Friday, April 22, 2011

Security and Discomfort

***Submitted by Corinne, who is a regular contributer to Crying Out Now

On any given day, at any given time, my son resembles Charles Schultz's Linus. He carries a blue blankie, warn with love, over his shoulder. It goes in the car, to the doctors office, and most importantly, to bed. It dries tears. It's a soft landing for the roller coaster of emotions that a three year old rides. It's an extension of Fynn.

Paige never took to a blankie. She has one, a matching pink to Fynn's blue, and while she snuggles it occasionally... it's not a necessity in her day.

I was a blankie girl. I had a Special Blanket {as my mother called it...} hand made by my great grandmother; it was made up of two cross stitched deer, a frog, a few birds. A white background that was loved to the point of holes. I slept with it nightly, I snuggled it when frightened, I huddled in various spots with it under my chin. It caught my tears and kept me company at night {my sleepless nights started early... I'm afraid I've passed the restless sleeper gene to my children}

The middle of the blanket, the part where the pattern is still intact, hangs in a pink frame over Paige's bed.

And now, I have a thing for blankets. I sleep on my side, with sheets and quilts atop no matter what the thermostat reads, wrapped over my shoulder and tucked under my chin. I feel secure. Warm. Cozy. Safe.

For long time a blanket wasn't actually a blanket, but a glass or four of red.

Like pulling a blanket under my chin, I swallowed glass after glass during movies that hit a little too close to home. Like Rachel Getting Married. I drank a lot during that movie as I watched it from my living room couch. The wine washed out every thought in my head that led me to believe that there was a problem with how I drank. It cleared the word addiction from my brain. On girls nights out with my mother's group, when talk would come up of an alcoholic or an addict, or someone who had issues in any way with substance abuse, I'd swig whatever was being poured and say wise things and spout off advice to those who wondered. I, after all, have a grandfather who is an alcoholic, so I knew everything.

But really, I knew nothing. Except that I liked my security bottles, and I disliked feeling uncomfortable.

Jillian Michaels has a yoga dvd out in which she says something along the lines of "get comfortable with being uncomfortable". I laugh every time I hear those words.

Part of this sobriety thing is being comfortable with being uncomfortable.

A friend let me borrow her copy of Mary Karr's LitIt had been on my to read list for a while, but I never got around to holding it in my hand.

I started it last weekend, and it makes me terribly uncomfortable. I've stopped reading at times because it hits so close to home. It makes me remember, and realize, and think and work through things that I'd long forgotten about. Reasons and memories and the worst... triggers. Reading her words about her journey towards sobriety has me wanting to reach for a drink, wanting to drown the voices that come up and say that's me... that's why I did... and do... and... and... and...

Reading Mary Karr's words I revisit places I'm so thankful I'm not currently inhabiting.

And it makes me remember that while each of our stories of alcoholism, recovery, sobriety, are unique and individual - there are so many similarities. There are these recognizable traits, threads that are sewn through us to tie us drunks together.

Mary Karr writes "...the scared self holds on while the reasoned one lets go." as I read those words I'm reminded how scared I am of relapse, of going back, of the fragility of sobriety {I think I mentioned that last bit in a post not that long ago...} I'm holding on because I'm scared.

I'm finding myself holding a blanket more often than not while reading Lit. Whether it's the pink fleece Red Sox blanket my inlaws gave me for Christmas last year, the quilt that lies on my bed that my mother crafted with remnants of childhood dresses and doll clothes, or even Fynn's coveted blue blankie.

Security. I know that I can be secure while being uncomfortable.

It's possible.

I'm glad I'm once again a blankie girl.


  1. Oh Corinne, this is so GOOD. I could FEEL this post because you know I feel the same things. Thank you. It's so so good to not be alone.

  2. I am glad you are a blankie girl too! Wonderful post. those places we thought were so vital were actually hell realms.