There was a time, before I got sober, that I went to a wedding and was filled with horror at the thought of all the people I knew together in the same room. Underlying fear: what if they talked about me!? What if they compared the me they thought they knew to the me someone else knew?
An early teaching that an important sobriety mentor told me was this: having your insides match your outsides is going to be a natural outcome of sobriety. What does that even mean? Eventually, slowly, and still learning it, I came to understand that there will come a time when I am just who I am, and I'll be ok with it. I might even be good with it. I'll be able to speak my own truth and not have to keep track of stories and who knows what and I'll be able to stand to look at myself in the mirror every morning.
Approximately a decade ago I was on the brink, just as a general way of living. The end of the year was a country song...lost my dog, my truck, my job, my future wife. All the things. I had one last lost weekend and after some other transcendental events a friend called and said 'how are you?' not so good, says I. We talked for 6 hours. Lots of crying. The crux move of my insides not at all matching my outsides was acute, I was hanging on by a fingernail, just wanting to let go but also to leap.
Full circle up with life, because that's what happens: I'm about to embark upon the serious, householder, settling down phase, the putting down roots and finding out what happens if I stay put for a little while. There is a literal garden waiting to be planted, but first there is land to be reckoned with, and earth to be put to bed, and long nights of hard rain to be collected and celebrated and storytold. About how we got here, now, and why it is good.
Things I'm not worried about anymore: many of my people together at the same time. going to weddings and staying sober. wondering if i'm wearing the right shoes for my path.