I Choose Peace

Image by Patou Ricard from Pixabay

I’ve been hemming and hawing for weeks (or months), the pendulum swaying back and forth; from feeling as though it’s my responsibility (as a human being) to talk (or keep talking) about current events—to the polar opposite—thinking that it’s the last thing I should even consider.

It’s been harder to write, ever since the virus began circulating and destructive human behaviors began rearing their ugly head. There’s been sickness, stock piling and greed, fear, anger, and chaos… sliding into racism, violence, protests, riots and anarchy. That’s not to say that most of this wasn’t around before the pandemic, it was just hidden a little better. Regardless, how do you go about ignoring all of that—acting as if it’s business as usual—without feeling… well… peculiar?

I’ve considered sharing some new ideas about my New Lifestyle, New Me project recently, but I’ve talked myself out of it because my personal life—and things like my lifestyle change—seem so insignificant, or trivial. So then I wonder if I should just talk about what I feel. And then I realize that I’m not sure what it is I feel, or why I even feel it! But… I think it finally hit me the other day.

I was talking to a friend about recovery meetings. She was asking me questions because she was curious about what goes on inside the rooms. I was explaining to her how all of the meetings are different. Sometimes there’s a speaker, and the rest of the room sits quietly and listens. In book study meetings, we read from certain chapters (of whichever recovery book we’re studying), and then we talk a bit about our thoughts on what we read.

And then there are the “other” meetings—the round robin meetings—where they go around the room, and each person gets about three minutes to share. I explained to her that there is no cross talk (no conversations are allowed to take place back and forth), and that everyone just listens. Once the time is up, the floor moves to the next person.

And then I told her about the uncomfortable moments I’ve had at those meetings, when I’ve watched someone break down. Sad. Struggling. Scared. In pain. Depressed. Sobbing. And then the timer dings. And the next person starts talking, almost as if nothing had happened. The room is tense and uncomfortable for a few minutes, and someone might offer the poor soul a tissue, but all in all, we just keep going—moving right along—as if it’s business as usual. It’s so peculiar!

I think one of the reasons this happens, is that it’s a room full of alcoholics. Ha! All joking aside, that is actually a true statement. Everyone in the room has the same issue. The same sickness. No one is better than the other, and no one is worse. No one goes into those rooms to fix someone else, nor are they even capable of doing that. They go there to fix “themselves.”

Once I got home, after our conversation, I realized how similar it was to how I’m feeling right now. It’s like the world around me has the floor, and it is breaking down. Sad. Struggling. Scared. In pain. Depressed. Sobbing. And here I am, listening… waiting for the timer to ding. My inclination is to reach out and grab the world, and try to fix it. But maybe—just like in the rooms—I can’t do that.

I can only fix myself. And it’s uncomfortable.


That pretty much sums it up. Life is uncomfortable right now. I think the image from pixabay works perfect. Moving forward in recovery and maintaining sobriety requires discernment. Each person is responsible for what they allow into their mind. And today, I choose peace.

Much love to you all!
—Janet