It’s a lovely morning – well, mid-morning by now – with a tiny bit of mist that the sun is slowly burning through. It rained all night but now we’re back to the sort of gorgeous autumn day we’ve been spoilt with the past couple of months. I’m sitting in the base camp at the Delta Force Paintball grounds at a rickety table and it’s just warm enough outside for it to be pleasant. Hubby, Bambino, Bonus #1 and Bonus #2 are running around shooting and getting shot during their first game of the morning. Because Bambino is under 16 I’ve had to sign a consent form that also holds me to the understanding that my child won’t shoot anyone in the head. In other words, I could be charged with something imminently – my damn kid has no freaking sense of safety rules so all I can do is pray he’ll rein his little mad self in just enough for me to avoid being prosecuted in a court of law.
It’s quite heartwarming to see Bambino with the bonuses – despite having been thrown together in a constellation they had no say in whatsoever, they seem to have the kind of chemistry you’d expect if they had been brothers all along. My bonus sons are in their twenties and show tonnes of patience with Bambino (who is an extremely excitable teenager) and yet familiar enough with each other to bark if he goes too far. I glanced over at Bambino with Bonus #2 this morning at home and my heart soared – Bambino sauntered over and with his arm across Bonus #2’s shoulders showed him something on his phone. Nothing contrived or forced, just how they naturally are with each other these days. This obviously has nothing to do with drinking or my sobriety except perhaps that I can feel this joy and gratitude fully without booze numbing my senses. So much to be grateful for and I can’t help but smile as I sit here listening to the sound of smattering paintball guns over the fence at the far side of this safe zone area.
My friend Kitten asked if I can come over to help her out and just be around for a few days and I don’t know yet if I can go as my bosses may very well say no. Hubby and I talked it over last night. It’s all down to boundaries, really. Drunk Me would agree to anything and everything and then either have her energy sucked out of her doing something she didn’t have the emotional resources to do or wriggle out of it at the last minute. The first thing about going to Kitten was to work out if this is something I can freely give without bending myself out of shape. It is – SOLELY because I’m sober, I need to add. Any sacrifice it means for me in terms of emotional well being, time, money and whatever else will be impacted, I can give away. Yes, I can do that.
“Will it help though? What happens when you leave?” Hubby asked.
This is the thing though. Having me around for a few days won’t cure Kitten’s depression. It might in all likelihood not even make her feel better. Depression, I guess, doesn’t work like that because then all a doctor would need to do for a patient would be to order them to focus on their social life. It’s not like Kitten will be well again when I leave. Well, whenever she does recover, it certainly won’t have anything to do with me. But perhaps being there for her and showing I care counts for something. It might not make a dent in her depression but it might let her know that she’s important and loved.
Life has a funny way of teaching you the lessons you needed to learn at precisely the right moment. It now seems like perfect serendipity that I just finished a book that emphasised the three C’s of Al-Anon: You didn’t CREATE it, you can’t CONTROL it and you can’t CURE it. This sums up my role as Kitten’s friend now that she reaches out to me, whether I can go and stay with her for a few days or just remain where I am now and only available on the phone or via messages and e-mail. What I need to understand and remember in this situation, just like the people who support ME in my sobriety, is that I can only offer my love and support and accept that it might not make a blind bit of difference. Or perhaps it will but I have to give it unconditionally and never hinge my hopes on the outcome and give my love regardless. If I can’t accept this, I can’t give it at all. Makes perfect sense I guess.
OK, it’s getting chilly now…
Today I’m not going to drink.