I dreamed that I was on the phone with a nurse, trying to complete the information necessary for Dad’s hospital stay.
I dreamed that my brother and I went to a group therapy session where Mom said that I was not actually born in January and that she had two other children that we did not know about. We looked at each other while trying to decide if this was the truth or delusion.
I woke suddenly, my desperation and confusion as vivid as it was nearly a year ago, when it was real and daily for almost three weeks.
In the recovery community we are well aware of the emotional tides that an anniversary brings. And while some brush it off as folklore, others of us invariably have a using dream around the time of our sobriety date.
When I was a young woman, a beau took me to his aunt’s beach house for a holiday. The sea was rather rough on our first day out.
“If a big wave comes along,” he said, “just duck down and let it wash over you. That way it won’t knock you down.”
That advice has been a metaphor for me throughout recovery, reminding me that humility and surrender are not evidence of weakness, but of courage. They are also the biggest windows one can open to allow grace to enter one’s life.
So this morning I am letting the waves of grief wash over me. I am giving myself time for my heart to slow down and my panic to subside, reminding myself that it’s over. I got through it. And I am OK.
I am remembering I have more than a dozen friends who’ve lost a parent, a sibling, a child, a grandparent, even an ex-spouse in the past three years. From time to time they reach out to me, surprised by the intensity of their sadness.
This is for them. I love you. You will get through it. And you are OK.