I never dream.
Well, of course I do.
But I never remember them.
My giant bouncy house of a brain does the following..
Takes forever to go to sleep. Hello headphones and weighted blanket…
Once I’m asleep, I sleep like I’m dead. It’s stone cold blackness.
Then in the morning I wake up like a mother bear coming out of hibernation.
When I was 24 years old, I worked with teenagers with complex cognitive disorders and actual slept over in the dormitory with them. So it would be myself and 14 young adult males with a variety of special needs.
We were out the door, drove 20 mins to school, with me at the helm of the big white 16 passenger bus.
We were never late.
Not one single day of the whole school year.
Why you ask?
Well to quote one of my students on the spectrum, “Ms. Proctor looks nice, but don’t f*ck with her in the morning.”
I was never rude, mean, or even raised my voice. It was the opposite. In the morning I’m a stone cold, calm voice, blank face staring serial killer. It’s the least talkative version of Britt you can meet.
It’s also why now I wake up and meditate. It’s an efficient transition to get your brain both grounded and energized.
Okay, so back to sleeping in darkness.
Rarely do I remember any dreams. If you wake me up and say something to me, I most likely won’t remember that either.
Yet 3 weeks ago I started to remember a dream.
Every night I walk barefoot in the woods. There is a waterfall and I touch this giant purple rock. I am alone but I’m safe. I close my eyes when I touch the rock and then everything goes black.
I assume the rock is an amethyst.
It’s not lost on me that I haven’t drank alcohol yet in 2019. That amethyst has a connection to sobriety. Yet, that still feels too obvious.
Plus my relationship with alcohol isn’t really a recovery story. It started with my galbladder wreaking havoc on my body like a jerk. Alcohol, wheat, my body hated everything.
Last year I got an umbilical hernia repaired in May (Jack used his umbilical cord as a bungee rope during child birth- I think that’s called foreshadowing) and then my gallbladder out in December. The new year was an easy starting point for a kindness journey for my physical body. Which meant I just became a “no thanks” to alcohol.
Not making dramatic proclamations about what will happen in the future. I’ll let future Britt figure that out, that girl will know what to do.
Being a “no thanks” turned out to feel really good. Because:
1. I don’t need alcohol to talk to people, make an ass of myself, express my feelings, or have fun. I do all four of those things stone cold sober everyday of my life.
2. I can use all that time and energy and put it into my goals.
I.e. Write the book. Become the best yoga teacher I can be. Start my company.
3. I’m clear AF
My mind is firing on all cylinders. My observation skills are on a creepy level at this point. It really fuels me to continue to pursue my goal of growing up to be Dr. Phil one day.
I do have to consider myself California sober. Because if we are putting all our cards on the table. If Seth Rogen walks in today and says, “Britt you want to smoke this joint and write a movie with me?”
“I’d be like, where do I put my adult size bean bag chair?”
If you are under 21 and reading this blog. There is something I want you to understand. I’m not condoning the use of weed. (Pot? Marajawannna? I don’t know what to call it. I’ve officially transitioned into dorky Mom. I wore bike spandex to preschool drop off this morning. Whatever, living my best life.)
What I am telling you is that the reason we ask you not to drink or smoke weed is because your brain is not fully developed. Putting chemicals into your body while your body is trying to grow will hinder you from becoming the BEST version of yourself that you can possibly be.
It’s our job as parents to look out for your safety so that you can grow into the strongest, happiest, most prepared adults you can be.
A HUGE part of that is we want you to learn how to have a healthy body and mind. Put you in environments where your brain can develop and thrive.
Then when you are an adult, you can make choices for yourself. You can let loose every once in a while. Just please have patience with yourself and let yourself grow first.
All substances, including alcohol can be used to numb feelings you don’t like. It’s the world’s worst plan.
In my opinion, as a society we are very concerned about the drug problems, but sometimes let alcohol off the hook. I’m not condemning alcohol or telling people they should never drink. I’m just saying its all the same.
You are altering your state.
Here’s the problem though. If you do this to try and crush hard feelings, you miss all the lessons.
People always say, “Britt you are an old soul.” People have said that to me since I was a kid. The truth is, I’m so wise because I’ve done so many dumb things. Made so many mistakes!
I have hurt people and I have let people down. Yet, I stand here today, fueled by all the times I didn’t win. Inspired by the times it hurt the most.
All the growth happens in the challenges. In the sitting with the hard feelings and not shoving them down deep and pretending you are okay.
I used to be a feeling shover. It was a learned behavior.
The oldest tradition in my family was alcoholism and not having hard conversations.
My Mother got sober when I was 19 years old and it was one of the most terrible experiences of my life.
Yes, you read that right.
Alcohol was the villain. Our life and family would be so wonderful, IF Mom would stop drinking.
Well, Mom stopped drinking. What I had prayed for my entire life finally came true.
If only she would stop drinking…
Her stopping drinking was obviously a step in the right direction. Yet, the work hadn’t even begun.
You see, alcohol was the bandaid, not the wound.
If you don’t deal with the root cause, you are just cutting one head off a three headed monster. Then ten more grow back like in any good Greek mythology.
Alcohol was gone. Yet that monster came back. Whether it be in eating disorder form, hoarding tendencies, explosive emotional outbursts, whatever package it was wrapped in.
The monster wasn’t alcohol. The monster was a lack of self worth and a refusal to seek any help of the basis of always worrying about….
“What would people think….” So fearful of being judged.
I would scream at her, “Why don’t you do see a therapist?” She would be like “what, am I crazy? Why would I go see a shrink? I think you should go see a therapist! ”
Then I’d yell “cause you just got sober, just got divorced, you have cancer, and everyone in your family has died. Pick one.”
Yes, giving up alcohol was step #1. But it wasn’t close to the beginning of the real work.
You know what you can’t do?
Push someone along on their journey. You can’t shout what you see so clear as day right in their face. You also can’t take on their story as your own.
So stop shouting outward and start looking inward.
Every one is in charge of their own mental, physical, and spiritual health. Stop waiting for someone to come save you. Stop placing expectations on people of what they should do for you. Love people for who they are. Or actually cut them out of your life. I have no time for pretending these days. It takes from the focus of my mission.
Deal with your shit, or your shit deals with you.
No one is coming to save you, save yourself.
Not everyone is going to like you, you aren’t for everyone.
If you don’t see a leader, be one.
Dump out your silly, creative, juicy heart and don’t apologize for it.
Be the hero, not the victim.
Say Thank you.
Then go touch the big purple rock and close your eyes.