I woke up July 19 to silence. It was possibly the silence that woke me.
There was no loud whispers coming from the other room. There was no giggling, humming, arguing.
I went to the bathroom and now the silence was ringing in my ear. It hit me that my daughters were gone. I would not see them again for another few months. Loneliness sure has a mean kidney shot. At times the pain shoots around my stomach and up my chest. A mixture of a deep pit and a shot of adrenaline to my vulnerable heart.
I don’t enjoy this sound. It reminds me of sitting at home as a young boy by myself waiting for friends to get home so I could have some human connection. It reminds me of “getting the silent treatment” in relationships. It reminds me of the sorrow of giving it.
But in the silence something beautiful can happen. Meditation, reflection, renewal, mercy.
I used to not know how to handle silence. It was awkward and uncomfortable. If a conversation came to a lull then I would feel compelled to color in the blank pages of mute with the color of noise. My voice, music, videos. I was like a 24/7 DJ. Need filler for your silent moments? I got you covered.
But even worse, silence made me want to disengage. Being a DJ to a relationship is not authentic but turning off altogether is the lack of love. I’m guilty.
I’m starting to learn that the sound of silence is not always nails on a chalkboard. Sometimes it can be a melodious symphony. It can touch your soul. It can be a close friend sitting with you amid the pain. Not saying anything because they don’t have to. Not saying anything because words might ruin the deep connection that is happening. It can be a long car ride through the mountains with your little brother after an amazing vacation. The sound of silence can bind strangers at an SA meeting, bonding the community together who would otherwise be a hodgepodge group of misfits. Now we are a brotherhood whose bond is an strong as soldiers going to battle.
What I have learned in my short time in recovery is that it is okay to spend days, nights, weeks alone. It is an opportunity to get closer to my Higher Power and a chance to get in touch with the real me. In the same way, it is also perfectly fine to experience silence in my day to day. In fact I probably need more of it!
So here is to more silence in our lives. The more we embrace it, the less awkward it shall become.