When I started Human In Recovery blog in December 2011, I didn’t think I had any dreams. I was simply trying not to drown in my dysfunction and the dysfunctions of those around me. I was an emotional and psychological basket case. At that point my only concern was to not irrevocably screw up Luna’s childhood and life the way I had done to her siblings and completely tank the only relationship I felt I still had.
I’ve come a long way in the last 19 months.
I still deal with bouts of depression, hypomania, and fibroflares. The codependency and binge eating issues still factor into my behavioral reactions at times. The people I love and care about still think and act the way they do. Money is still tight, debt still looms, and clutter is ever present. But I’m not the same self-involved, overwhelmed, whiny, disconnected mess I used to be.
I’m engaging with others who are doing the work to make their dreams a reality. I’m able to listen more and talk less (sometimes). I am offering encouragement and support AND receiving it. I’m contributing to my various communities. Heck, the fact that I am including myself in communities is new.
Now I’m realizing I have hopes and dreams that go beyond surviving this moment and getting through this day. A lot of those hopes and dreams stem from my role as a mother:
• I hope and dream of being fully included as a member of my son’s family. Being able to offer encouragement and support to both him and his wife and any future children they have.
• I hope and dream about ways to facilitate the personal growth, healing and recovery both of my adult children have in front of them.
• I hope and dream that I can support, teach, and advocate for Luna in ways that lift her up and allow her to dream her dreams and act on them.
Other hopes and dreams are about my relationship with Keith.
• I hope and dream that we can grow into a healthier and more mutually supportive relationship.
• I hope and dream that I am able to support and encourage his dreams without letting my tendencies of being co-dependent, manipulative, and fearful take over.
However, I’m also realizing that none of these are hopes and dreams for me. They are about others in relationship with me. These dreams are still, ultimately dependent on others and about their fulfillment and not my own.
I have a dream about creating a community service program to help people and families move out of conflict, chaos, and personal/generational patterns and habits that perpetuate cycles of poverty and broken relationships.
I dream of being a professional speaker and writer to help others learn and grow in the things that I have struggled with for so long.
I dream of writing books and novels, having my stories be published and having people benefit from my words and experiences.
The dreams that I have for me feel impossible still. Part of me believes that pursuing those dreams won’t leave me the time and energy to do the things within my power and ability to support the relationship dreams.
To be perfectly honest, and I know some will disagree, those relationship dreams seem more critical and important. After all, if the big dreams are about helping others in healing, recovery, and restoration and I allow the relationships in my life to stay broken, what good will it be?
This has all been simmering inside of me for a while, but it hadn’t become clear until Keith and I were texting today.
We had a huge argument via text. It was triggered because living out one of his dreams is in the way of another of his dreams . . . and it hasn’t lived up to his expectations of what living that dream would be.
His dream of being a truck driver came true. His dream of fathering and raising a child of his own came true also. The truck driving dream has not financially supported our family well and has prevented him from being involved in the day to days of his daughter’s life. The realities of a truck driver’s life, in combination with who he is inside of himself, are diametrically opposed to what his vision of being a father would be. There appears to be irreconcilable differences between his dreams. He has been living one out at the expense of another and has made a decision to switch it around.
Have you encountered instances where your dreams were incompatible with each other or the dreams of those around you? How did you reconcile them?