Intro: It is 4:32 in the morning. Sunday. I am wearing a grey sweatshirt, Prana cozy pants and slipper socks. My husband calls these socks my Dr. Suess socks. They are fuzzy with pastel stripes. They collect every bit of dirt and animal hair I step on.
“Well, if you think they’re so ugly…buy me some real slippers.” Real mature, Sarah.
We vascilate between Buddha-esque compassion for one another and teenage banter. We have been married 4 1/2 years. Together for 6. Last night we went to a wedding. We danced close and all I could see was his chest and up-close smile. I wanted to eat his breath. He called me a nerd. but kept smiling, kept dancing.
Two of our 3 kids were on the sidelines. Baby Beckam had two fists full of cake frosting, which he rubbed into Aunt Marcy’s shirt. Pepper was sliding back and forth across the dance floor on her knees. She ruined her tights. She is 3 years old.
I didn’t eat any cake. I am still afraid of cake some days. I’ve been in recovery from an eating disorder for the last 4 1/2 years, for as long as I’ve been married. I couldn’t do both. That would be cheating.
I didn’t drink any gin, even though they had an open bar, and I love gin. I haven’t drank gin in 7 1/2 years. The last time I drank was at a wedding. I blacked out halfway to the car. My next memory was hours later. I was on the ground sobbing into my dress. I decided Sophie couldn’t be safe with a mom who got drunk and lost hours or whole evenings of her life to blackouts. I couldn’t have both. I couldn’t tell her, “Your life is worth living,” if I didn’t believe it for myself. Sophie was 2 then. Now she is 10.
So now here I am, at 5:01 in the morning, writing. It is a compass for me. Sometimes I tell myself lies for months. I write what I think Ought to be the truth, so I can stay on track. Then I’ll read it back to myself and say outloud at the kitchen table, “This is crap!” I start over and start writing what is right in front of me. Amazing how far from reality I can drift. Reality is plenty. It is all I need. It has all the beauty I can stand, if I can only clear out enough junk to see it.