My anxiety over this weekend’s trip is building as I have begun to get ready. With all the unknowns and structure of a monastic retreat, I will likely have very little control of my meals. If routine is the companion of recovery (and, for me, it has been) then surrender to someone else’s schedule and plan is the epitomy of horror and helplessness. It was recommended that I take along some “healthy snacks,” which is an oxymoron to my abstinence. So, I’m doing laundry for events I cannot predict and packing food items as if I were self-sufficient, knowing that I will likely not be. Due to the highly detailed plans of a fellow in recovery, I will be carpooling with a complete stranger, trusting in someone I do not know to get me to a place I’ve never been, and do what I do not understand, at a Catholic monastery. The Protestant, compulsive, controlling, cynical, overeater in me doth protest!

Still, only a week ago, I trusted my body to strangers who probably make very little more than minimum wage, and who have much less interest in my spiritual welfare, as they cinched me into pneumatic-assisted mechanical restraints and catapulted me into simulated peril on a pair of rails. So, if I can trust a college kid at an amusement park with what amounts to my life, certainly I can muster up enough courage and willingness to trust a bunch of monks with my (fragile and precious) abstinence for one weekend.

I’m a bag of conflict! Did I mention that I am of both English and French descent? That makes me at war with my very self!

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