sober lifestyle, Uncategorized

Authenticity

meagain
The Real Me, Day 224.

Podcasts have been my constant companion over the past seven-plus months, to the point where I consider some of my favorite hosts (shouts to the ladies from “The Bubble Hour” and the kids from “Binge Mode: Game of Thrones”!) my close friends. That might sound pathetic, but it’s no more embarrassing than anything else I’ve admitted on this blog, so what the hell do I care?

At this point, the cards are on the table, the warts are on full display, the soul is bared, and so on. If you read this blog, God bless you, you pretty much know my life story.

I was beyond honored to tell that story — or at least the broad strokes of it; thank goodness the hostesses kept me on track and off my usual trail of endless tangents — on an actual podcast this past week. You can listen to it here. “Transformation Thursday” is the creation of two transgender women, one of whom I know from blogging days past, and it’s a celebration of change. While the changes I’ve undergone since getting sober 223 days ago might not be as significant as that of Penny and Amy, what we have in common at our core is that we are all striving to live life as our authentic selves. Continue reading “Authenticity”

sober lifestyle, Uncategorized

Aggression

I’ve never actually kicked a goose — or punched a cat, for that matter — but boy, have I fantasized about it.

…The geese-kicking, not the cat-punching. What I mean to say is, I don’t have anything against animals in general, but I really hate geese.

I forgot how much until I started (occasionally) running again on the Delaware Canal towpath, which is a wonderful place except that it’s basically one long, narrow, winding outhouse for worthless water fowl. This morning I was out there trying to log a few miles before assuming my groove on the couch for the weekend, and sure enough, when I wasn’t zig-zagging to avoid stepping in their shit, I was yelling out loud at a gaggle of them to GTFO and stop just standing there for no reason and blocking the trail. My actual words were, “MOVE, YOU MOTHERF*CKERS!” and when they didn’t immediately comply, the idea of kicking them (briefly) occurred to me.

Maybe you can see why I chose the topic I did for this post, and why I relate so much to the attached “Simpsons” clip (it’s funny because it’s true!) It’s become very clear to me since I swore off my drug of choice 216 days ago and no longer have booze to numb out my innate emotional intensity, that I, unfortunately, am an angry girl. Continue reading “Aggression”

sober lifestyle

Celebration

flowers

A lot has happened in the past week. Prior to marking — literally — my 210th alcohol-free day this morning, when I allowed myself the luxury of sleeping in until 4:30 🙄, I had my one-year job review at the marketing company I joined at the beginning of 2019 as Step One on my “Plan B” post-journalism path. The meeting went well.

By “well,” of course, I mean that I sat in the HR guy’s office and cried, because hearing people tell me I’m doing a good job still affects me at 41 the way it did back in elementary school. Which is to say, deeply.

I might never have had clear goals, personally or professionally, but all I’ve ever wanted in life was to do a good job. Money, status, material things…nope; never gave a shit. I just wanted to feel worthwhile, to feel that my skills were useful to the world, in whatever small way.

(My husband is reading this going, “That’s very nice, but we also need our skills to pay the bills, especially when some people in this lovely house eat so damn much food.” 😬) Continue reading “Celebration”

sober lifestyle, Uncategorized

Sufficiency

Bar Selfie. Get it? 😉

The other day before a recovery meeting, I was chatting with someone in my group who, like me, enjoys working out.

“I’m a recovering alcoholic and CrossFitter,” I told him with a chuckle.

It wasn’t really a joke. After more than a year away from the competitive fitness circuit that consumed my free time and dominated my consciousness for about a decade, I can see very clearly how it brought out the best parts of my Type-A achiever personality.

I can also see how it fed and enabled my darkest demons.

Now, before anybody gets their booty shorts in a bunch, let me be clear: I have absolutely nothing against that community, nor would I try to pin any of my personal issues on an exercise methodology, a gym culture — or anything outside of my own brain, for that matter. I was a sick puppy long before I walked into my very first WOD back in (I think) 2009, and it’s like they say: Wherever you go, there you are.

Or, to quote another cliché: It’s not you, CrossFit. It’s me.

And I am a person plagued with never-ending, nagging not-enoughness.

