I’m forgetting what has been happening lately so when I sit down to blog, I’m starting to draw a blank. Not because things aren’t happening. I think I’m just not being as observant of the progress I’m making as I once was. And I think the sober firsts were coming so fast and furious at the beginning that I almost ALWAYS had something to tell you whether you wanted to hear about it or not. Everything was shiny and new and impressive. YOU GUYS I’M MAKING LASAGNA AND I’M NOT GOING TO THROW UP ON IT! DO YOU LIKE MY APRON? *spin around* -or- GUESS WHAT?! I WATCHED A MOVIE LAST NIGHT AND I CAN ACTUALLY REMEMBER WHAT WAS EATING GILBERT GRAPE! BE PROUD OF ME! -or- I’M AT A GROCERY STORE SHOPPING AND I’M TALKING TO STRANGERS ABOUT HEIRLOOM TOMATOES, HUMIDITY, AND WENDY WILLIAMS! -or- I JUST POOPED NORMAL PEOPLE POOP! COME LOOK! IT’S SO CUTE!
I keep taking the lovely and amazing moments for granted, I think. Obviously not intentionally. But I have a few really fantastic and through the roof days of pure bliss and somehow I repeatedly make the very dangerous assumption that the happy days are here to stay. And then I wake up one morning with the soupy poopies, aches and pains, and a general feeling of malaise. WHAT. THE. FUCK? I was just on cloud nine. Where did this come from? How can I STILL be feeling bad. And I’m not stupid, you guys. I know all about PAWS and that the symptoms can persist for months and months. Even years. But when the intoxicating pink clouds roll in (and they are intoxicating), it’s very easy to forget that I’m not really well yet. It’s easy to falsely assume that maybe I’m different and that PAWS is over for me and that I’m one of the lucky ones and that somehow my recovery is better than your recovery and I fast forwarded somehow and EVERYTHING IS OKAY AND I’M READY FOR A FULL TIME JOB AT BETTY FORD. Then the sudden jolt of a random migraine, back pain, gloom and doom outlook and I’m right back in the thick of it. And I must confess that when I land back in the thick of it (which isn’t often), I do get a bit panicky and just like I assumed the good feelings would never fade, I also illogically worry that the bad feelings are now here to stay. But they never stay. And I always end up back on the other side. And cumulatively, the good days are by far outweighing the bad.
Last night, I was watching Gordon Ramsey tear off the heads of young cooks and shove them up their own asses on Masterchef. It was so beautiful. I’m fully aware that trash television can’t be good for me but it’s better than alcohol. Boyfriend got a text and said, “Oh God. Betty White and Richard Simmons are at the wine bar down the street and just texted to ask us if we want to come meet them.” I’m using fake names here to protect the identities of our friends and also to further the careers of two national treasures. “Well. I’m not going. Do you want to go?” I asked. “Not at all,” he replied. “You aren’t just saying that because I won’t go, right? Because you need to do what you need to do,” I said. “Nope. I don’t want to. But I don’t know what to say to them,” he lamented. “Just tell them no. That we are in for the night and thanks for the invite and maybe another time,” I concluded. So that’s what he told them. And although I really had no interest in going, I got a little frustrated that I’m not at a point where I can throw on a pair of pants and take a 2 minute walk to a bar to see a friend and sip a soda water. Actually, I know that if I really wanted to, I COULD do that. But I would be uncomfortable, distracted, bored, and wouldn’t have any fun. So aside from the obvious need to avoid alcohol, why would I put myself through that? I wouldn’t. And I didn’t. But I must say that I really do look forward to the day where I am comfortable visiting with someone regardless of where the meeting place happens to be. The fact that my early sobriety forces me to choose between myself and my friends sort of pisses me the fuck off. And it’s not like Betty White and Richard Simmons are big drinkers. I’ve never seen them drunk, really. They are sophisticates that sip one glass and eat fucking olives. So the fact that their location was a wine bar was merely arbitrary. But then I wondered what I would have done if Betty White and Richard Simmons sent the same text and asked if I wanted to meet them at the frozen yogurt shop. I WOULD HAVE STILL SAID NO. Because I’m old and it was almost 10PM and I’m not eating sugar and even thought I really truly love Betty and Richard, this was not an invite I had any desire to say YES to. Which led me to the very eye opening conclusion that my frustration with the situation was not over the fact that my sobriety limits what I can do with Bett and Rich. My frustration was over the pressure that I feel to PLEASE Bett and Rich and that I have genuine anxiety about how I will be perceived if I don’t show up. Am I a bad friend? Will I still be in Betty’s last will and testament? I mean, she’s loaded. I don’t want to blow that.
What are my motivations? Where are my loyalties? Why am I loyal? Am I loyal or am I actually just insecure?
Every single day I’m sober and do this very hard and sometimes exhausting work, I unearth new shit that needs dealing with. It can be somewhat stifling. But all I can do is continue being honest with myself and make sure that there is never a drink in my hand.
Ok. Enough whining. Who’s ready to sweat to the oldies?