Tag Archives: recovery

The gifts of sobriety

-I have a job (2 jobs!) that I enjoy and do well.

-I have positive interactions with my coworkers, meaningful interactions even.

-I move about my day with patience (most of the time), focusing on each task rather than focusing on how I’m going to overcome my withdrawal before lunchtime.

-I wake up on time, often with a headache, but I know that’s because I didn’t drink enough water before bed, rather than getting into all sorts of trouble while drunk the night before.

-I am still broke, but I don’t feel guilty about it because I’m spending my money on the life I’m trying to live rather than my suicide.

-My car is about to break down, but I know that I’ll be okay.

-I’m about to move and I know that I’ll be okay.

– I am aware of what I’ve survived so far in sobriety, and while I’m still working on grace, I faced challenges with far more faith and strength than I would’ve drunk.

-I still have a sense of humor.

-I get to be a part of my friends’ lives. I get to make them laugh and visa versa, hold their babies, go on adventures, and lend support rather than inspiring worry and heartbreak.

-I get to be an example and resource for my younger siblings. I get to stick around for them.

-My health is improving, my energy, my ambition.

-Intimacy is a whole different experience. Whereas before sex meant a blurred line between consent and assault, I feel an ownership and connection to my body and sexuality–both alone and with a partner. I am starting to work on healing past trauma related to my body and sex.

-I have been given friends who are getting to know me from my most rotten core and they love me truly, because we keep each other sober and help each other see the light in ourselves.

-I get to be a living amends. Everyday that I stay sober and strive to grow in sobriety and in life, the healthier my relationships get to be. It helps me cope with my past and connect to my grief in a healing way.

-I paint and write and read and sing.

-On days like this, I feel the desire to go run around and play in the sun, instead of hiding from it with a bottle.

-My life is full, big, wide open, and busy–overwhelmingly so sometimes. But, again, I know I’ll be okay.

-I’m able to treat issues external to my sobriety–including my mental health–in a more productive way.

– I can see both the end of things and beginnings of things–both happy and sad are temporary–that’s how I know I’ll be okay.

-This list could be endless.

 

TSS

over 9 months!

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Us Little Ones

I keep a picture of my six-year-old self in my wallet. I’ve gravitated towards tokens for a long time. I keep these things with me as reminders. A torn piece of a sentence that I picked up in the park (and continue to carry with me through each move), the top of a bottle my best friend tossed off my roof the night that we slept together and destroyed our relationship, a scrap from my dad’s car tire that I found later at the scene of his accident, bottle caps, rocks, hospital bracelets. They represent important moments in my life, many of which involved me trying to get sober or at least less unhappy. The chips from each sobriety milestone fall perfectly into this collection. The lovely thing is that, unlike my other tokens, they represent continued success in my effort to recover.

The picture in my wallet is one of the more important tokens that I have, It shows me a version of myself that I view with love, care, and pity. The mind of an addict or alcoholic seems to be characteristically littered with violently abusive conceptions of our broken selves. Regardless of how my disease manifests itself externally, I could (and sometimes still can) count on a steady stream of hateful words between my ears. My proverbial gun has always been pointed at the center of myself and I pose a tremendous threat to my survival–or at least I do when I am not treating my alcoholism, cross-addictions, trauma, and bi-polar depression.

I need to remind myself, with kindness, that I am working to become the kind of person that I needed. I am working to be able to love and nurture those around me. I am a token too. Scars, wrinkles, gin blossoms, a beat-to-shit soul that for some reason keeps clawing towards the light. I believe it when people say that these things, these times, are going to be what really help me help others. It’s much easier to reach into someone’s darkness and soothe them when you’ve walked through its streets. So I rub my coins raw, hold onto the mementos that now seem so brave in their multitude–We have to give ourselves credit for failing so many times and still holding on to hope with a stubborn desperation–and I hope like hell that this time it sticks, this time it grows, and soon I won’t look at that little girl with a single glimmer of pity in my heart. I will know, then, that she has a powerfully beautiful and complex life ahead of her and that she will earn every moment of joy by being finally well enough to give it back.

So I’m hanging in there, I hope you are too.

TSS

 

The Art of Living

“The art of living,” I like this phrase. It elevates the act of survival. It is a good reminder that the fact that my lungs continued filling, my blood continued circulating, and my electrical impulses continued firing all night long is a fucking miracle. Not to mention, I got up and to work on time. Early recovery, so far, has been filled with learning how to be a functional human being again (or really, for the first time). It is the little things that show that I am making progress. I shower several times a week, brush my teeth, occassionally do laundry (not as much as I should, but it’s a start), and I’m starting to eat and sleep more normally. And, if you were interested, my bowels are recovering as well. Yes, I wish I were capable of doing more, having more, and being more, and some days I am. Most of the time though, life is pretty basic because it has to be. Taking away booze didn’t immediately land me with some quality coping mechanisms, so until those come along, I’m walking around a little bit like I’m made of fine china that’s been tentatively pasted back together.

I’m getting a little better at patting myself on the back for little successes, even though I’ve been struggling the past few days. Not necessarily to stay sober but to continue wanting all of the things that recovery is promising. Because if you want the promises, you have to stay alive and some nights I go to bed/wake up still not entirely sure that I’m not 100% trash.

I’m working on it–if only by simply surviving for now. I’ll take it.

Hang in there,

TSS

95 days sober