Same, Same...But Different.
"Part of the attraction was that we knew it couldn't last...so we closed our eyes and held on..."
- Rick Springfield. 1983
I went on my favourite run today. Around the lake where I grew up. Nostalgia inspired me to pit-stop at the vast field that used to be my playground. (Gah! I love it when I accidentally quote Madonna!) The schoolyard where I went every day from Kindergarten to Grade 7. I was just dropping to do my usual mid-run ab crunches and wondering if I could even remember the last time I had been on that field, when I had an insane flashback.
I had been here before.
Not the field. I think we have already established that as obvious.
I had been HERE before. It was THESE feelings. THIS experience of loss. The great loss of a human. My “person”. I have actually been here before. Wild.
My first experience with the Universal Laws, which I now study, was when I moved to Vancouver around 1998. I had been living in England for many years and just returned to Canada to start my new life and my new job at a restaurant I had helped to open about a year earlier. I had traveled to Vancouver, temporarily, to assist in the training of the new staff and, unbeknownst to me, one of the new servers in the group had felt drawn to me. He barely spoke to me over the two months that I was there to support their team and when I returned to London to continue my life there, I didn’t look back. I had no intention of ever landing in Vancouver again except for maybe on a holiday to visit my family on Vancouver Island.
This server, however, decided that he and I were going to be friends. There was something that attracted him to me without my knowing… but he was aware of his own power. The power of manifestation. He understood the Law of Attraction.
Without going into too much detail, I can tell you that while he was manifesting a friendship with me, I was in London and Manchester for about another year when a series of events pulled me, intuitively, to know that it was time for a change of scenery and a big move. The stars aligned and before I knew it I had a one-way ticket to Vancouver, and a new home base for my work at the very restaurant I had helped to open.
On the first shift there, I was scheduled to get re-oriented to the space with this SAME person who had so confidently and creatively called me into his life. It’s not a coincidence that we hit it off right away. I am quite sure we went for a beer (or 8) after work and he confessed that he had planned it all along. He told me that he believed in possibility and that he just had faith and trust that somehow we would end up as friends. I had never met anyone who claimed to believe so strongly in anything. I was both flattered and relieved. I guess I had a friend! Here in a city I had never lived in, I had a found my “person” already. We chose each other, and so it was. Just as he knew it would be.
Now, when I say he was “my person” I don’t mean he was my lover. Far from it. He wasn’t even into chicks. It was just an instant friendship that felt like “home” to me before I had even really gotten to know him. I felt comfortable with him and knew I could trust him with my heart, right away. And so I did.
He was funny and lively and popular and generous and FUN! He liked to stay up late and eat McDonalds cheeseburgers with cold white wine…he liked to play “Would You Rather?!” and dance to Beyonce…he loved ALL music, just like me…he told me I looked beautiful almost every day and he MEANT it…he loved his family and they loved him and ME…he ended up loving MY family and they loved HIM too…we were a platonic match for the ages. It was a big fast love. We were partners in life. He was my person. For a time, anyways.
As the years passed, we were inseparable. We traveled together and spent holidays with our families, together. We bonded on so many levels, including our love of people and partnership. He and I both longed for committed relationships and we supported each other whenever we thought we had found someone special to fill that role. (Which, in hindsight, was actually NEVER going to happen – it was impossible for anyone to permeate that bubble we had built. We were too close. There was no room.)
We ALSO bonded around our love of partying (aka numbing). I would say that he was very aware of his own tendency toward addiction and I was more in denial of mine, so you’d think that this story would end with ME going off the deep end, however, I had the advantage here. The advantage was that MY PATH was very clear…I wanted to get married and be a mom. It was a very unoriginal but authentic path of the average straight girl, but it was my DREAM and, as I approached age 30, it required me to take a turn toward my good physical health.
This was the beginning of the end for us because my clarity was motivation enough for me to start paying attention to my health. It was necessary if I was going to achieve my goals and it took me away from the party scene we had enjoyed together. Unfortunately, as a gay man, his path wasn’t as clearly defined for him. In fact, I think it was confusing to set goals that were outside the parameters of a nuclear family and, day by day, that got harder and harder for him to handle. So, he chose to get more and more numb.
