Two nights in a row, I haven’t written a blog. Or checked my emails, or been on Facebook, or done any writing at all, really. And beside the fact that my life is incredibly demanding, here is the major reason: both nights I have been drunk. The first night with colleagues (with whom the line between colleague and friend is blessedly blurred); the second night with friends, dear friends whom I love, and who somehow, amazingly, love me.
And it’s good. Tomorrow might be hard: tomorrow the singing, the beauty of the music, might be more than I can bear. Last week was certainly hard: there were times I wondered if I’ll even make it through to Christmas. Times when the memories of all that was done to me threaten to become overwhelming. Times when I’ve wanted to give up.
And yet, last night I drank with friends, and we laughed at stupid things and sang Christmas carols loudly (and, I will point out, in tune), and we talked about things that upset us and things that feed us and we shared the miracle of friendship and my soul rejoiced in that. Because in the darkness of the last ten years, I never realised that I would be allowed to have that. I never believed that I was worth that friendship. I never believed that I had value enough to be of value to such wonderful, beautiful people.
I still don’t know where I stand with that. Even in the golden miracle of the night I shared with these friends, I found myself amazed that it was really happening, that it wasn’t some shining fiction I’d made up in my head. But it wasn’t. Deservedly or not, I really am that blessed.
I’d like to believe that I’m worth the blessings in my life. At the moment, I can’t. Maybe one day I will. But – after ten years in which I was punished, inconsistently, for the joy life offered – I’m learning to celebrate those blessings wholeheartedly. I’m learning to be grateful for them, to seize them in both hands and allow my soul to celebrate them. It turns out, it doesn’t really matter whether I deserve them or not.
Although after the last two nights, I expect that my liver has a different idea of what I deserve…