I've been thinking a lot about how I used to drink.
I know now that I drank to numb. I drank to de-stress. I drank to feel like I was in charge of some part of myself.
It was when I was way, way underwater.
It was when my kids were little and all the feelings started to seep out of me; the old, yet-to-be-named feelings of shame, the new feelings of terror about my self-perceived maternal inadequacy.
I drank tequila and my brain got warm and just for the evening (after evening after evening) I felt ease.
But what I've really been thinking about is how I stopped drinking. How it became clear, like the most delicate and precious crystal, that my life would open in ways I couldn't yet imagine if I stopped.
And so I stopped. There's more to that story, of course, but the point is: I stopped.
I've been stopped for almost two years now, and what I knew to be true is, in fact, true: my life is new.
I am new.
Sometimes I don't want to meditate.
So sometimes I don't.
Sometimes I want to eat french fries and cake.
So sometimes I do.
Sometimes I spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not the meditation is worth it or if the healthy fuel is really that important.
But it keeps coming back to this: you can't unknow something once you know it.
Once I knew I was drinking too much, knowing I needed to stop nagged and nagged.
When I decide the dishes are more important than 15 minutes of meditation, the nagging begins.
When I'm not really enjoying that piece of cake because I'm worried about what it's doing to my waistline, nagging.
It's possible to quiet the nagging. It's possible to silence it; just do the things you know you need to, even when you don't want to.
'Just' - "fuck you, Ballard. 'Just'? You know better than that."
I know - 'just' is an oversimplification.
But here's the thing: I think it really might be that simple.
It's our resistance to the simplicity, it's what it says about us that it's so simple and yet we resist - that's what pisses us off.
So get pissed off.
Get fired up.
And then do the thing anyway.