the emptiness in me.

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.


23 thoughts on “the emptiness in me.

  1. I think you cannot fill the perceived emptiness with things.
    You are not empty. You are whole and perfect and just right.
    It is in comparing and finding ourselves somehow lacking that we creat that hollow feeling.

    The fullness is you accepting yourself. The more you nurture it the more it will grow. And the wanting will be more like the clouds.

    It’s awesome how much we find in ourselves when we open up to it.


    • Thank you for your comment, Anne! You are right- I am whole and perfect and just right as I am. It just doesn’t feel that way all the time 🙂 I think you’re right too that the fullness comes from fully accepting- and loving- myself. Working on this. It comes and goes, but I am getting there. xo

  2. Pingback: an invincible summer | taking a new path

    • Prim, it’s like we are connected today across the sea- I was thinking about posting Camus’ quote about an invincible summer with this post! I adore that quote and it is exactly what came to mind when I was writing yesterday. Because that fullness just comes from within and nowhere else. It’s always there, just can’t always access it. Yes, I am honoured that you linked to my post 🙂 thank you xo

    • Hi Annie. 42 days is amazing. It took me months of starts and stops to reach that length of days. As Belle kept telling me, keep adding in more support until it sticks. For me, I needed a lot! I’ll come and check out your blog. take care!

  3. This is so common for us, my friend. You state the case well and poignantly. They sometimes talk about a God-sized hole that only God can fill. I tried filling mine with booze and all sorts of other behaviours and actions and things. I sometimes feel that pang of emptiness too. But as Anne said, we are not empty, but are whole and perfect and just right. (I love that!). And it’s true. The more I accept myself as is, imperfectly perfect, the more I feel that hole shrinking. I know that I can’t fill it with things and objects. It’s just too big. But as I see myself the way that I am supposed to be, more authentic, more me, then I feel less and less un-whole. It sounds esoteric and new age-y and all that, but that’s been my experience.

    Lovely post…and congrats on 60 days!


    • Hi Paul, thanks for sharing your experience. It doesn’t sound too new-agey 😉 I am still trying to figure out the void… as you can tell from my post! I need all the help I can get. All I know right now is that alcohol doesn’t work, and in fact, makes the void deeper. Also- when I feel full, it is full of something that feels like love. This could be self-love or it could be a force of love from the universe or HP, I am not sure yet. But whatever it is, I sure want more of it 🙂
      Thanks for the congrats!

  4. Fantastic post. Maybe the emptiness is not supposed to ever be filled from the outside, but collapsed from within. I’m feeling the same emptiness of time now that I am not drinking and struggling how to fill it. Maybe the answer is not to try to fill it, but to sit with it and let it fill itself from the inside or just collapse. Addition by subtraction? Anyway, great post and beautiful writing.

    • Hi e12p, thank you for your insightful comment. I like your perspective. On the one hand, I have been thinking I need to fill it with people I love and places I love to be, but maybe you are right- maybe I should just sit with it and not try so hard to fill it. Just softly let it go…
      Thanks for stopping by. I just started following your blog- I like it. That Lloyd! 😉

  5. Such a thought-provoking post Clearlee x. “Just softly let it go….”, I’m really beginning to believe that this is the key to feeling ‘whole’ and happy. It sounds so simple. (Oh the irony!) Congrats on your 60 days and love to you.

  6. Pingback: and now for some perspective | club east: indianapolis

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