I was biking up a dirt road with a buddy a while back. I related a situation about driving there years before with my dad. The story went that we had a colossal argument over a rock in the wheel. I had been made to feel stupid and worthless. But now, after almost three decades it just seemed funny to me. At the end of our ride, my friend said, “you know, you’ve got some work to do with that shit you keeping telling yourself”.

I remember coming to terms with the history alcoholism in our family. I got a pamphlet entitled ‘Adult Children of Alcoholics’. In it was a list of traits and characteristics that are common for kids whose parents were addicts. It described me. I felt a huge relief finally knowing why I was like I was. I told my mum about it. Her response was “don’t make me your excuse”. I discounted her words at the time, but now I see she was on to to something.

I tend to lean on my narratives to make sense of who I am and, at times, give me an out. I can let the stories shape me, rather than the other way round.

I spent time with a brilliant teacher in the fall, Gary, who pointed out that these things I tell myself are clues to emotions that I am either trying to rationalize or avoid. The work is to weed through these tales and figure out what’s really going on.

Getting by, figuring out, and understanding why take up a lot of my headspace. In my experience, it has been way easier to lean on what I think I know rather than reach for something new.  Some work to do, indeed.