Hindsight is 20/20. Load of crap. Who came up with that? Even if you weren’t drinking heavily for 20 years, the past is always tainted by perception. IT always looks better or worse than it actually was. History belongs to the victor. And usually, if it was worth remembering, you are the victor. Then add in the fog of which all time is seen when you have put on your beer goggles and it is likely to be very different than reality. If that 2 am hook up looked like a super model, your past might look like nirvana.
I have been chased by fear for last two weeks. About two weeks ago, it was decided that I should go into private practice again. Ive done this twice before. It is in a different discipline. It is 20 years later. It is as a hospitalists. I thought it was all of those factors that was plaguing me. I thought it was simply enjoying knowing where the paycheck was coming from. It wasn’t. The fog of the future is much denser without the beer goggles on. Beer goggles have the same effect on the future as red lenses do on water. Everything seems clearer. The goggles eliminate the what ifs. It tells you that the world wants you to succeed. When you look back, it tells you everything turned out great because you are made of steel and as handsome as Remington Steele. The past is rosie, the future clear and lavender.
This is the first time I will be starting my own venture sober. Ive been sober almost 13 years, so going through things isn’t that new for me, but this is. I didn’t recognize it. I ran from the fear, thinking that the fog was better than the idea of watching the fog. My hindsight said that I was doomed. It had worked out because I was younger, more confident, hadn’t had a checkered past. Fear whispered in my ear, taunting me. It reminded me of failure. It reminded me of darkness. It reminded me of years. It whispered maliciously.
I whispered back. I saw the beer goggles covered with dust. I saw them for the fantasy they were. I saw them for the lies they told. I also saw them for the truth. They reminded me I could do things. They reminded me that I persevere. They reminded me that I have strength. They reminded me I have weaknesses. They reminded me to be real and take things as they are. They reminded me of the idea to keep trying and be prepared. I whispered that this is a gift. It is like getting new boxer briefs for Christmas, but it is a gift. It is uncomfortable and a change. It will fit, but differently than it was before. It’ll take getting used to. It is a gift of seeing that I can do it sober. It wasn’t the beer goggles that showed up to work every day (well, not every day). IT wasn’t the beer goggles that did the work. It was me.
It a whole new set of goggles. Fog or not, Trudge one more step. (Walk with Purpose.)