Rebel Without a Vice


What the hell do I even have now?

I gave up my half of a cigarette, stopped boozing, sugar/honey eating is pretty stabilized, I have money in my savings account, my relationship is yummy, what the hell do I cling to as a rebel girl?

If you haven’t had the pleasure of exploring the four tendencies, pop over here and let the light shine on you. The first month of the circle we learn about our tendencies because knowing these has transformed how I view and understand myself, my kids, my lover, my clients, my world.

I am a rebel. I don’t respond to inner or outer expectations and all the rebel yells that come along with that constant struggle to not do what others want and the push pull with your own damn self.

One thing that I’ve counted on is having a secret little vice. The quarter of a cigarette on the porch after a run when the kids were at school. The tequila shot in the Loft before checking the mail and starting dinner at 4:30pm. Didn’t matter what it was, it was part of my identity in the world, of beating in my own rhythm which was chaotic and wild and loving and mine.

Everything feels so calm now. So peaceful. There are days when that is the hardest challenge of my day, adjusting to the stability of my own body and mind.

My friend Alix, also rebel, also on the side of sobriety, told a story about how the most rebellious thing she does now is to say, “I don’t drink.”

I’ve been over here hiding it, feeling almost shame about it because I am terrified of making others feel somehow uncomfortable in my change and she has a new rebel cry, “I don't drink.”

She said that not drinking inside of a world where alcohol is the norm, the go to, is the most rebellious act she can choose.

Mind. Blown.

Dig deeper little rebel. Just because the tequila shot is gone doesn’t mean you are gone. Just because life feels really fucking good, doesn’t mean that it is going to come crashing down.

I have challenged every social dynamic I know. How does a rebel keep herself from not drinking when meeting inner expectations is the struggle?

I suppose by the one thing that keeps time for everything in her life, by figuring out the way she wants to feel and challenging every expectation that comes her way.

My entire life I have been in search of the life I have created, had created. And instead of feeling amazing inside of it, I was still pushing it away, numbing it, fighting inside of it.

I couldn’t see that the feeling I wanted to have most was already there, I was just too numb to access it.

I felt like I was dying inside of everything I had busted my ass to draw forth.

No one asked me to stop drinking. In fact, it was the expectation that I would drink. Travel with my own booze. Be the first at the bar.

I guess there truly is no more rebellious act than breaking that pattern. Saying no more. Claiming a quiet spot on the grass to sit on a beautiful blanket and feel everything.

Maybe feeling everything, and let me tell you it is a wild ride, is what freedom is.

I was telling Dave that on my birthday I was so overcome by emotions that I had to just go to bed. I had time with friends which was amazing, I had a beautiful surprise from my kids and him, I had frustrations with kid homework time, I had my entire house pulled apart and moved around, and I had my first birthday without a bottle of wine. And when he opened a beer, I had to go. Go to bed. Go process how many possible feelings I could have all at once.

I was grateful and moved and joy filled and frustrated and unnerved and sad and happy and vulnerable and scared and proud and excited and disappointed and let down and lifted up. All at once. Everything. All of it.

Leaving and going up to bed to lie there and just feel was the half cigarette, the shot of tequila, the falling apart and getting angry, the blowing up of something, anything.

It was the place where all of that would have been.

Replaced by the feelings. The time and space to process them, find places for them or releases for them. It was a lot of tears. It was gigantic gratitude. It was enough sleep. It was not looking for another person to fill my voids.

This peace and calm feels oddly like a rebel yell. Like coming up for air after holding my breath.

At first you replace your ‘vice’ with a vice. Then trade that one off for a new one. Cigarette into sex sex into tequila tequila into shopping shopping into sugar sugar into…

…peace and calm. Shit.

That is what I have now.