“I want everything,” I found myself saying to the friendly Delta flight attendant. Because I can fly standby for free (thanks to the perk of having my stepdaughter Lauren as a Delta employee), I often find myself sitting up front on the plane. One thing about me is that I am ridiculously motivated by free things, so when the beverages and snacks are complimentary, it’s not uncommon for me to have a Bloody Mary, cup of black coffee, pack of almonds, banana and snack mix all on my tray. I want everything also extends to life experience, and while I mostly share the high points on social media and this blog, to have an everything life also means you get the low points too. The times when you wake up in the middle of the night with your eyes wide open with the reality gripping your heart that your husband could die from a drug overdose.
Everything means telling your daughters that daddy is at drug rehab and that he’s getting help because he can’t quit taking the opioid drugs on his own. Everything is barely being able to stay on the road when you hear on the radio in your car that Prince died from an overdose of these same drugs. Everything is finding a therapist so you can untangle the knotted threads that you thought you took care of years ago but seem to keep snagging at those same spots. Everything is putting your broken heart back together, your fractured feelings into breath, and healing.
I do want everything, the big life, unhindered by fear. To practice not being afraid, I often have to experience that awful thing that I don’t want to happen. When it happens – as it does in life, right? – then I have a foundation to draw from. A well of courage and of surrender. Bracing myself for what I fear actually doesn’t help me at all if hardship decides to visit my life; it only robs me of all that I have in the moment. This daughter in front of me. This smell of coffee. This smiling dog with his chin on my leg wanting to be pet.
Now that my husband has been clean for well over a year, I can say this – I still want everything, including the stuff that doesn’t make the Instagram feed. I am better for it, my family is better for it, and because I share it with you, maybe we can all be better for it.