Struggle or Surrender

September 13, 2021

It’s been a more challenging last week for some reason, trying to sort out the what and why. I know, and I’ve prioritized everything over working out, my fitness. I’ve figured out I need to surrender and embrace this as part of my self-care treatment plan against being moody, a bit down, and absent in life.  

My extended family lost a couple of members to Covid-19 this last two weeks, with several other members trying to recover. Last week I was playing with anger; it’s a playmate that is fine to hang out with when understood, directed at with the right source, and not danced with too long. We have preventative measures deployed worldwide in the pandemic, scientifically proven to help survive, and even lesson severity. Still, a percentage of the population refuses to help protect our families and friends. I’ve yet to come across a logical argument of why you choose as an individual to live at high risk to public health. My anger and sadness are with those who put others at risk with selfish reasoning.

For today, I know there are people in the world who have not had a tough week; they have had an unbearable week. Many in the US and abroad observed the 9/11 attacks and the loss of lives twenty years prior. My thoughts and prayers are with those who lost people in their lives, plus all who revisited the trauma they’d experienced. The weight of all the loss by people got at me a bit more than usual this week. As my wife and I discussed, sometimes we just need to sit with the sadness, going through it naturally, versus replacing the emotion or pushing it to the side to get on. It’s not the easiest for me to follow my advice, especially with this topic of sadness.

On the other side of today, some people had a good week, who worked out, the job was alright, and enjoyed a peaceful existence. These thoughts give me hope; it was only a bumping week not, not one second longer if I continue to do the work on myself around being emotional and physical fitness.

The reality of a week being heavier got validation when a song came on the radio, one from the early nineties by Pearl Jam, and I got emotional. It was Yellow Ledbetter, and I don’t know the lyrics; it unlocked these legacy feelings from the past. In 1991 this song was released. In these two years, I was an emotional and mental trainwreck; when my alcohol and drug use was daily and out of control, life was genuinely spiraling like a high-velocity hurricane. I would sit and turn, slow, steady, and destructive in my addiction in those days. The severity of my use subsided then evolved to binging for many years until I reached an end. Sobriety knocked at the door, and this time I answered; now, I can say it’s possible for anyone with eleven plus years in recovery. There are more paths to recovery today, and it’s not one size fits all today, thank goodness. We need all the pathways possible to save lives. The blurred memories from the past present themselves for me to acknowledge and put into the light of day, and I can do something with them. Now it is up to me.

I’m going to close this writing with a version of the serenity prayer because it feels right: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference, living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; taking this world as it is and not as I would have it.