50 Days

Seven weeks doesn’t seem like a very long time. It’s not, actually. Not even two months, which isn’t very long in and of itself. But the last seven weeks have seemed like an eternity to someone who’s been doing their darndest not to drink. I’ve gone 50 days without a drink, and that’s only by the grace of God and Topamax. I’ll be honest and quite frank and say I don’t have much willpower left at this point. Sure, I’m working the steps. I have the best sponsor in the world. But it’s like one of the guys said in the meeting last night, and he said it so well I’ll quote him verbatim: “Sobering up f-ing sucks. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. People who aren’t alcoholics have no idea what it’s like, and that’s why it’s imperative to come to these meetings and get the support we need to keep on keepin’ on.” Tears streamed down my face as he said this.

"Cheer up," says the vintage Kool-Aid man/pitcher

“Cheer up,” says the vintage Kool-Aid man/pitcher

That being said, these last 50 days have changed my life. I think I talked about that in the last blog. Not getting on the plane to go home in May changed my life. Sobering up again in May changed my life. I became much, much, much more sociable. I attended a historical society cocktail party and met many people I’d never met. I began hanging out with new and old friends more. I began volunteering with church more and consequently met more people there. (After church this past Sunday, I actually hung around after the service and sought out people to speak to, since I’d been out of town the Sunday before and wanted to say hello to people. This would’ve never happened had I been drinking before the service, which happened more often than not back in my drinking days.) Typing out all these things makes me realize what a good place I’m in and how it’s all worth it. I don’t need to drink. I don’t need to kill myself with vodka, and that’s exactly what I was doing. But I reread the paragragh above Mr. Kool-Aid man and it scares me how let-down my guard seems. I need to get to more meetings. I need to exercise and meditate more. I have to get outside my own head.

Likewise, Daria

Likewise, Daria

My sponsor and I read this part of the AA Big Book (pages 21-22) yesterday during our session together. I’d read it last fall when I read the book and it scared me just as bad then as it did yesterday before the session when I read it and during the session when I read it aloud to my sponsor. It goes as follows:

“He may be one of the finest fellows in the world. Yet let him drink for a day, and he frequently becomes disgustingly, and even dangerously anti-social. He has a positive genius for getting tight at exactly at the wrong moment, particularly when some important decision must be made or engagement kept. He is often perfectly sensible and well balanced concerning everything except liquor, but in that respect he is incredibly dishonest and selfish. He often possesses special abilities, skills, and aptitudes, and has a promising career ahead of him. He uses his gifts to build up a bright outlook for his family and himself, and then pulls the structure down on his head by a senseless series of sprees. […] If he can afford it, he may have liquor concealed all over his house to be certain no one gets his entire supply away from him to throw down the wastepipe.”

I was telling my friend Joel yesterday when I visited him at work–only the second time I’ve done so and I’ve known him almost a year now, and he works in a store open to the public–how much better I feel and how much progress I feel like I’ve made. And he, like others have pointed out, reminded me that actions speak louder than words. He lives less than a mile from me and as long as I was drinking I was rarely interested in hanging out, unless it involved drinking. (One of the last times we hung out at his place while I was still drinking, I tried to mix a drink with his banana hanger, because clearly that’s what normal people do who are having a couple of drinks, right? Except in my case, I’d had about six by that point.)  Anyway, I realize I’m a work in progress and will be for a very long time, but I’m proud of the progress I’ve made this time around. As my sponsor pointed out, I’m not going through the motions this time. I’ve gotten a sponsor and my emotions indicate I’m involved in the process instead of treating it as a game to be played.

So I guess I wanted to get that off my chest and share some cool GIFs and memes and quotes which I found on Tumblr. I follow some really cool sobriety-centric blogs on there and actually found a master list of dozens more just last night, so I’m super-excited about that. As I’ve mentioned ohIdunnodozensoftimesatthispoint I don’t have much of an attention span on this medicine, so the snippets I get on Tumblr fit the bill perfectly. In case anyone’s interested, here’s the link to the master list I stumbled acrosss last night. I’ve not even read most of these myself, but I’m sure they’re all excellent: http://friendofbillw.tumblr.com/post/53677176227/master-list-6-23-2013-new-instructions-from-now

This is the last meme I’ll share and I debated doing so as it’s a bit creepy. I was telling my sister the story just a couple of days ago about how both my doctor and my pastor told me I had to face my demons if I were going to quit drinking. And I’m still working on that and will be working on that for quite awhile. But I’m certainly in a much better place now than I was 50 days ago. Again, it’s odd how quickly things can change in 50 days or less. I’m not even seeing that doctor anymore, and my pastor is dealing with a relative in hospice back East and I’m unable to meet with him on a regular basis. So God put me back in AA meetings, set me up with a sponsor whom I already knew, set me up with an addiction specialist/psychologist whom I’m already knew, and the latter is setting me up with his own personal doctor who will be able to prescribe meds. Everything works out exactly how it’s supposed to, when it’s supposed to. God has a funny way of taking care of things when we’ll just step back and let Him do His job.

Withdrawing room in Drayton Hall, Charleston, SC

Withdrawing room in Drayton Hall, Charleston, SC

That’s all for this week, folks. I’ll end by sharing this kickass, non-Instagram pic I snapped with my phone the other night as my sister and I were crossing the street to go back into the El Cortez en route to their parking garage after walking up and down Fremont Street. My phone is a bit jank from time to time and the pic appeared to have turned out clear. It was only the next morning when I went to upload it to Facebook that I realized what an out-of-focus, artistic, wondrously flawed mess it was! So please enjoy it as much as I have. The El has been around since 1941 and will be around for many more years, since it received its historical marker–wait for it–seven weeks ago. And guess what I’ll be doing this weekend? Going to another cocktail partay–soberly, of course–at the same mid-century modern home where I attended the historical society cocktail party seven weeks ago. Sometimes it’s true what they say about things staying the same the more they change, but hopefully the opposite’s true in my case.

Copyright BRT Photograpy via ginormous Samsung Galaxy Note

Take care, everyone. BTW, for anyone missing the aristocratically Southern part of SouthernAristocracy.org, here’s a nice little Tumblr to visit until the regularly scheduled programming resumes here. But don’t hold your breath for that. Here’s the link–this page is a fine example of what Tumblr’s all about, too: http://simplysouthernwayoflife.tumblr.com/

brt

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