Hello from somewhere outside Stockholm, Sweden.
I’m enjoying a brilliant mini-getaway and catch up with some very close friends. It’s pretty hard for me not to enjoy myself when there’s nature, water, and a campfire involved.
Campfires are like meditation for me: I can look at a campfire and think of absolutely nothing for hours on end. They are rare treats and I am extremely grateful to have enjoyed one tonight.
But I’d be lying if I said I thought of absolutely nothing on this occasion. It’s the first time I’ve seen my friends since rehab and, understandably, they have a lot of questions: Where was rehab? What was it like?
Some questions are tougher to answer, like “What happened to send you off the rails like that?”
For one thing, even though it’s only been three months since I left, it feels like a lifetime ago. I have gone through a change so profound I cannot even understand what happened myself.
I explain that there was a lot of anxiety and stress, and alcohol was an easy way to eliminate both. It sounds weak and hollow even to me.
Then there are questions about Mrs. M: “How is she doing?” with a hint of (unspoken) subtext that would add “having to put up with your bullshit?”.
Maybe it’s my guilty conscious imagining it, but it’s still a fair question to ask.
I replayed a lot of those bullshit moments in my head, wondering how I ever justified them. I certainly can’t now.
What happened? I don’t know.
All I know is that I’m not that person anymore, and that it took having a mid-thirties meltdown – and a trip to rehab – to break free from who I was.
The question is: who have I now become? I’m still getting used to the new me, but I do know one thing: I am perfectly content sitting around a campfire with good friends and a cup of tea.