I love the idea of taking the not-so-pleasant things life sends sometimes and turning them into something else. Something better. Something exciting and new!
In four months, I am going to uproot my family and my life and move us away from the city I have lived in for 30 years to a small mountain town in a very different state. Well, I’m going to leave a bit of root here, but more on that later. It’s exciting and more than a little scary, and it is really going to happen!
I’m hoping this will be the fresh start that I feel like we need. Things have been really rough in my life for about a year now. I have talked about it a little on here, but I haven’t really explained about everything. Warning – this is a long story. As you may know, about a year ago, I was getting closer and closer to a year of continuous sobriety when I had a pretty devastating medical development. My chronic health condition had morphed into something much more dire. I (and everyone else around me) reacted in pretty much the worst possible way. I jumped off the wagon, my partner (who was already abusing substances himself and on a downward spiral during the pandemic) wasn’t doing well at all, and my parents and my best friends got into the kind of fight with my partner during a vacation that you probably can’t ever come back from. Which triggered an enormous mental health crisis in my partner and landed him – eventually and with much prodding of the health insurance provider – in rehab a few months ago. At the same time, my daughter’s school essentially told us that we had to change schools for middle school because they suspected she had learning differences and was just too far behind in the language immersion part of the program to continue on. Much activity ensued – learning evaluations, therapist and learning specialist finding, multiple school applications. Back on the wagon, I managed to do it. And although I pissed off my boss at several points, I also managed to hold on to my job. Which I love and value.
We are more or less stable now. Sobriety has still been challenging for me. I made it almost 100 days again, and then I convinced myself (again!) that I could just drink once in a while and not that much. When will I ever learn? I really thought I had learned my lesson last time. Anyway, it was a fairly brief detour, and I’m back on the wagon again. I know that I can’t drink in any kind of healthy way. I know that NOW, but of course that sneaky part of my brain will make very convincing arguments at some point. However, the choice is now out of my hands as I am going to soon start taking a medication for my medical condition that is contraindicated with alcohol. A medication that – if I can tolerate it and that’s a big if – might give me a fighting chance to live longer. To still be alive at that 10-year mark and, hopefully, beyond.
Anyway – back to the lemonade thing. Although I still love this city that I live in, I have been dissatisfied with life here for a while. Except for my best friends and neighbors (who have now torpedoed their relationship with my partner), I only rarely see my friends these days. I have long needed to try something new, but it has just been too scary. But now is the time! My mom is from a lovely little town, close to a ski area in the mountains. I have exactly one friend there, but that’s better than none! My mom is miserable here. She lives in a really nice assisted living place, but she’s unhappy and wants to go home. And her unhappiness leads her dementia to weird places – like thinking I’m stealing her Social Security. Sigh. My kid wants to move out of the city and always has. My partner is generally up for adventure and is kind of stuck himself. My job is now fully remote. So, I applied for a school in my mom’s town that looks perfect for my kid’s challenges, and we got in. We are going to go! It’s a perfect chance for us to have a fresh start. Make new, sober friends in a beautiful place. People will have never known us not sober. To tell the truth, I can’t control whether my partner remains sober or not, but this is what I am hoping for.
I’m terribly out of shape, haven’t done yoga in a million years, get winded just walking up the stairs. I’ve regained all of the weight I lost last year. It’s a sad situation. This is a town where everyone is active and outdoors A LOT so things are going to have to change there, too. And I’m going to have to get started now.
I’m a person that just is happier with a project going. And this is going to be a big project. Now, I’m not really risking a lot since I can still do my job and I’m going to get a roommate to help with costs so I can keep my place in the city. I’m going to have to come back here sometimes for medical care (my health insurance provider doesn’t operate in the other state so – for big things – I’ll have to come back) and to get a little “me time” anyway.
Does this sound crazy? I suppose it might. But, I’m going to give it a try. And, I’ll let you know how it is going. Wish me luck!
Sending much love to all of you!
Ms. New Leaf (aka Leafy)