Wednesday, August 17, 2011


The more I know,
the less I understandAll the things I thought I knew,
I'm learning again
I've been tryin' to get down to the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak
and my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness
Forgiveness- "The Heart of the Matter" by Don Henley

When I left college at age 21, terribly thin, depressed, I ended a two and a half year relationship that had only been good for a total of six months. I remember trying to feel real when I got home. I slept a lot, got a job, all my friends were away at college so I had a pretty quiet existence that spring. I remember turning on VH1 one day and this video was playing. I have always liked this song, loved the lyrics because I think somehow it speaks to all of us. I hadn't heard this song in years until the other day on the radio and it brought back such a flood of emotions I thought I might drown if only for a moment. Where had this come from? I thought I had gotten rid of junk like this in my fourth and fifth steps. Well there it was right on the surface and I had to deal with it. So I started sifting through the rubble and I knew quite quickly why it surfaced. It's the time of year. I never talk about this time of year but it has bothered me for years. It's the time when things begin to change. The night creeps in earlier, the daylight plays differntly in my yard, we school clothes shop, the smell of paper and erasers. But to me and in me this time of year right before fall brings a feeling of loss. Like time has always been slipping through my fingertips and I can't stop it. I'm anxious, I don't sleep well, I'm easily aggitated. My husband and I seem to argue more the end of August than we do any other time of the year. So this time I wanted to deal with this once and for all. So I needed to sort things out and there it was plain as day. One bad relationship after another ended around this time of year. A boyfriend that left for three years in the army, another for college, many I left, and how fall, and winter seemed to change the ever fun long days of summer. I still had a closet full of baggage. Twenty years later this junk was still washing up on shore and I was still picking it up and carrying it around with me. Guilt, hurt, anger, saddness were all mixed up inside of me. So I've been kicking this around for a few days wondering where or how I should get rid of it. Yesterday after registering my two youngest for school, I stopped at a local bookstore to pick up a book by an author I really enjoy. As the proprietor was checking me out, I asked about his wife who is a fellow recovering alcoholic. I know a little of her story, and I know she's pretty fragile, but I haven't seen her in almost a year so I wanted to make sure she was doing ok. We ended up talking for over an hour. He was so open and honest with his stories, and her journey, and I shared back that it was like a "mini AA meeting" right in the bookstore. We spoke about our marriages how he was like my husband, by some miracle still married to me. Then he said something, "You know all the words, all the actions, sometimes it's only time that heals all those wounds". And just like that a plug was pulled and all that baggage and junk I was carrying just sucked itself down the drain and far, far, away. It's about forgiveness, and when I think of those people in my past I have forgiven them, I can focus on the good times, but the one person I needed to forgive the most, I hadn't and that was me. It was time to let go, and I finally did. We said our goodbyes and as I stepped into the warm afternoon sun, things looked differently. I felt differently. Suddenly I was excited for the turning of the year, the back to school, the schedule change. For the first time in twenty years that icky feeling was gone. As I opened the gate and stepped onto our patio, a cool breeze touched my face and I drank in my surroundings. Change comes when we least expect it. I thought I had done so much growing, and changing, and cleaning out in my first year of sobriety that I never thought it would happen in my second. I now realize it's only the beginning. And getting down "to the heart of the matter" is forgiveness.....


  1. smiles. just met with a guy yesterday that i had inadvertantly wronged 5 years ago...i had been his boss...felt good to settle things...forgiveness is gift we give them and ourselves...

  2. ""Twenty years later this junk was still washing up on shore and I was still picking it up and carrying it around with me. Guilt, hurt, anger, saddness were all mixed up inside of me.""

    Powerful ~
    Ya, its an ongoing journey for sure. Its why I'm quick to state that I'm a work in progress, ever changing, and always discovering new areas for growth.

    Keeps it all interesting, huh!!
    Fabulous post!

  3. Thanks for sharing such a powerful post.
    Is like we step off the rollercoaster of being a drunk and are suddenly walking around with the lights on - and it is pretty overwhelming.
    Great to see you have forgiven and let go - I am in the midst of the forgiveness bit - i can say it and do it, just perhaps I might need some time for a scab to grow over the wound.