Earlier today I wrote Part 1 of this post.
This “rebirth” part is difficult to write, as the birth pangs were years-long, torturous and the result (which is still developing, in a way) was inconceivable at the beginning.
The rebirth was in essence that of a “new me” slowly being born. Not in the born-again context of Evangelical Christians but in that a large part of me died when Mom did, and out of the ashes of that life a new person arose.
The symbolism of this was apparent when I went through grief counseling and I discovered major parallels between that and alcohol recovery work. Just as I am being reborn during my recovery from alcoholism, so I was experiencing a rebirth in trying to establish a “new normal” without Mom around.
The “new normal” is a term in grief work which means that you have to establish a new rhythm to your life without the deceased in it. The dead person was a part of your life, and that person is no longer in it in a physical manner. A part of you is now missing and somehow you have to account for the missing piece. How will you go on living now? What will pass for “normal?” What will the new “ordinary life” look like and how will you get there?
It wasn’t easy. I had wanted to die. I felt that my mission in life was over now that Mom was gone. I didn’t consider myself particularly good at anything and so I thought I existed to care for Mom when she got old. I prayed for death. Not in a suicidal wish, just that God would take me home.
The Lord had other plans. He stomped on me and put the crushed me through a wine press. The fermentation process took a few years and various people came and went while seeing me through it.
And “through it” was key. You have to go through grief, work through it for if you avoid or defer it you will suffer greatly later on. Much like a recovering alcoholic who doesn’t completely clean up their past or face resentments. You refuse to deal with things, then they will deal with you.
And I trudged on, through the grief and the soul-scorching aloneness I felt.
As I said three paragraphs ago, various people came and went through my initial period of griefwork. All served a purpose and I was grateful to them. But stability was not a crowning achievement of my life in those days. I felt as if I was living in quicksand.
More, later today or early tomorrow in Part 3.
Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books!
"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"
"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"