I’m trying to look at this from a recovery viewpoint. Some of what hinders me is my sadness over losing people, places and things. I have a strong attachments to places. I knew this when I was 24 and had to move so so far away. But before that, I didn’t go away to college, I didn’t enjoy traveling and actually turned down a trip to France. I loved and appreciated the fact that my grandparents’ house is where my mother grew up, and the hospital where I gave birth to Erika is where my great grandmother (her great great grandmother) died. It does make me sad to realize that those traditions are broken for me and for my children.
I’ve definitely formed new attachments to the places in my life now. I really enjoy going around and looking at very old things and I’m interested in the history of this place, although my ancestors were, as far as I know, never here.
Again, trying to put it in a recovery perspective, I think my sadness is selfish and I want for myself more history and stability than most people get. While I’m being sad about losing places, I’m not actively, at that moment, appreciating where I am right now. And, in looking for a silver lining, I’ve paid attention to the fact that some people I know now, who grew up here and pass by their childhood places all the time, are often sad because it brings to mind the people who are gone. So I don’t have that to look at every day. I can’t imagine, for example, how it is for my uncle to live now in the house where he grew up. I think I would often be overcome by memories of better and worse times.
And this is all very specific to me. When people first come into AA, the letting go of places usually involves not going where their drinking used to take place.
So that house in the pictures. It’s where I ran away from the “wolf” in the woods across the street. It’s where, I believe, my father died, just inside of that plate glass window. It’s where, during a drunken party, a guy from school broke a door. It’s where I did most of my drinking. I had slumber parties there, I started smoking there, I threw up until I was overcome by dry heaves there. My children and my grandmother spent time together there. I wonder what the people in that house are doing now.