Demanding lovers. Do you have any?
I’ve got a few. And tonight thinking about them is keeping me awake. Wide awake. It’s 2.19am and I’m sitting in the bathtub with my pillow propped behind my head and two soft white hotel robes under my bum to protect me from the cold porcelain of this tub. Mr. Delicious (my hubby) is asleep in the dark hotel room next door. This is a move I sometimes make when we are on holidays and I have time to consider matters other than work and the demands and routines of my daily Brisbane life.
A move into the bathtub feels like sneaking off to meet a lover. I tiptoe around in the dark, fumbling for my reading glasses and iPad trying not to wake this darling unaware man in a deep sleep in my bed. Sometimes I emotionally ache to be alone with one of my greatest loves.
Lover number one … my longest love affair since my early teens has been with Mr. Write. Yes my writing is a very demanding lover, especially when I’m on holidays. Mr Write contacts me mostly in the wee small hours of the morning and seduces me into leaving my husbands side to spend time with him. Tonight I could not resist his charms.
So here I am, in Prague, in the bathtub. I’m reminded of when we were in Cannes a few years back I was guilty of doing the very same thing with Mr. Write. You see he actually does help me stay sane. He gets me like no-one else. He gives me a indescribable strength and with him I allow myself to undress parts of myself that I hide, often in shame and embarrassment from myself, my husband and the world.
When I’m on holidays I get to be with and see different dimensions of myself that my ego struggles with and doesn’t want you to know about, let alone write about … but my unrelenting heart is keen to study my fears and my free will so I can become braver. The fact is that I’m socially uneasy in the world and in most relationships. Without booze and or drugs as a social lubricant I’m awkward, guarded, suspicious, uncertain and to be honest … hard to impress and easily bored. I don’t feel an innate sense of belonging with most people, most of the time. Actually … I feel like an alien amongst others, often. That’s just one inconvenient truth about myself that slaps me like a wet fish in the face usually at about day 10 into my vacation. Today is day 13 so I’ve gone a little longer than previous holidays before having to sneak off in the early hours of the morning for a bathtub rendezvous with Mr. Write.
There are many things about my husbands temperament that are good for me. Challenging, but good for me. He feels at home in this world you see. He is fearless. He’s not a big drinker, he doesn’t smoke or do drugs, he doesn’t need anything to hide behind. He just claims his space and makes himself at home in the world wherever and with whomever he is with. He makes friends everywhere he goes. I call him Mr. Havachat. He just loves life and people (as long as they treat him and me with respect). Piss him off that’s another story. He doesn’t tolerate bullshit, nor suffer fools well nor play games. He’s no saint, but a straight shooter. I kinda love that about him, he’s a good man.
Extroverts like Mr. D. for introverts like me make interesting and educational life partners. He stretches and invites me to broaden my world and myself. He knows I don’t really like to travel. Before I met him, Noosa was as far as I’d venture on a holiday. Actually, a staycation floating in our pool at home is one of my all time favourite holiday destinations. He loves to travel and every two to three years he gets itchy feet so we go exploring together. Beforehand he spends months researching and finding the most beautiful locations to visit, luxurious places to stay and makes sure I can take as many clothes with me as I like. He knows me well and how the theatre of dress brings me great joy each day, so he covers all bases to make sure I have all my needs met. In a nutshell, he is one of the rare men I have met in my lifetime (apart from my two sons and King Trev) that does impress me. He is confident and brave and regardless of how corny it might sound he really is my hero. He saves me from allowing my fears to grow by coaxing me, with his love, care and charm to follow him out of my hiding places into the big wide world.
So I do, then my Emotional homework begins into week two.
Most recovering addicts will echo my alien sentiments … which leads me to confessing about my 22 year affair with lover number two. Mr. Recoverytribe. It’s impossible to maintain a healthy quality of life long term (I mean consistent abstinence from booze and drugs every day) one day at a at a time … without a tribe. The elder in my tribe is Beautiful Barb that those of you that have read any of my books will know how much of a life saving lantern bearer she has been for me over the past 22 years. Barb herself is 23 Years clean and sober. I was blessed to meet her at day 10 of my recovery. She’s been holding my heart and my hand like a fairy godmother for the past 22 years. I go frequently to recovery meetings when at home in Brisbane and am so grateful I can also attend them as I travel. I’ve been to them in New York City, Hawaii, Bali, Moscow and in two nights time there is one I can go to here in Prague that I’m so looking forward to. I have found meetings in Switzerland, Paris, London and Hong Kong that I can get to on our trip before I return home in four more weeks.
There is an intimate relationship those in recovery like me share with their heart tribe. It’s a deeper, bolder and far more emotionally demanding yet rewarding connection than most friendships offer. The fellow recovering addicts I have relationships with at meetings along with those brave souls I work with one on one as Emotional Fitness clients make up my recovery tribe. I belong with people who feel like they don’t belong. It is often said that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety its connection. When people in recovery connect whether they are recovering from an addiction or from self abandonment it’s a sacred, life saving blessing.
