Flip that 45 and Listen to the B Side


My world tends to flip upside down quite often. One friend told me it’s always a drama with me. I disagreed. I said drama is making a a big deal out of something that isn’t there. I told her my life is about crisis. She pondered that a bit and said she kind of got it.

When your office or home is on fire, gets flooded, has a gas leak – crisis. Not drama. When your kid has cancer, autism, birth defect – crisis. Not drama. When your dog dies, you have a car accident, your spouse cheats, you lose your job – crisis. Not drama.

Drama – you put your adult children on your cell phone plan and they can’t pay you, yet come to dinner with new highlights in their hair and talk about the essential oils that they are now selling and they can’t pay their light bill and could they borrow $100. (Made up story, but we all have this friend or coworker!)

Recovery. You don’t recover from drama. You recover from a crisis. (There is a reason it’s not just called sobriety. That is the action of not drinking.) Recovery is the process of the change to a new place. Flipping to the B Side.

Since JULY, I have been struggling with yet another work crisis. I have been noticeably quiet with my blogging because I have been quite sad. In fact, even as I was planning to talk about it, it’s just too much to share right now. My attempts at any kind of sobriety were a disaster. I keep waiting for the crisis to end so I can turn the record over and move on…..

When I was young, I felt guilty for not listening to the B Side. I liked A. I liked what I considered the best, the most popular, the ONE. I made up my own dance moves, like on American Bandstand. I wanted to be on my own platform with those go-go boots! I used my hairbrush microphone because you had to somehow make holding the microphone look as cool as Marcia Brady with her mini skirt & go-go boots & hairbrush. Ahhhh……the A Side.

I tried the B Side. I wanted to be Beatnik cool and hang out with the glorious teenage Kurt Russell and the Mon-kees. That is what the B Side meant to me. But, I didn’t know the words. It didn’t have the same dance quality. That wasn’t the song they would play on Saturday afternoon tv. Wearing black and a beret felt goofy. Black was not a color and orange was for hookers my mother said.

The girl next door was wearing mini skirts and rolling her hair up in orange juice cans. So popular! I wanted that too! My chubby legs didn’t fit in go-go boots and my stringy hair would only frizz and not curl. I did manage to embroider my bell bottoms though! In a time where girls were rebelling from having to learn to knit & darn, I actually enjoyed those domestic abilities.

Okay, so maybe I digress from my story a bit, but the B Side held emotion for me. I wanted to like it, but it was uncomfortable. I could count on the A Side over and over and over again. I went deeper and created my whole story around how that one song would be me. My dance steps, my microphone holding, my outfit.

The story I have created about how wine makes me feel. How pretty in the right glass. How it “adds” to an experience. (You guys get that.) My business, the same way. I had it “just right”.

And one day you realize, the song, the wine, the business, needs to change. One day, you don’t have a spouse, a car, a home. One day you have a miscarriage, a diagnosis, a stroke.

The B Side. Same record. Different song, different hopes, different outfit, different dance moves, different microphone. (Same fizzy hair sadly.)

Now, my life story is flipping again. There is a lot of discomfort in the recovery process. And yes, sometimes I may get a little DRAMATIC about it. But living with crisis is exhausting.

8 thoughts on “Flip that 45 and Listen to the B Side

  1. I was Jan Brady as well! I couldn’t be Marsha because my older sister took that part. I migrated to the Partridge Family once they became cooler than the Brady Bunch.
    I had decades of those crises, but they slowly were resolved. I think there was a correlation with sober days and me solving the crises. The longer I was sober, the more easily I could resolve work, divorce, kid problems. They could be anywhere from a few days to a few months, but those sober days were the springboard for exiting the chaos. Does it work that way for you? Just curious. ; )

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A crisis is something that happens…drama is how we respond.
    Life will forever throw curve balls. I remember when my husbands father suddenly died when we were about 6 months sober.
    I wondered how he would respond? With anger? Drinking?
    Instead he surprised me. He helped his mom. He took his dad’s ashes driving. He was proud of himself for being sober and useful.

    Like you we had a flooded house, a fire evacuation, illness. These things never stop. There’s no flipping over and things becoming simple. There’s just Finding our own centre do that we become flexible enough to deal with them.

    Big hug. You can wear black and orange and dance through whatever comes.

    Liked by 1 person

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