Erin's Journals

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Just a thought… I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become. [Carl Gustav Jung]

Well hello again, Ontario! Seems as if we were just here – it’s like they could almost have left our rental car running while we hopped home and then returned.

I’m loving this fall weather, although the winds we experienced yesterday in Halton region are certain to have taken their toll on the leaves we’ll see as we head to Markham for a speech at noon and then on to Arthur for another gathering tonight.

(See the What’s Up section here for more information if you think you can join us and I’ll post pics on my public Facebook page as well as Twitter @erindavis and Instagram @erindawndavis if you care to check in.)

I realize that for the last few weeks here, this journal seems to have been me filling you in on one event after another, and if that’s your impression, I do apologize. This was always a place just to share what’s going on behind the scenes and in our lives and, of course, the fact that Rob and I are taking such a vastly different path than we expected has changed the trajectory of my writings.

Our relationship – yours and mine – never was and is never going to be about promotion or selling. It’s not that anyone has complained but I realize if people don’t want to click here and share some time a few days a week, they just won’t. Goodness knows there’s a lot to fill your day and attract your eyes and I don’t take for granted one minute that you spend here with me.

I can promise you this: in just less than two weeks, it all changes. We settle in for a gentle winter of enjoying each other’s company and just taking every day as it comes, instead of laying out clothes, planning speeches and making sure I get to the right place at the right time.

It just happens to be a bit of a tsunami of wonderful activity right now and I am truly grateful for every single bit of it.

So how are we doing, Rob and I? Great. A little sleep-deprived, thanks to a three-hour time difference and getting to bed yesterday at 3 am here, but glad that there’s no alcohol involved to mess up the body clocks further.

I’ll tell you that flying and not drinking is probably the hardest thing for me: I used to feel that there were no rules in the sky (don’t ask me why; perhaps the vacation mode that I so often associated travel with) and couple that with a feeling of melancholy that I’ve always gotten when I’m up there in a tin tube hurtling through the blue – don’t ask me why – it just seems like a recipe to order that Caesar or white wine.

When you add to that the stress of our new calling – trying to massage my message and accompanying slides for each group, always searching for the right words and new ways to convey them – the hours in the sky are a perfect place for temptation. Luckily, I’m able to keep my eye on the prize (sobriety) and just not drink. I wish it was as easy as it sounds – and to someone who has an “off” switch, I’m sure it does – but nothing worthwhile is easy, is it?

I talk about treatment and addiction in my speech, but I don’t dwell on it a lot. It falls under the “medicate if you need to, but don’t self-medicate” part of things we’ve learned. Everywhere you turn, every TV show you watch, every ad, every everything involves booze. You really don’t notice it until it’s a challenge, just as delicious dishes are everywhere when you’re trying to diet or you’re fasting, right?

I find myself noticing the smell of alcohol on people a lot more now, too. Like the guy near us on the small plane from Victoria to Vancouver Tuesday. I think people really have no idea how it oozes from their pores….

I just tell myself they must have used hand sanitizer. I remember Michelle Butterly coming into the studio one morning at CHFI and I could swear she smelled like vodka. But there was hand-sani right outside studio door. We had a good laugh about that!

Anyway, that’s where I am. Keeping up with my counselling, getting good advice from people who’ve been there, done that and don’t anymore, and being as open as I can about struggling.

It’s all about vulnerability: no one is meant to get through this alone. We don’t have to. Like grief, addiction is so isolating. It’s simply amazing – and freeing – when you are blessed to find others who share your path so you don’t ever have to walk it alone.

Have a lovely weekend. I’ll be in Rosseau for a Rotary International gathering and then off for a few days of bliss with a dear friend. I’ll talk to you here on Monday and thank you for coming by. I promise you it’ll all get back to “normal” (whatever the heck that is) soon!

Rob WhiteheadThursday, October 24, 2019