It is in the shelter of each other that people live. ~ Irish proverb
I am superstitious. I collect lucky pennies, avoid cracks in the sidewalk, and when a clock reads 11:11 or 1:11, I make a wish. Which is why I rarely share when things are going well. Because when I do, it is followed shortly by a post that either hints at relapse or describes one in full.
So it is with a tempt of fate that I share: things are going well. No longer does that need to mean, though, that Swenny is sober. It reflects instead a new frame of mind. One with right angles squared by the experiences and support of others.
In an effort to not borrow too heavily from the future, I have been immersing myself in each day and dunking Swenny along with me. Which is partly why last week found us boarding a plane – together – to visit family. My last three trips I took alone, only to return to relapses that were difficult and damaging. So with me he came.
A few days in, shaky hands revealed withdrawal. Where my sister saw the positive in their signal that he wasn’t drinking, to me it meant only that he had been. Until he couldn’t. Because consecutive twenty-four hour stretches spent with me ensured that he wouldn’t. It took just one day home, though, at a distance kept safely from me, to steady him.
And the community with which I have surrounded myself has steadied me. Among family and friends, favorite writers and even readers of swennyandcher is where I live. Where some provide advice and others bring support. Where still others reach generously and sometimes painfully into their own experiences with alcoholism to help me see through. Swenny, I hope, is living likewise in his own shelter of others…family, friends, co-workers past and present, and the sober communities with which he is engaged.
So it has become that even though the address we write in the upper lefthand corner of an envelope might be the same, Swenny and I live in different places. In the shelter of distinct groups of others and each other all at once. My broadened frame of mind accepts this as perfectly okay. Because wherever it is we live, it is the right place…or places. For us. For now.