Let's talk about sobriety, being creative, and how the arms of the octopus that is life challenge us daily to become better people.


Character Defects

The weather is absolutely gorgeous right now. I have been trying to get outside as much as I can. The other day I went for a hike on a trail right by my house.  It wasn't until I was about a mile into it that I recognized some recent changes.

I never used to be able to hike. I was too afraid. Who knew what kind of god-awful creatures lurked behind that boulder? What the hell could I do if a bear or mountain lion or hobo decided to kill me for dinner? Would I be able to bend the right way if a rattle snake bit my ankle so I could suck the venom out? If I fell and broke my ankle my cell phone would probably die simultaniously and then what? Hopefully a freak storm would brew and I would be carried away by a flash flood so my family wouldn't have to blow money on a funeral.

Okay. So you get it. No way in hell you would catch me hiking.

But I went hiking. By myself. Two days ago. A lot of the insane fears I used to have have been taken from me. That is unreal.

Another thing that has changed is how I to talk to people. I used to flat out lie to people so they would like me. Tell me you enjoy sky diving? I've always wanted to sky dive! Liver and onions your favorite meal, you say? Mmm-hmmm...sounds delicious! You are convinced a tribe of alien invaders live below the public library and are close to finalizing their plan of attack? I was just thinking the same thing! Fancy that! Seriously, I would say anything to not offend, including agreeing to go on dates with people I had no interest in so their feelings wouldn't get hurt.

I realized this character defect had magically vanished when I told a complete stranger, after he described in detail how passionate he is about fly fishing, that I, to be perfectly honest, hate to fish. He wasn't the least bit offended and I didn't feel icky about lying.

 Another recent example happened while at the library. A guy there has been eye-stalking me. He will watch me for hours, strategically placing himself behind a bookshelf or computer for optimum spying/hiding advantage. Ew. I know. The other day, however, he sat at my table and struck up a conversation.

"Couldn't help but notice you sitting by yourself." (No shit. You have been watching me for over an hour now AND it's a fucking library, not a homecoming dance. Last time I checked sitting alone is more than acceptable.)

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah. So, I don't know how to say this so I'm jus gonna say it, 'kay?"

"Uh, okay."

"Can I take you out?" (Stop. Now this is where a few months ago I would have cringed but said, "Sure. What's the harm in that?")

Instead I replied, "You know, I really don't think that would be such a great idea. My life is pretty busy right now."

"Oh okay. Well thanks anyway."

He then got up, pushed in the chair, and wandered off. I didn't even worry about him trying to commit suicide later once. I know that's a tad bit extreme but, since I'm being completely honest here, I really used to worry about that. Pretty damn disgusting of me (not to mention utterly self consumed to think I really held that kind of power).

So, I am speaking honestly and gently, and I am hiking. Two big changes I have happened to observe recently. Two more reasons to be grateful.


The Addiction

The past couple of weeks have been some of the worst in my sobriety. A lot of feelings and old, stuffed down deep emotions hit me like a truck on Easter. I was blindsided. I had no idea those feelings still exsisted let alone held the power to make me sob and sob in a deserted parking lot. I was so confused and angry. I had kept those feelings repressed for so long that they felt more powerful than I was able to handle.

After crying for a long while in my Easter Sunday best it hit me: My addiction. All of the sudden the only possible solution was to walk into the grocery store across the parking lot and reunite with my  ex-lover, Wine. The thought was strong and my craving was off the charts. My mouth watered, my heartbeat increased, my skin got flushed and hot. I was fucking terrified. I thought, "Wait a minute here. I have over one hundred days in this thing! I can't fuck it up now. It would be so embarrassing to have to start all over again." Usually after these thoughts the craving disappears, the obssesive thoughts vanish, and I am left comfortable in my sobriety. Not that day. The next thoughts came zooming into my skull far faster than the others, "So what?! It's just 100 measly days. You could do that over easy. You are in pain. It hurts worse than anything you have experienced in a long time. You just can't handle it. Walk in that store and do what needs to be done. You will feel so much relief. Just do it."

I felt doomed. I turned off my car. I readied my purse. My fingers curled around the handle of my car door. Then I heard a voice. This time it wasn't from my alcohlic head. It was calm, peaceful, tranquil, and full of loving purpose.

"Sadie, turn on your car and go home."

So I did, thanking my Higher Power the entire way.

I am continuing to struggle with my cravings and alcoholic thinking today. Last night a craving hit me for no apparent reason that had me drooling over the computer. It has been hard and scary, yes. But thank God for that experience in the parking lot. As awful as it was and as painful as it was it confirmed my belief in my Higher Power.

When the octopus arm that is alcoholism begins wrapping itself around me, squeezing tighter, sucking at my flesh, I stop and pray. I stop and ask my Higher Power who saved me that day to please save me again, to give me the strength I need.


Living In The NOW

I have had the hardest time getting myself to write lately. I can't tell you how many times I have sat down to make a post this week for 15, 20, sometimes even a half hour before muttering "fuck it" and clicking that bright red "X".

I don't know if it's because my mind has been so busy with the static everyday tasks of life this week and just needs to shut down,or if I have turned into a boring, dull,  giant blob void of creativity. Nothing seems to want to flow out of me. I have no original thoughts or realizations. I haven't been sitting around contemplating my place in the Universe. I wake up, eat, work out, go to work, get home, eat, sleep and so on and so on. This type of pattern used to really mess with my head. I would become restless and anxious. I would feel unimportant and robotic. At times I would get depressed and wonder if I was truly living a life worth anything. Those feelings of, at times, hopelessness could occur daily before I got sober.

It is a different story today. After a week of that same-old, same-old I am happy. I am satisfied. I am, dare I say it...?, content. I now understand that it's okay if I don't make a big deal out of every little thing. It's fine that I want to veg out from time to time. The world doesn't explode if I decide to take a nap instead of making sure everything around me is perfectly wrapped in a big shiny bow, neatly tucked into its perfect spot on that metaphorical shelf of life.

This newfound contentness (if that's not a word it should be) has me breathing easier and I have yet to experience a headache this week. I am living in each moment and enjoying everything, no matter how mundane, so much more fully. I may still mutter things like "fuck it" to myself now and then but it's the fact that I don't beat myself up after. When I click that bright red "X" I am able to easily transition into the next moment, not dwelling on what I wasn't able to do and instead focusing on what I am doing.