So yes … Mr. Recoverytribe … is the name of my demanding second greatest love. This lover also demands time away from Mr. Delicious as I attend meetings, time alone with Barb and sometimes my recovery lover demands I see my therapist too.
The third lover I wrestle most with is … Mr. Mainstream. Mainstream life is a demanding lover for an introverted, writer in recovery I’ll tell ya that for nuthin’. However, without dancing, romancing, fighting and breaking it off with Mr. Mainstream … often … a writer has nothing to write about. As a suicidal teen I have tried to end it big time with Mr. Mainstream but it wasn’t my time to go. So much to my dismay waking up in a hospital after an overdose, I made up with Mr. Mainstream. However, its not been hearts and flowers by any means. I’ve had a rocky booze and drug addled relationship with him until I was in my mid 30’s. Now in my mid 50’s I still find him my most troublesome lover.
You see I feel safe with Lover #1 Mr. Write. Because its just me and him. I feel connected.
Lover #2 Mr. Recoverytribe. I also feel safe with even though he asks me to step into the world, I do so with other hypersensitive beautiful, brave souls. I feel connected.
Lover #3 Mr. Mainstream is the one that has kept me awake tonight. I’m seduced by his flurry of consistent seductive invitations to socialize mostly with people NOT in recovery. I am usually the only one not drinking when I’m out with Mr. Mainstream and as much as I adore his invitations to dress up I find most of the fun for me is at home creating a new outfit for pure joy, shopping in my glorious Queendom (my dressing room/s). Once I’m at the event the emotional challenges really kick in. Too often I hit emotional overwhelm because I stay too long because my ego wants to, but my heart wants to go home. If I ignore my heart and my ego wins, I become disconnected.
It doesn’t happen all the time with Mr. Mainstream but its happened more than I’d like in years gone by.
I have only a sacred few close intimate female friends that know me at my best and worst and love me no matter what social mistakes or misunderstandings we have. We apologise, cry, hug and laugh together. They understand that Mr. Recoverytribe and Mr. Mainstream sometimes go the biff and it gets confronting and confusing for most to fathom, except those that know me very well. If they’re with me when I’m out with Mr. Mainstream I’m fine and its so much easier to remain connected.
When I’m with my hubby Mr. Mainstream behaves himself, he is never a problem for Mr. Delicious always has my back. We as a couple have a deep and powerful connection. But when I’m invited by Mr. Mainstream to events that Mr. D. is not invited to, or unable to attend like a work luncheon etc., I am mindful as I’m still a work in progress learning how to not lose connection to my heart and also honour my ego too that does enjoy time out with Mr. Mainstream. Mr. Mainstream however isn’t really interested whether I’m connected to my heart or not.
So thank you Mr. Write, my sacred love, I am a better woman for this beautiful time alone with you. Both my heart and my ego are now calm and more understanding of the partnership homework they need to do more of in 2018 . My overworked ego was panicking at 2am as I ignored its plea to stay in bed and go to sleep. My ego actually does understand it needs to partner my heart and work as a team, not dictate to it and try to boss it around. It just fights my heart in fear sometimes. But my heart encouraged my ego gently and respectfully so they’ve both been acknowledged in this piece.
Why am I a better woman for having emotionally undressed with Mr. Write? I mentioned earlier that Mr. Write gives me a indescribable strength because with him I allow myself to undress parts of myself that I hide, often in shame and embarrassment from myself, my husband and the world.
Admitting that resolving the inner conflict I have with Mr. Mainstream is something I’ve really struggled with in my 55 years on this planet. Unless I become a recluse (which at times is soooooo appealing) I need to improve my self care and not self abandon and disconnect from my heart nor fight but work with my ego in a healthier way when it comes to spending time with Mr. Mainstream.
I am an addict in recovery, which means I’ll always be a work in progress. I am also a dedicated writer and an avid student of the power of change and free will. I don’t have it all worked out yet, and it’ll be ok if I back myself with love and self respect and remain connected to love. I wont be perfect at it every time I’m with Mr. Mainstream this year. His invites have already commenced and my diary is starting to fill up on my return to Australia already.
It’s now 4.45am, how time flies with Mr. Write. I don’t know if any of this makes any sense at all to you, but if it does and its helpful in anyway I’m glad. My bum is now very numb so I think it’s time to climb back into bed.
I’m also wet.
Get your mind out of the gutter, I’m wet because Mr. D just wandered in the bathroom looking for me. The darling man squinting with the bright light blinding his eyes, still half asleep he bent down to give me a gentle good morning kiss. As he did so he leant on the bathroom tap and accidentally flicked on the tap.
So with a wet, numb bum I’ll sign off with this last little reminder that I love. I always write about what I need to learn about and remember the most when I feel lost and overwhelmed and that is ….
A bad day for the ego is often a great day for the heart?
Lotsa love Cynthia ???