sober lifestyle


Today, November 7, 2021, I celebrated 28 months of continuous sobriety by rising with the sun (“Fall Back”=Earlier Daylight=Much Happier Morning Person) and heading to the Delaware Canal towpath for a celebratory 5-mile (give or take a few feet) run.

Overcome with the euphoric combo of runner’s high and genuine pride at how far I’ve come, I snapped a pic at my end point to commemorate the occasion.

It might be my favorite self-portrait ever. I look so happy to be alive, and why wouldn’t I be?

Three years ago, at my lowest point, I legit did not want to go on living — like, I was pumped full of tequila and bawling out on my back deck, mere moments from calling the suicide hotline, but I called my mom instead, and together, we backed away from the ledge.

The events leading up — or should I say, down — to that cry for help aren’t even fit for print.

I do not have an actual photo of that day, but there’s no shortage of sad selections in my phone’s camera roll, which is chocked full of scenes from the great shitshow that was 2018.

To stick with the stocking cap theme, here’s a suitable candidate:

Was I crying, or just really, really drunk? Am I standing at the bottom of a black hole? Why did I even take this picture? The world will never know. 😬

Oh my GOSH, you guys! I’m so grateful I don’t have to live that way anymore! I’m so proud of myself for climbing out of that hole and never looking back!

Life today sure ain’t perfect, and we still occasionally do some ugly crying and place some whiny phone calls to Mommy every now and then. I got laid off exactly one month ago, and in 30 days, I’ve applied to more than 50 jobs (only one reply — a rejection 😢) and filed for unemployment benefits (zero movement on that front, either 😡), and the rainy day funds in my bank account are dwindling as we speak.

And yet, I have so much that money cannot buy!

I have my sobriety, I have grad school, and I have the most kick-ass support system at my current home in Bucks County and my original home in Chicago. I am healthy enough to run (roughly) five miles, and more importantly, motivated enough to get up at sunrise on a Sunday to do it.

It’s my favorite season of the year, and I have breathtaking natural beauty all around me. The holidays are coming, and we’re making plans to travel and spend time with family.

I could go on, but I’m standing out in the middle of the woods, and it’s cold as 🤬, and I have like five miles to go — on foot — to get back to the warmth of my car, and I’m pretty sure the runner’s high has worn (frozen?) off. 🥶

Still, I think I have to disagree with my earlier statement…the one about life today, and how it could be better? Yeah, I don’t really know what “perfect” is, but at this moment, it sure feels as close as it could possibly get. 🙏🏻

3 thoughts on “Pride”

  1. Jen- life will never be perfect. It’s a work in progress just like your program. You’ve come so far in your journey. Thank you for sharing it. You will someday, help many people achieve sobriety, this I’m sure. You look so happy in your picture, so whatever you are doing, continue doing it. Just one day at a time. You’ve got this!

    Liked by 1 person

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