I’ve read that when you sigh, you give yourself a moment of strength, a “you can do this, Kathy,” message.
My heart is filled with grief and sadness today. I’ve just said goodbye to my beautiful Daisy dog, Tasha. Only 10 years old and a full 10 pounds, she was my girl. Dogs have such loving hearts. They’re a lot like horses in that they don’t judge you and by merely being in their presence they give you a feeling of comfort.
I am allowing myself to grieve and to feel all the emotions that my body is experiencing — the heavy sadness in my head, the sticky feel of tears in my eyes. I turn to my recovery toolbox and inhale deeply, taking a big breath of courage to give my heart added oxygen, and I breathe easier. I’ve read that when you sigh, you give yourself a moment of strength, a “you can do this, Kathy,” message. This time I’m doing it sober. I don’t need a drink to get through this time in my life and for that I pat myself on the back.
Alcohol was a “go to” for all my emotions. Whether sad, happy, excited, mad, celebrating or grieving, you name it, alcohol was what I turned to. In recovery I’ve discovered that using alcohol and not experiencing the true emotions completely just numbs the feelings and arrests the process, happy or sad. When I drowned my emotions and numbed my feelings with alcohol one day, I’d have to start over the next day at the point in the process when I began drinking.
For me drinking felt safe because to feel was so scary. Scary because it meant I’d have to work on myself, work to find what I’m grateful for in my life and make that my focus.
I wasted so many days by using alcohol to numb my feelings. I believe that when people don’t allow themselves to move through and get past sad moments, they stay stuck there. For some stuck feels safe. For me drinking felt safe because to feel was so scary. Scary because it meant I’d have to work on myself, work to find what I’m grateful for in my life and make that my focus.
I lost a beautiful puppy today. I will remember that she gave me 10 awesome years. She was with me through my drunken days. Without judgment she loved lying around, cuddled on my pillow, as I nursed my hangovers. She was with me when I was sad, mad and angry that I couldn’t drink anymore, licking my face with kisses, always letting me know she loved me. She was also with me as I moved to this big beautiful Ranch, becoming a farm dog, running around and not caring that she was a muddy mess, stinking of manure. As long as I was out in the barn, she was with me, and I with her.
I will miss my pretty girl. Knowing that I loved her with all my heart, sick or healthy, is a comfort to me. I wish that we all could love humans with such compassion and kindness instead of carrying anger, resentment, worry, fear and jealousy around with us and missing out on moments that could instead be filled with kindness, joy and love.
My sister lost her husband this year and the holidays had a big empty space in all our hearts. They celebrated anyway, with tears and laughter, creating new memories without him. Through her grief she sent us all a text asking us to enjoy our family time together, to never take loved ones for granted and to celebrate every day as a gift. She found gratitude in her sorrow.
So goodbye my sweet pup. Momma and Daddy will miss you. Thank you for all the great memories. I will treasure them and you forever in my heart.