There is an emptiness in me.
Today, the emptiness in me is child-sized.
Last night, it was the size of a bottle of wine.
Sometimes, when I dream, the emptiness is the shape of someone that I used to know.
There is a space inside me, and I want to fill it with things. The space changes and morphs to what it wants. Often, it fools me into thinking that it is gone and then it abruptly makes itself known. Last night, we celebrated Thanksgiving with family- the food and drink were plenty. So the space within me grew to about 26 ounces big, and was crimson in colour. And earlier, I had brunch with a girlfriend- one of my last few friends who was child-less. She is pregnant. And while I feel so much joy for her, the space inside me cried out, in the shape of a child. Is this craving? Is this what the Buddha talks about- attachment? That the reason we suffer is due to our wanting. Our perceived lacking.
So, what is whole-ness? I suppose it is feeling that I am enough without the things that I desire.
But I desire to feel whole and alive and at peace. I try to do things that inspire me to feel that way. These things are simple. This morning I spent time alone by the sea. It was quiet and still and the sky was moody. I spend time hiking in the woods. I spend time with my partner who is my best friend and my lover. I spend time with my mother, my brothers, my niece and nephew, my girlfriends. I spend time reading and I write. Sometimes I listen to music. Sometimes I don’t.
Mostly, during these activities and beyond them, I spend time feeling. Just feeling. On my own. I feel the beauty of the world and of life. Sometimes I think it is the way I feel that is the most precious thing that I have. My new found sobriety is like how sweet it is to allow yourself to be consumed and enveloped in the rush of deeply falling for someone.
I am opening.
I breathe in this feeling that I can’t quite name yet. It is warm and smooth and so full. It embraces me and propels me. It makes me feel invincible, calm, and beautiful. It is exciting and comforting all at the same time. It is the opposite of heartache.
I think this is love. I oscillate between these two places- the emptiness and the fullness.
I am wanting and I am love.
I think the work is being okay with the wanting, to accept it. And then, to let it go. How many times and how often will I be reminded of those longings and desires? Is it like in meditation, when you are trying to quiet the mind, and thoughts keep coming up and you acknowledge them and then let them float away like clouds?
I don’t know how to make the emptiness go away, or even if it will. I don’t know how to stop wanting. I am hoping that if I fill my life up with all the other things and feelings that make me feel full, the empty space will get smaller and smaller. It seems to be working so far. Maybe I don’t want it to go away altogether so that I can remember where I’ve been and how I got here. I think I want to keep visiting it from time to time, because it will get less painful, and I will want to remember those parts of me. All the parts of my story.
60 days sober tomorrow.