Enough

Morning crisis: we have run out of coffee. I managed to squeak two cups out of the meagre grounds available by adding in some decaf and it will have to do. One for the mister and one for me. 


Stirring in cream, (also in short supply, I goofed on groceries) I realized a remarkable absence of panic over the scarcity of precious essentials. Hmm, that’s new. Complete calm. It’s fine, I thought, one is enough. 

One is enough. 

That is new. 

One has never been enough for me, not alcohol and not anything. If I find a t-shirt I like, I buy every colour available.  

Something hits me. Yesterday I drove right past The Gap even though I had a coupon. I don’t need more tank tops, I have enough. I recall feeling a little *ping* in that moment but the significance is only registering now. 

I have enough. 

Having enough wine was a constant burden once my drinking crossed into addiction. When, where, how much. Keeping a supply for guests and a reserve for me. Rotating stores out of embarrassment. The bottles afterward. Getting enough. Drinking enough. Hiding enough. 

I remind myself that the “enough” of wine wasn’t entirely imagined. Without it comes withdrawal and that feels a lot like danger: sweats, anxiety, obsession. I truly dreaded the way it felt to not consume the right amount of alcohol. 

But this other enough, the way I feel about coffee and clothes and ice cream and savings and mechanical pencils, it comes from a different place. I’ve always wanted more more more and now something is starting to shift. 

Maybe as we truly receive that we are enough, we begin to feel that we have enough. 

Is this a new phase after six years of recovery? I recently heard Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery.com explain recovery as opening a set of nesting dolls. The one that is our true self is the tiny one inside, the only one that is solid. We have to keep going until we get through all the layers to that precious core. 

There is no rush. Whatever layer I’m at right now is where I’ll stay a while, to linger in curiosity and build courage for the next phase.  

For now, I’ve finished my coffee and my day begins. Obviously, that will include a trip to the grocery store. 

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15 comments

  1. Oh I love this one Jean. I stepped in a lovely little gift from my puppy the other morning. I cleaned it off, got into the car, and headed on the way to work. It was only as I was a few minutes down the road that I realised that this was something that would have derailed my entire morning two and half years ago and probably been the final decider in calling in sick (again). Instead I cleaned up and got on with my day. Not the same as the more-ism that you write of here, but a similar feeling in reaction that it’s gonna be okay.

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  2. This is fantastic and resonated with me as well. I also have been pondering my need to have enough – I don’t know if I’d ever run out of coffee and get it with the wine, too and also with other things. I’ve been trying to figure it out with respect to food issues. Not quite where the scarcity issue comes from – not sure if I picked it up from my parents, who definitely had it from growing up during WWII. I don’t have that excuse; there is way too many things for us living in the US to where it’s almost obscene. thank you for your blog.

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  3. This may well be your most insightful post my dear. It is a disease of our culture. Think of the actress or athlete who achieve awards and accolades and are considered the best. Maria Sharapova who is supposed to make 30 million a year in endorsements alone, when asked about the endorsements she replied “it is never enough.” So what is? Contentment with ones’ self perhaps. What a feeling of peace! As I go through my week I will remember these thoughts you shared so thank you.

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  4. The first line of your post made me panic! I’ve dealt with the booze but am still in the phase of dealing with the cross addictions like coffee and sugar. I love the nesting doll analogy. I truly believe that recovery is a spritual journey and I have a lot of reparenting and learning to do. I love this post, thank you!. xxxx

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  5. Great post! I admire your openness and willingness to speak about your addictions. congratulations on all the progress you have made. Being able to recognize when we have enough is difficult. You’re right, it’s so easy to just want more – whether it’s alcohol, clothes, or coffee. It helps distract us from what we are really feeling, even though the relief is short-lived. Congrats again on all your hard work and a great blog post. Wish you the best – speak766

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  6. This totally resonated with me this morning, when I moved I had to downsize. A LOT. But I kept a lot of little things. And clothes! I have started to simplify, buying 3 in different colors, and really asking myself, do I need this? This has helped me so much with my recovery. That is a big trigger to me. What should I wear? How can I organize all of this? I am slowly peeling back the layers, to get to that SOLID ME. Keeping it simple.
    Thank you Jean! 💕
    And mechanical pencils….yeah I have lots of them too!!!!!!

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  7. I can really relate to this Jean but there’s something a little scary about it too. Shedding the drinking layer was hard but my immediate people were on board and encouraging. I was getting rid of something that they understood was hurting me and it didn’t have to affect them too much. However I fear that shedding other aspects of me that now might impact them (basically the need to always have things and do things) won’t sit as well. Sometimes I wish I could hit pause on how much I’m changing because it can be scary and isolating.

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  8. Oh my word! I know that feeling very well. I have caught myself at that – with wine, definitely but also with coffee (for instance!): actually in the act of of pouring a fresh cup and feeling… uncomfortable that there isn’t enough in the pot for the next one. It makes me feel a little panicky to read that you are reaching this point at 6 years ( 6 *days* over here) but also hopeful that getting there – 6 years AND “enough” – is a possibility. Thank you! xx

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    • We all learn our lessons differently, I think I was slow to absorb this one. The booze obsession is long gone, that’s the main thing. The rest is just life-long self-discovery, which is a glorious way to live!

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