Before I got sober, I regularly ignored my intuitions, or I allowed them to be minimized by others. I think he’s cheating on me? It must be because I’m insecure. I think she’s lying? It must be because I have trust issues. Something seems off? It must be because I’m generally uncomfortable. And, yet… today I can have intuitions and remember that he was cheating on me and called me an insecure bitch because he wanted to deflect attention. Or the time she was lying and told me it was my “issues” to avoid being found out. Or the thousand and two times something seemed off not because my mind was wonky but because something was off.
Today, I have the ability to listen to my intuitions. And I can stand up and say, “Hey! This doesn’t feel right!” without telling myself — or, worse, believing — I’m an intolerant bitch with trust issues. There are still moments when the old voice inside my head comes back, and I take a half-step back with questioning myself. But the dominant thing is that I know that feeling something is off is a good reason to wake up and examine a situation — and, if necessary for my peace of mind, I can walk away. The people who really care about me wouldn’t begrudge me that anyway.
Jack honed my intuitions about relapsing more than any other kind of experience could have. He lied and hid things and manipulated the truth — and I ignored my instincts because I loved him so much that I wanted it to be the truth. I had my intuitions, but I willingly pushed them away because to do otherwise would hurt too much. In the end, it became obvious what was going on… but I never did have the courage to confront Jack with his drinking until someone else had already “found” him out. Even then, I felt responsible… as though, had I not been so vocal about what he’d done, he might have felt less guilt and pressure to get sober again.
None of that matters, though. There are problems in the world that I own, and there are other problems I can observe without trying to solve. There are even more problems I don’t even want to take a glance at… and when I walked away from Jack last year, it was my first baby step on the path to separating my baggage from everyone else’s. To thine own self be true is a seminal slogan in recovery, and oh how true that is! It is up to me to set boundaries and listen to my instincts and do what I think is the right thing. Today, that involved walking away from someone else who needs help, desperately. But I can’t do that. Not anymore, and definitely not today.
Do I feel some guilt and sadness? Yes, of course. Is it my problem? Of course, no.