It’s getting to the point where I can say that in past tense — “was plagued” — because 202 days of sobriety has begun to ever so slightly soften the sharp edges of stringent self-appraisal that used to make me look in the mirror at lean legs, cut arms and six-pack abs and think, “Yeah, but you can do better…”

Maybe some of you can relate to this awful affliction. It’s as damaging as any physical addiction, this innate compulsion to always keep reaching for more than what you have.

You’re in the best shape of your life, and you focus on what you perceive to still be wrong with your body. You push yourself hard, physically and mentally, in an activity, but still emerge displeased because you could have gone harder.

You measure your self worth by constantly comparing yourself to others.

If it’s possible to be better, why would you ever accept where you are? If satisfaction is somewhere else, why would you ever stop and enjoy the view here in this spot? If happiness is a few more accomplishments away, you can’t be happy until…

[Space Indicating An Infinite Wait] Continue reading “Sufficiency”

sober lifestyle, Uncategorized

Therapy

My butt hadn’t even begun to warm the seat cushion when it became abundantly clear: There would be no sitting back and getting comfy in that chair.

“What made it OK to stay with a drunk all those years?” the therapist asked my husband within the opening five minutes of our very first session.

😳

The balls, right? Of course, both of us just sat there, stunned. It’s actually funny now, to think about my sweet, kind, reserved hubby trying to come up with a response to a question like that on the spot, when he’d never even been to therapy before in his life.

Couldn’t tell you what was going through my head at that moment. My heart, on the other hand, somehow knew.

This was going to be a good fit. Continue reading “Therapy”

sober lifestyle, Uncategorized

Appreciation

note
This happened to be sitting on the end table within reach of my recliner. How convenient.

We just got home from a lovely weekend celebrating early Christmas with my husband’s parents in the Poconos. It’s an hour until my bedtime. And while I only have to get up at 4 a.m. for two more days in the year 2019, tomorrow is one of those days.

So, this is going to be a quick one. (That’s what he said?)

It’s more of a note than a blog post.

A thank-you note.

When I started writing about my sobriety journey almost six months ago, it was only because I desperately needed an outlet for the overflowing toilet that was/is my brain. I never expected anyone else to read, much less care about, my everlong overshares packed with random pop culture references, none newer than 1999. I expected even less that anyone would take the time to reach out and tell me they cared. 

You guys did all three of those things.

You might not anymore if I keep talking about toilets, but while you’re here right now, I want to tell you how much your readership and support means to me.  Continue reading “Appreciation”

sober lifestyle, Uncategorized

Endurance

running1
Taken after my second half-marathon four years ago. Of course, the next picture in my camera roll was of the free celebratory cup of post-race beer…and this is why I rather dislike scrolling through the old pictures in my phone.

I used to run a lot in my younger years, and while I got gung-ho enough about it to complete two half-marathons, I never crossed the threshold into “hard-core runner” territory. Never did I feel even the faintest shred of desire to run a full marathon, and when people would ask when I was going to move on to that natural next step, I just laughed.

Hell, 13.1 was too much for me. I never lasted longer than 10 miles in training, and during the actual races, I distinctly remember getting to the seven-mile mark and being like, “OK, I’m good now! Ready to do something else!” (the first time), and “Shit! How did I forget about the awfulness of the last six miles and sign up for another one of these?!?” (the last time). Of course, I am a competitor at heart and I don’t quit in the middle of athletic events, so I kept plodding along to the finish line — and got there in less than two hours; thank you. But that invisible “wall” runners always talk about hitting was, to me, a mammoth fortification akin to the home of the Night’s Watch in “Game Of Thrones”, complete with undead ice monsters on the other side whom I didn’t care to meet.

At some point or another, I always smack straight into that damn wall, no matter what task I undertake or journey I embark upon. And it’s not that I get tired physically. It’s some kind of short circuit in my head.

I hit it — or it hit me — for the first time in my recovery last week. I just woke up one morning and felt empty and spent, as if all my positive energy had drained overnight and been replaced by sadness, frustration — and yes, self-pity. I found myself contemplating a dangerous question that tends to pop up during all the low times in my life: “What’s the point of it all?” Continue reading “Endurance”