"Not all who wander are lost"
Do you ever get the feeling you are just constantly searching for something, not knowing what that something is, thinking you’ve found it, but then realizing it’s not it, only to begin the search again?
What am I meant to be doing?
Where am I going?
What is meant for me?
What is my purpose?
Where are my people?
Who the fuck am I?
What do I want for dinner tonight?
What can I watch next?
So many unanswered questions?
I’m so lost.
Or am I?
On the drive back from breakfast in the park today, my friend Laura and I were having some big conversations and I told her I’ve always just felt lost in life. Never really knowing who or what I’m meant to be, or what I’m meant to be doing. And then she said something about that maybe just the kind of person I am and that it didn’t necessarily mean that I was lost but instead, perhaps I just needed to be grounded in myself.
And that made a lot of sense.
When I think of the word grounded and what that means, I feel a sense of longing. Because I’m not sure I’ve ever felt fully grounded. I’ve never felt fully safe and secure with who I am. I’ve never really trusted myself.
So instead, I consistently looked outside of myself and to others for it. I needed other people to make me feel safe, tell me what to do and who to be. To provide the stability and security I couldn’t provide for myself. To give me the answers.
But they were the wrong answers. Because they were their answers, not mine.
Inevitably this has resulted in so many wrong turns, unaligned decisions and of course that feeling of being lost.
When we are lost, I think ultimately what we want is to find our way back. To know where we are. And that everything is going to be okay. And I guess that’s what I’ve always been searching for. That feeling of ‘it’s really going to be okay’. That I can always find my way back. Because to be back, means to be home. And I know that for me that means feeling at home within myself.
In my body, in my mind and in my soul.
I am home. But right now and for most of my life my home has not felt safe and I haven’t trusted it.
I’ve had glimpses of feeling grounded but it’s never really lasted and I think that’s because the trust hasn’t really been in myself. It’s been in someone or something. It’s been in things I’ve not had full control over.
I know that needs to change and I’m on a mission to change it. I’ve been on this mission for a while now and up until last year I thought I was on my way to figuring it out. To finding safety. To feeling safe at home.
But then life came at me with stuff. Because life does that. It challenges us. It tests us. And it triggers the fuck out of us.
And my false feelings of groundedness vanished overnight and for the last year I feel like all I’ve been doing is to do whatever it takes to find it again. But this time real groundedness. Real safety. Real trust.
So I started digging. With the help of a therapist and a coach I’ve been doing some much needed soul searching. I’m not new to this, I’ve been here before. But I think in previous attempts I barely scratched the surface. This time I’m going all in. I’m unwrapping the layers now matter how uncomfortable and shitty they make me feel and I’m working through them one by one.
One of the things that has materialized as a result of this digging is an awareness of patterns and behaviours that are linked to ADHD. When I first started exploring the possibility that I had it, it provided me with so many explanations. I finally started to understand myself a little better. But then came the sudden explosion of angry thoughts… ‘why me, why do I have to deal with this on top of everything else? Why can’t I just catch a break and things just be okay for a while?’
For anyone who has been on this journey, you’ll know it’s a long, complicated one. And it comes with a lot of waiting around and living in limbo. But it’s a journey I have begun nonetheless and I’m beginning to find solace in the fact that this will hopefully provide me with some answers and give me more tools to deal with life.
It’s the first time I’ve shared this openly and it’s something I will continue to do as I walk this journey.
Another door I’ve opened…or actually reopened is the one to recovery. My first 2 years in sobriety were pretty magical. I thought I’d got it sussed. I’d turned over a new leaf, I’d found a purpose and I was finally living life as it should be lived.
But as I’ve already mentioned, life came at me with a few things and my sober pink cloud began to fade. Fast!
After returning from the Community Festival (the one with Russell Brand) a few weekends ago the idea of working on my recovery again was very much at the forefront of my mind. I had been wavering and old thoughts had been returning which frankly scared the shit out of me. So I decided after having some really powerful and supportive conversations with people I met at the festival that perhaps I needed to find myself a community of like minded people who understood where I was at. And one that perhaps could really help me find strength in my sobriety again.
My reason for drinking was always to escape. My thoughts, my feelings, my life. And that desire to escape had been creeping back in a lot, so I knew I needed to do something about it. And that something has come in the way of AA and the 12 step program.
I always thought AA was not for me. I didn’t think I needed it if I’m really honest. But something was telling me that I needed to give it a try. In AA they talk about connecting with and seeking guidance from your higher power. Some believe this to be God, which is why so many people see AA to be a religious program. But I’ve learned that your higher power can be any force you consider to be bigger than yourself. For me, I believe this to be my higher self. The version of me that exists in my soul, that speaks to me in intuitive ways and has my best interests at heart. So I decided my higher self (power) was guiding me and telling me to give this community and the program a go.
So I did and I have.
I’ve only been to a few meetings and it’s very early days. But I already feel a sense of hope and that right now is good enough.
The quote ‘not all who wander are lost’ is from JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. And I think it means that it’s okay to always be wandering…(or in my case wondering), if you have a purpose. And maybe my purpose has just always been to find my way back to myself. Back to my soul. And within that purpose comes many smaller purposes. And sometimes that purpose is to just walk the path you are on and be fully present in it.