Raw, like honey.

Disclaimer:  I’m feeling sorry for myself today and wallowing in a bit of self-pity.  Not sure if it’s hormones, the weather, that ugly voice in my head, my anxiety creeping in or the fact that my boys have returned to college in other cities.  Or all of it.  Writing  is what I’m clinging to today to remain sober. 

Today I’m feeling raw.  Like honey.  Sticky, gooey, raw honey.  And I just want to numb it all – with alcohol.  “Not a lot”, I tell myself.  “Just enough to take the edge off and not get noticed.”  So here I sit, writing about honey.

After deciding on what to call my rant today, I had to run an errand with my husband and a friend.  While driving, my husband says, “Honey, you want some honey?”  HUH???  There it was.  A man on the corner selling honey with a big sign that read RAW HONEY.  I literally laughed out loud.  (I haven’t told anyone I have a blog so he wasn’t sure why I was so amused.)  I love when God shows up like that.  Especially when I need it.  That got me thinking so I decided to look up a few facts on raw honey.  First of all, what is the difference between raw honey and grocery store honey anyway?  As it turns out, raw honey isn’t as “pretty” or smooth as store-bough honey, which is perfectly golden.   The only way to get that perfectly clear look of most commercial honeys is to heat it and then filter it excessively.  While it’s not nearly as pretty, raw honey has many health benefits which are scientifically proven to be beneficial for challenges including diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, allergies and even for cough and colds.  Imagine that.  Ugly,  cloudy, raw honey is actually better for you than perfectly golden, processed honey.   So often, I try to be commercial honey.  Golden, smooth, perfect in all ways.  However, the only way I can do that is by filtering who I am excessively.  In other words, I turn to people pleasing, self-shaming, setting unrealistic expectations for myself, and feelings of inadequacy when I can’t possibly achieve “golden” status.  That ultimately results in heating and numbing my frustrations and anxiety with alcohol.  NONE OF THAT IS GOLDEN.

Today I’m reminded that the raw, unfiltered me is way more valuable than the processed, filtered me.  The raw me is more valuable to my family, my career, my friends and my overall mental state.  I’m also reminded of the effects of filtering my feelings with alcohol:  guilt, shame, anger and hopelessness. Today I will remain raw.  Unfiltered.  Unprocessed.

PS: I’m also not leaving home today, just in case those ugly feelings creep back in while I’m running errands.  Not even to go to a meeting.  It won’t be honey that ends up in my basket!  That is the ugly truth.  I’m thankful for blogs and podcasts and the people who have come before me that ensure me that it will all be okay.  And it will

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