The small victories & the silver linings

I can’t lie and say that I am sitting down at my computer today living the life I have always wanted. Yes, I am fortunate enough to be working in a field that I love, doing some pretty spectacular things. But at what cost, I find myself asking the reflection lately. At 40 years old I am once again in a very challenging predicament where I am lost in more ways than I am found. I try my best to wake up every day and tell myself that the small victories & the silver linings will get me through the day.

But if I’m being perfectly honest, some days, I wonder.

I think that my blog has been many a thing for me over the last eleven years. It started as a hobby, emulating something I revered and wanted to be so much like. It evolved to be a grouping of incredibly talented human beings writing and sharing around the world. It crashed into a fiery blaze a few years ago, and slowly arose from the ash anew like a proverbial phoenix. Most recently it was a point of promotion and sharing of things I love that also helped to support me financially.

Today, I think it could be said with some certainty that it’s a bit of all of the above, with a soupçon of self-awareness and confession. Perhaps in my recent woes I am turning to you because I am unsure who I should turn to at all. Some might say brave. Others might say stupid.

I just say I am doing what my intuition is telling me to do, which is to just try my best to be honest about it all finally.

This is by no means a cry for help, a poor me moment, or me looking for sympathy. In fact amidst the chaos of my latest natural disaster and mental health, I am quite proud of the things I have committed to. Sobriety at 40 years old (especially my specific forty years) is no small feat. Having to take a long hard look in the mirror and realize certain things is humbling for even the proudest of egos.

I sometimes stop to think about the amount of times I probably should have started my sober journey over the years, and how even now, the idea itself and sharing it so openly is terrifying.

I have mentioned this one instance before, but it always comes back to me. A very dear friend who I cherish deeply, and whose opinion is of the utmost importance having known me for over a decade, once told me to not share too much because it scares people off. Especially brands.

If you think about this moment, albeit an edited version out of respect, is probably one of the most intense things I could share. And I sit at my computer wondering if anyone will want to continue to work with me because I’ve exposed myself as “too real.”

Have I pulled back the curtain too much, causing a mass exodus, and I am left with the shell of what Do The Daniel once was? I’m terrified by the thought if I’m being honest. To know that the world would prefer me to smile and keep it to myself rather than express how hurt I was, and how much hurt I was inflicting.

I guess a lot of people experience this dichotomy between the person they know themselves to be and the one that they portray to the world. I think as children we are taught to behave, be quiet, be good, be calm, be still, and just be so many things. I often got in trouble for being a talkative child – I know, what a shock – but when I look back I think that was a strength of a little boy who lived way too much trauma way too early in his life. I wanted to connect. I wanted to be heard. I wanted to be seen. I wanted to tell stories, and make people laugh.

Make people feel. I wanted to feel.

So as I find myself on quiet nights scheduling group meetings to support my recovery and ability to be in control of my addictions as a disease that I will live with for the rest of my life, I miss feeling that connection.

Old friends now long gone feel so far over the horizon there’s not much point. New friends don’t react like old friends did, so that makes me recoil because I am scared of being “too much.” Family do their best, but this isn’t their first rodeo.

So is this the lesson life is trying to teach me? That at the expense of everything I have built I can find myself and be happier? Or are those silver linings & small victories enough to keep a glimmer of hope.

I have to hope.

It’s in me, and it always has been.

And even when everyone tells me to give up, I probably still won’t.

I blame that headstrong little boy. I love him even more for it and I’ll continue to keep dredging on, even on the melancholic days like today, for him.

Sending you love and a little more compassion for yourselves.