90 Days Redux

My second semester of 11th grade, I took the second half of Algebra II from the worst math teacher I ever had. She was so lazy that she used the tests from the other Algebra II teacher, though she herself didn’t even bother to teach us everything we needed to know to do well on those tests. I knew going into the final exam that there was a chance I’d fail the semester. I’d already failed the first semester of gifted Algebra II the first semester of 10th grade and had to repeat it via the non-gifted version the first semester of 11th grade, so my self-confidence level was very low at this point. Back to this final exam for the second semester at the end of 11th grade: I wrote a pleading note on the end of my exam to please pass me. And it worked; I passed the class with a 70, which is a C, which was all I needed to pass and be done with Algebra II forever.

Reaching 90 days of sobriety yesterday should’ve been a happy occasion. It was not. The last few weeks I’ve been so afraid of relapsing that I psyched myself out, to the point I woke up yesterday and was scared to leave the house for fear I’d drink. Instead, I took enough Topamax pills that I felt buzzed out of my skull by the time I met with my sponsor before the AA meeting yesterday evening. I was a mess, tears streaming down my face and unable to concentrate on the resentments exercise we’d met to discuss. I didn’t even stay for the meeting to turn my old 90-day chip in for a new one. It didn’t feel like the right thing to do under the circumstances. There didn’t seem to be anything worth celebrating.

The difference between barely passing Algebra II and staying sober is that the latter is never over. 90 days was a place marker and I made it by the skin of my teeth, but it means nothing if I don’t stick with it. It’s all in my head and I know that. I’m my own worst enemy and I’m terribly hard on myself. I still want to drink so much every single day. Because drinking means ceasing to care, and it would be so nice to not care about my problems and my issues. Instead, I know I need to be grateful for the progress I’ve made.

This is me being honest, without the photos or GIFs or quotes or anything else. I wouldn’t relive the last 90 days for anything–there were some great moments and fond memories made, but overall it was pure hell. But now that it’s behind me, I need to look towards living the next 90 days with a brighter outlook so that I can experience the “light of the Spirit,” as the AA Big Book speaks of. Reliving the past will get me nowhere fast. It’s high time to move onward and upward.


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