Seek discomfort. Seek discomfort. Seek discomfort. It’s my core message.
Which is why I have a confession.
This just isn’t going to come out right. But as a mom of three, all under the age of 6, I’m uncomfortable most of the time.
Being a mom has a ruthless and unrelenting way of shining a light on my deepest shortcomings.
There’s the boredom.
I am not one of those moms who finds joy in the day to day of Wake up. Make breakfast (oatmeal, pancakes or scrambled eggs). Brush hair. Brush teeth. Clothes and shoes. Walk to bus. Pick up from school. Make dinner. Clean up dinner. Take bath. Brush teeth. Floss. Story. Repeat.
And my impatience.
In which I go from happy and playful mom to intimidating drill sergeant mom, barking orders while the front door is open and my husband stands speechless on the sidelines.
And my constant need for order.
Clean that up! Don’t make a mess! Pick up your toys! I grasp for a tidy home as if it’s the only thing I have to hold onto amidst the chaos.
And my intense sensitivity to noise.
The level of noise becomes so disarming that I find myself fantasizing about getting away where it is quiet and I can hear the sound of the furnace clicking on and clicking off. Free from requests for more chocolate almond milk, or the sound of “Mommy I’m done!” coming from the bathroom (alas I cannot escape so I seek the aid of Jake and the Neverland Pirates).
Which reminds me again of my quick temper and my lack of tolerance and my gigantic ego as I rush to fix a snack, find the crayons or change the wet pair of pants and I grow more and more frustrated at how these little dictators can cut me down so quickly and effortlessly.
But most of all there is the shame.
When I’m around my kids it’s like someone is holding a gigantic mirror up to me showing me how easily bored I am, how impatient, intolerant and bossy I can be. How deeply I resist the present and long for what I don’t have when I know that what I have is as fleeting as it is precious.
And instead of feeling the discomfort and leaning into it, for the past several years I’ve been self medicating.
I’d like to tell you it’s been one glass a night but since we’re being honest it’s usually 3 or 4. It got to the point where I just couldn’t — didn’t want to — stop. Didn’t want to feel the discomfort. Just wanted to pull the blinds down.
And I started to look forward to my first glass of the night — red (when it’s cold) and sparkling (when it’s warm) — like my sanity depended on it. In fact I found myself wondering how one could even have fun without it…?
Nope. There isn’t much in my business that scares me. But when I look to where the discomfort lives in my life, I find it in the day to day of being a mom and what it reminds me about myself.
I thought maybe I’d wait a year to tell you. I thought that would be the prudent thing to do – allow a good 12 months to pass between me and a glass of bubbly before sharing with you the vulnerable truth about me.
But that just felt like hiding.
I wasn’t in integrity — telling you to embrace discomfort when I wasn’t doing it myself.
And I realized something else…
I was beginning to need the chaos, the drama; I needed my kids to exhaust and infuriate me. I needed the shame.
Because I needed an excuse to drink.
It was a relationship of the neediest, ugliest sort. And I never want those three innocent children to be that to me…
An excuse –a way for me to “excuse” myself from growing into the kind of person who manages discomfort clear headed and sober. I didn’t want them to be my excuse to become emotionally stunted by a bad habit.
It’s been 82 days since my last drink.
Already, I’m learning how to manage my energy in a way I never could with a glass of wine in my hand. I’m learning how to love the parts of me that aren’t very loveable. I’m learning about myself – who I am and what I need. And I’m learning how to be present with myself, my kids and my life like never before.
And I’m not going to tell you it’s been easy. But it is in honor of who I will become in the process.
Some questions for you:
- How are you perpetuating a bad situation so you can continue to take the easy way out?
- How is your unwillingness to lean into discomfort keeping you from growing?
- How do you avoid facing the truth about yourself – who you are, what you need and the parts about you you’d rather not face?
Please take a second and share in the comments below. It would mean the world to me.