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  • Writer's pictureeschaden


Well another year has come and gone. And there are more wrinkles to show for my efforts. But I earned every single one of them. It has been an amazing year. Last year at this time my son was in treatment and was sent home after only two weeks and pronounced, “all better!” I was in love with a man that couldn’t and wouldn’t show up for me, instead made cameo appearances in my life while I waited and longed for him to one day figure it all out. I had one less dog than I do now. I lost my favorite goat suddenly and had to find another home for the other one because I was in too much pain to get another one. In a word, I felt fucked. On every level. I was tired, wrung out, baffled, sad, lonely, grieving and not at all happy. I spent this week last year being angry, hurt, sad and depressed. It was a hard time and not a lot of fun.

But today, today everything is totally different both externally and internally.

That guy is gone. And I am grateful. When he texted me a few months back (like clockwork) I didn’t respond because he no longer possessed anything I wanted. I let the dream die of natural causes. Today, I am grateful and happy to finally be done with all of that. Six years is a long time to give to a relationship that was really over six months in. But as my dear friend always says, “everything looks good going in.”

Life without goats turned out to be something that was not for us. We got three new goats in April and am happy to report that all of them are doing great this November.

My son is in boarding school in Montana and doing spectacular. He is happy and dealing with his stuff. He is such a great kid and now has tools to get out of his own way. I am so grateful. He is a pleasure to be around and am so thankful to both programs he went to for helping him and us. Really.

So many more things have happened this last year. So very many. I had to trudge some pretty hard roads. This last year required things of me that I didn’t know that I possessed. I thought about giving up several times and even thought about drinking once. I quickly dismissed it but it did land in a way that it hasn’t in my entire sobriety.

What I know now is that I will always seek out old ways to solve perpetual problems. I am not innovative in my default is to date it, shop it, drink it, eat it, fuck it. My coping strategy is always and habitually an exit strategy. I want out of the emotional pain and I will do any of the above in any damn order to achieve the nirvana of not feeling whatever it is I am feeling that I do not like.

But last year was a really lovely gift wrapped in shitty paper. On the outside, I thought that I was going under. I thought that all of it was too much. I thought I was being punished and again being denied what I wanted. But what I know now is that I was being provided the pain that I needed to change. I mean really fundamentally, life altering change. And today, on this day of my birth, one year later, I am happy. My new dog that I didn’t have last year laying on my lap as I type this...he keeps sighing like he is a little exasperated with all my cracks me up. Like that is going to stop me, Louie!

My son is doing better than great. He is also changed. So not only did I have to walk through the shitstorm of last November, his struggles were to continue for another nine months. Nine more months of suffering for all of us before the pain grew to unmanageable proportions and I was forced to do something radically different. And he is now better because of it. He is happier and doing so good. I am happier and doing good. Grace is happier and doing good. And we can all thank the horrors and failures of last November for our growth and progress today.

And lastly the guy. I loved him. Really. Maybe he was the first man that I ever really loved with all that I had. But it wasn’t enough for him or for me. And I can see that now. That no matter how much loved I poured into that relationship, it would never be enough to overcome the trauma reactions he had and lived. I could not love him into healing. That journey is his and his alone. And I can see that loving someone who is severely traumatized but unwilling to heal will always be incredibly painful and futile. Today, I thank him for teaching me that loving someone else when you don’t love yourself is a losing proposition. Without self love and valuing your own worth, the only result is pain, lots and lots of pain.

So today I sit here way happier in my own skin than I was a year ago. I have answers that I did not possess a year ago. I have a few more sags and wrinkles than I had a year ago but they were hard fought and long earned. Today, I am super grateful for all the huge changes of the last year. I am grateful to be the me I am today, sitting in the dark, typing out another blog while the cat now purrs in my lap (she kicked the dog to the it should be). Today I am happy to welcome 52. I am grateful for another trip around the sun and most especially grateful for the following:

For all the people added

For all the ones let go

For all the pain and sadness

For all the joy and growth

For all the ups and downs

For all the loss and pain

I wouldn’t be who I am right now

If I didn’t take my time and age

I am grateful for all the lessons, the love and the new life that I worked so hard over the last year to create. Thank you to all of you who trudge with me on this and loved me through it. You are my people and I am so very grateful to all of you. 52 never looked so good!

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