The Wisdom To Know The Difference

The yard is closed, as is only correct. It’s a challenge not to feel > I was going to qualify that, but yeah: it’s a challenge not to feel, and as much as I’d like not to feel, if I don’t, it’s only going to go worse for me.

Even though I had gotten myself dressed for last night’s lesson, I caught the vibe it wasn’t going to happen. Commiserating chats happened over FB Messenger and then I had a little cry.

Well, a biggish one. I’m generally 60% quarantined as I mainly work from home, but the horses were going to be my lifeline. We kept telling each other, ‘We’re outside, it’s fine’, ‘Our immune systems are titanium, remember when we rode in that deluge?’ but at the end of the day, it’s just too risky, in ways that even horse people can’t transcend [Remember that time we went out in the fields and the sun was practically set and it was raining horizontally and we did all those new, higher jumps? *sigh*].

No stranger to crying, it was always… the last bastion of vulnerability I would fight until I exploded. Now? Not so much. I have experience to call upon, and in this case, the Serenity Prayer comes in very handy.

Please read on for an excerpt from Many Brave Fools.

***

At the end of each meeting, either holding hands or not, we said the Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.


I said this in unison, with the group, week after week, day after day, meeting after meeting. I said it six days a week for several months after I made my decision to leave my marriage: twice a day when I was able to get to two meetings. I went to The Rooms and I cried; it was all I could do to sit up in a chair. What in the past regarding my relationship, regarding any relationship I’d had: I did what I said I would do.
And when the situation did not change, I changed.

I suddenly knew the difference between what I could change and what I could not, and it just about made me sick from weeping. I wept upon waking. I wept int he evenings. At work I’d retreat to the ladies’ room, some days, to cry. I cried and grieved as I gave up the urge to control.
Eventually, I began to cry only in the morning, and then again at night. And then just at night. And then I was on an every-other-day plan, and alternated crying at night with crying in the morning. It doesn’t matter, I said to myself, because one day, I won’t cry every day.

And one day, I didn’t. That was okay, either crying or not 
or my responses. And because I wasn’t ashamed, I was able to respond to this entirely self-made situation with compassion. And because I was there, in it, and not trying to postpone it or deny it, it certainly did too pass. It was my first miracle as a result of The Program, and it was as good as winning the ribbon I still craved.

My actual, literal first ribbon ever.

***

Many Brave Fools: A Story of Addiction, Dysfunction, Codependency… and Horses is AVAILABLE NOW.

Order your copy today:
> In the US, click on over to Trafalgar Square Books’ site.
> In the UK and Europe, visit Quiller Publishing’s page.

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