost myself.
I lost myself so quietly I didn't even know I was gone until I looked around and found this great yawning emptiness, this dark tunnel of bewilderment. There was something here, but what? And where did it go? Then comes work. I didn't want to continue going to work. I didn't want to get up every morning. I don't want to wash the dishes or do the laundry or brush my teeth or sweep my floors. I wanted to have the great spiritual awakening all quick and fast, as easy and shocking as an impulse buy sour apple candy in my mouth. But, surprise instant gratification girl! It takes time to lose yourself, it's gonna take time to get it back.
The real surprise to me is that it comes back as it left. Tissue thin and bubble breakable, little bits of me are slowly finding their way home. They come when I'm not looking. I'll find myself with needle and thread in hand and realize that it's been years since I sewed anything. I'll find myself on the floor, sweating over a painting that really isn't any good, but it feels so damn good to have that brush in my hand. If I try to force it I get frustrated, like a child trying to read on a level she isn't prepared for. It's better if I keep chopping wood and carrying water and looking straight ahead, because the stars are there, and they are always better seen and far brighter out of the corners of the eyes. My little will-o-the-wisp memories, my lost dreams, I'm learning patience.
I'm not good at patience. So some days I wake up and I think, "Alright, so what I've been sober for eight months, what have I done today?". That's a good day to Chinese fortune dip. Today I reached in, swirled them around, and held my breath. I pulled out one tiny perfect slip of paper. It reads "Now is the time for peace in your life. Go along with other's ideas." Then my brother called me and invited me to go to trivia tonight. Okay Universe, I accept. There is buried treasure to be recovered in spending time with family. I just hope my brain can recover useless bits of trivia, and we don't come in last.