Today, a group of us at the community support group I’m a part of now listened as these words were read aloud from a John O’Donohue essay called “The Question Holds the Lantern” —
“If you could imagine the most incredible story ever, it would be less incredible than the story of being here. And the ironic thing is, that story is not a story; it is true. It takes us so long to see where we are. It takes us even longer to see who we are.”
I started sobbing almost immediately as these words sunk in. I mean… sobbing. Like actual sobbing.
I’m not even sure why exactly I was sobbing. It was a bit shocking to me. I’ve never been a big crier… not over myself anyway (maybe over puppies and kittens, though). But when it comes to my own pain, I tend to be more of a quiet, “hold it all in,” ultra-reserved type. Swallow it and push it down. Pretend it away.
But something about hearing the first few sentences of this essay broke me open inside… in a way that allowed me to touch a part of myself I haven’t been in touch with for a long time. Past all of the shells and walls I’ve built.
These words got through to me in a way that I think I didn’t even know I needed, and hit me on a level and at a depth that I wasn’t even aware I still had inside of me.
To be honest, I didn’t really hear much of the rest of the essay reading. I couldn’t tell you how it ended. I was too distracted by the unexpected visceral reaction I had just had, the wave of emotion that crested over me.
I don’t know what else to say about it all right now. I’m still processing it, I guess.
I mean… I think this raw upchuck of emotion was a good thing? Emotion… it’s a byproduct of connection, right? Connection and community, and not being alone anymore. Maybe that’s why I feel safe enough to feel right now. To feel anything. Even this. This pain.
My heart hurts.
God, I want a drink.
For context on this post, and links to related journal entries from this particular piece of my life's journey, see My Sobriety Journey, Journaled.