Groundhog Day

Today is Groundhog Day, February 2.

If I had any idea what all the meant I’d let you know if we had more winter or spring to look forward to. But I don’t know, or care what the shadow means. Plus, I am in Southern California, which means none of that stuff matters anyway. As a matter of fact, as I look at the news reports of the weather everywhere it seems none of that stuff matters anymore at all. Our climate is out of control, so destroyed, that there is no such thing as normal weather these days.

But that’s not what I wanted to write about.

(Truthfully I have 3 posts started….I’m going with this one for now)

Today I was in a meeting and the leader was sharing about the definition of insanity, as in doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. She also mentioned the fact that it was groundhog day,  but as she spoke all I could think of was the movie, Groundhog Day.

That movie happens to one of my very favorite movies ever. I have seen it probably 20 times, and I’m not that kind of gal. There are a few movies that, if they happen to be on and I run into them, no matter what point it is in the movie I will stop everything and watch it until the end. The Godfather movies (obviously not 3), Shawshank Redemption, Sleepless in Seattle, The Producers and Groundhog Day.

It’s such a great story, redemptive. It has always made me so happy.  Today I was really thinking about Bill Murray’s redemption. How a series of small choices and changes, made every day over time produced a great guy out of a shitty man. Changed his crap life into the life he always wanted.

As I sat there I couldn’t help  but see the parallels with sobriety and what we learn in AA.  We wake up every day, roll over , climb out of bed and head into a new day, a new world. Our days are filled with choices and challenges, but the most important choice we make each day is the decision to stay sober one more day. Just one more day….nothing more or less. And each day we make that choice we move a few steps forward into our redemption. MY redemption, MY choices…

I really like being sober. I LOVE the fact that I do not continually obsess over what I am or am not drinking, what you’re drinking, when I can get my next drink…that hamster ball was a killer, so exhausting.

I like that I feel like a better person. I always told the truth, at least that’s what I told myself, but I didn’t.  I lied about my drinking and that colored everything in my life. I may not have gotten a DUI, but I sure as shit should have. I never got into an accident drunk by grace alone….it astounds me. I didn’t do a lot of terrible things, but every terrible thing I did I did while I was drinking.

I like that I do have choices, not only the choice to not drink, but so many others. When I was drinking, especially at the end, my choices were limited to wine or vodka or jack. I was choosing not  to drive most of the time, having finally gotten the message that perhaps that wasn’t a good idea. I wasn’t choosing to eat much either; drinking was plenty for me. I was choosing to not participate in life, turning down invitations right and left, volunteering to do things and not following through, sitting in the office in my sweats taking tests to see if I was an alcoholic and searching for “drunk” blogs…..pitiful and incomprehensible.

I was living that same day over and over again, just like in the movie, making the same bad choices, closing myself off from others, full of self-pity for the horrible injustice I had suffered and using that as an excuse to hurt myself and my family and friends by checking out, little by little, becoming like the stupid shadow that everyone goes on  and on about and that really has no meaning, none.

Life isn’t perfect now, but oh it is so much better, easier really. Each day I make the big choice, the big decision, and that helps me with all those little choices that lead me to…where?…I don’t know. I don’t know. And that’s kind of ok for now. I just keep doing the next indicated action, take the next step, and something is going to happen. Redemption? The life I always wanted?  No. But it will be good,and so much better than the life, or death , I was hurtling toward.

So I’ll be Bill Murray, self-centered and mean and yet given the chance to change the direction of his hurtle from a dead end life to the life he always wanted, though maybe didn’t know it. Big changes are afoot, big deeds, but really all they are is the choice to get out of bed and stay sober that day. Once I have done that, the other stuff starts falling into place…the footwork gets done, the calls get made, the ideas start forming. Life stops being a re-run and becomes a series I want to watch, because I want to see what happens next.

Take the stupid groundhog out of the equation, and I love Groundhog Day!

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7 Comments

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  1. Great one. A keeper.
    xoxoxoxo

  2. Wow, Michele! What a wonderfully hopeful and positive post! Just what I needed to hear today. I’ve never seen Groundhog Day, but you’ve definitely convinced me–I just put it at the top of my Netflix queue.

    The description of your drinking days was such a good reminder–that obsessed, hopeless, narrowing world. No matter whatever else happens in life, at least we’re not there.

    Thank you–great post.

  3. You so perfectly describe that dishonesty and deceit that otherwise decent people practice as active alcoholics. I too can downplay how hurtful or destructive I was, but really I was just extremely lucky.

    I too adore Groundhog Day (and Bill Murray in general) and LOVE how you compare it to sober life. That gives me such hope to be reminded that I don’t have to get every day perfect…that there is no such thing, anyway, but every day I have a chance to fix the things I know I did wrong. Ignoring them won’t make them go away.

    Thanks for this!

  4. Super LOVE this one!

    Ciao, Nora

  5. On behalf of all groundhogs on the planet, we forgive you for not caring about us or our shadows or any implications thereof.

    (You’re cute. I love this. So much.)

  6. Thanks to my father who informed me concerning this website, this website is really remarkable.

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