No Fresh Hell


Wednesday, May 18, 2016  5:13 am

Thousand Oaks California

Sometimes, for me, recovery happens in a moment.

The moment, when you’ve put the downstairs to bed and come upstairs, knowing what comes next-reading in bed with The Dude, goodnight kisses, lights out and sleep-and that actually happens.

The moment, in your softly lit bedroom, night settling quietly and peacefully around you, when you realize-nothing happened again today.

And the moment your still “not-looking-for-trouble-but-expecting-it-heart” okays the thought of how great that is. And then moment that follows that moment, when you breathe, gratefully, and think: no fresh hell today.

No upsetting phone call, voicemail, email, text, post, Tweet, Dribble  or otherwise one-sided, impulsive, digitized sharing of thoughts. No disturbing news. Not a single bell rung, no “you-might-not-want-to-look-at-this-one” clip from the unpleasant highlight reel of your past. No terse words, defensive stances or tense moments. Not once did you find yourself at an indecisive crossroads or did an unfortunate past decision throw up an unexpected consequence. A day free of regret and remorse. A whole 24 hours without a moment’s unhappiness, not a single tear shed. It wasn’t your fault, today. Not even once did an “I’m sorry” leave your lips.

No. Fresh. Hell.


Perhaps there was.

Maybe there was a toad in the road.

A toad in the road is a lot like a bump in the road. Only it’s a toad. I don’t know why. It’s just what I call life’s unexpected, unforeseen obstacles. The upsetting news, the flashback that rings a bell, the tough decision to make, a difficult moment or a challenge to rise to. Perhaps you had a moment’s unhappiness. Perhaps you had an hour. Maybe you Ugly Cried.

Either way, fresh hell or none, it’s a win.

Because you did it, before, during and after, differently than you would have before you stepped onto your path of recovery.

These are the moments I keep to myself, moments that I realize that my recovering as a wife and mother is paying off. When the cumulative effect of day after day after week after week after month after month after year after year of first discovering, then remembering and now living this newfound wisdom, post full-time wife and motherhood, is becoming the life I am making.

When I feel like I am finally getting somewhere.

Where I say no thank you to drama and so there is no chaos. Where peace prevails over anxiety, and calm  soothes frantic all the way away. Freedom isn’t just about nothing left to loose, but about everything to gain and choices present in bright, sunny rooms that were previously shut tight; their doors gently swing open, waiting for me to step in and discover.

Where “perfect” and words like it have outlived their uselessness and I’ll take a word like “better” instead, please and thank you.

Because I’ve learned a very important thing, in this life I have to make, and that is this: better is better…for better or worse.

Given my illustrious (albeit voluminous and dubious) marital history, I would say that, wouldn’t I?


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