As I spiralled up to meet the universe in its Law of Momentum, I was focused on cleaner living and exercise and goal-setting. At the same time, my friend spiralled downward from heavy drinking to class-A drugs, to street drugs and eventually, one night while I was out of town, his new “lifestyle” - or maybe some of his new clubbing buddies - walked into my apartment with his key (I always left a spare in his apartment) and started stealing my stuff. I couldn’t sit by and watch him destroy himself anymore so I took action and there was an intervention and it all went terribly sideways and before I knew it, I had gone from having a loving best friend and unconditional champion in life, to having nightmares and random psychotic phone calls from a screaming, meth-addicted skeleton-of-his-former self, threatening me and telling me that I had ruined HIS life.
In one night, everything changed.
In one night, the love of my life just disappeared.
In one night, my whole world got turned upside down. I had to quit both my jobs for my mental health and to protect myself from his intense rage. A whole lot of people that used to be in my life disappeared because of the fall-out and they just “didn’t know what to say”. All that I thought was certain, was completely GONE. My forever-friend was no longer there. His family was devastated. My family was devastated. I couldn’t feel safe on my own in my home. I was depressed. Just SO sad all the time. Music didn’t sound good. Food didn’t taste good. The sun didn’t shine. McDonalds cheeseburgers and cold white wine were no longer a treat but a colossal trigger. Nothing made me laugh or even smile. Everywhere I looked there were memories of “us”. My heart was broken. There was no closure.
So, as you can see… I have BEEN here before.
That was epic loss. This is epic loss. “Same, same but different…” as my lovely old boyfriend Simon from New Zealand used to say.
What occurred to me today, as I dropped onto that field, is that, not long after this all went down…maybe 6 or 7 months had passed and I was still feeling very attached to the loss…I felt like I was standing at the threshold of a new life and I wasn’t sure whether to cross it or not.
Me + that field, today = Insane flashback
What would it be like on the other side? Who would be there, if not my beloved friend? I couldn’t picture it. Where should I go? What would I do there if I even KNEW where to go? This is what I like to refer to as “LOST in LOSS”. No compass in hand. Just a beating heart and a true desire to leave the shadows behind.
So, I laid down on that grass and, for the very first time in my life - outside of some lame recitations at the handful of Sunday School classes I attended as a child - I am pretty sure I prayed. I didn’t know it at the time, but in that miserable moment of complete disorientation, I lied there and sobbed and acknowledged a Higher Power – call it what you like – and for the first time ever I asked it to show itself by giving me some guidance. This was me showing the Universe, Spirit, Source, God, Goddess (Go on! Pick a name, any name!) that I was willing to open up to possibility. The possibility of a new, beautiful, extraordinary life… and I am going to give you ONE GUESS about how all that unfolded… Ding, ding, ding…
I crossed that threshold and walked into my new, beautiful, extraordinary life.
Of course it took action steps on my part but the majority of next chapter came from having faith and believing it was possible to fully recover and come back, whole-heartedly, into living again.
Then, one chilly February day, I found myself sitting at an outdoor table with friends and pints at an Irish pub in Quebec City…laughing my ass off and it occurred to me that I had come full circle. I was healed. I will never forget that moment. And I know that moment is coming for me again.
It’s pretty interesting to me to explore the similarities here but what is even more amazing are the differences. Although losing my husband and the father of my kids FAR outweighs the heaviness of losing a friend to addiction, somehow, I am not depressed. Somehow I still have felt very safe in my home. I have felt confident in my mental health and my ability to guide my children through this devastating experience. I have stayed sober. Easily! And these differences are the gift…they show me just how far I have come. They show me what I am capable of when I trust, have faith and believe in possibility.
The magic of the Universal Laws – in this case, the Law of Attraction - is what brought me to that old friend. I think of him all the time, but especially when I am doing my course work and pondering how the universe works. His powerful manifestation abilities brought me to an experience that would break my heart but, ultimately, prepare me for the current threshold I stand before… ready to take another confident step toward my new, beautiful, extraordinary life. Only this time I’m not lost in loss, but found in faith.
Same, same…but different.
Til Next Time,
Heal & Be Healed.