Sometimes we make decisions while we are deep in the trenches…Often those decisions are made out of fear…or the need to isolate and separate ourselves from people…Or simply survival. We can only see that this decision is going to give us breathing room for the moment. We can see that making this choice is our only way to survive the right now. We are mostly incapable of factoring in what the decisions will mean long term…because we don’t do long term.
We don’t plan past the right now. We dream. We hope. We play out how things could be.
But we don’t plan.
We have planned. Over and over. Down to the smallest detail.
The first time the plan fell apart we were surprised. Caught completely off guard.
The second time it felt like this might be a pattern.
The third time we stopped planning.
Out loud. To anyone. We had no expectations. We hoped this would be the time, but we weren’t tied to a plan that included long term sobriety.
Except. That is a lie. I planned. I had expectations. I just had those conversations with myself. With anyone else, I was non-committed, not counting on it working.
Because really. How many times can someone on the outside hear your plan and see it fall apart before they consider it their role to remind you of the last few times and “let’s not get our hopes up because you know how devastated you were the last time.”
So you cut that off by saying it yourself. Before someone else can. You hide deeper within yourself and silently make those plans. Because if no one else knows you think this time may work, you only have to deal with your own disappointment, not theirs.
But life looks different now. We’ve learned how to separate pieces of our lives from the whole. We decide that this one part is manageable and we make a decision to move forward.
We wrestle with it and poke it to find holes and we weigh possible outcomes against doing nothing.
And we find that doing something in this one small piece of our world feels like….
Success. We are proud of the decision that we made because this decision comes from one of us who is slowly pulling herself out of the family trench. She still has her own trench to climb out of, but she is moving forward. She is taking control of what she can control and….
And I feel like screaming. And celebrating. And I want to tell everyone what she’s doing!
And I want to keep it quiet and let this be just between us. Because this thing she’s doing – this hurdle she is running towards – it’s there because of the last failed plan.
And the last failed plan is still failing.
But she is rising. And she is working towards a goal that gets her back on track to some kind of normalcy. And I want to celebrate the bravery of this goal. I want to celebrate her lifting herself up and chasing after normal.
And I want to quietly and privately encourage her because this is not something she should have had to chase. This is not a track she should have fallen off of. This is the cause and effect of all of the times the plans didn’t work.
So I help how I can. I tell her I’m proud of her. Quietly. I don’t announce it on social media.
I will be her biggest – private – cheerleader over her decision. Because I know the strength and the overcoming this has taken.
But the world doesn’t need to know. Her peers don’t need to know. This thing – this normal for everyone else thing – this thing no one else knows to celebrate because it’s just what you do and it’s not special because it’s been part of the normal plan for everyone.
This thing is my girl rising up. Taking back her life. Deciding she can still have a plan and she gets to decide what that plan looks like.
The other plans falling apart don’t get to decide that her plan for her life will fail.
Her plan is independent of the others. It is impacted by them. It is partly made because of them. It will be harder because of them.
But she finally sees that she can go after what she wants. She is free to be happy and successful and to be whoever she wants to be.
And nothing can stop her. She is amazing and strong and beautiful and determined and I will always be the one quietly cheering her on in the corner. Making sure she knows I’m there, but also showing her that she is capable of great things simply because of who she is.
One small step for most….but a hundred halted, hesitating, then long, brave strides for her.
Brave girl, you can do hard things…
You already have…