(Writing this Sunday night…..)
I went to a meeting this morning and my friend Danny told a story that I’ve heard him tell before. When he first got sober, he had to pray to “Phil”from the 2000 year old man, (if you don’t know it, catch it on you tube, hysterical!) and how that comedy creation of Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks saved his life. But he said something new today. A few years ago he had a chance to meet and thank Carl personally and this week he sent a note backstage to Mel Brooks after a show he saw, and was able to personally thank him too. This story always makes me laugh, but today I cried along with him.
I was with my sponsor on Friday night, reciting a list of resentments and bad attitudes and horribleness that has been seeping out of me lately. A couple of conclusions were reached, and I have some actions to take. She definitely reminded me of the need to be grateful for what I do have, however, even amidst the panic. I patiently reminded her that I write a gratitude list every single day and have for a couple years and share it online, I’m covered! She smiled gently and reminded me, again, to be grateful
Tonight I went to a treatment center to be a speaker on an AA panel. Talking to alcoholics in detox. Oh my fuck! there is no way I am not feeling
I sit and I meditate and I read spiritual books and I do yoga and it helps, no denying but what’s missing there? Because it’s not all better. When I can be present in the proverbial “now” I understand that it is good. But have I been grateful for the good? Not lately. I have been trying to meditate away the bad, the suffering. There’s been some crap, truth, but that’s not for this post. And it’s not the point.
Tomorrow I will be 5 years sober. I have been afraid and uncomfortable. Why am I feeling shitty? I’m so lonely, sad, frustrated (fill in the blanks). I look back and see the last 10 years in 5 year increments. I wonder about what the next 5 years holds.
The first 5 years, after Tom died, I fell apart, moving forward only in the inexorable race to full blown alcoholism. And then the Year of YES happened and I got sober and the real moving forward began.
This last 5 years has been recovery on so many levels, it’s been fantastic! But life still gets all lifey and things continue to shift and change. Opening to a sense of spirituality, building relationship, yoga training, meditation, a huge restructure in attitude that I am so grateful for. But the last few months have been dicey. Not with sobriety, but I have been confused and struggling with newer issues, big, lifey issues. I have not been seeking the help I need and have been back in the “I can do it alone” frame of mind which is simply not true and leaves me feeling even more alone than ever. I chose this year as the Year of TRUST, and it’s been kicking my ass even as I slowly inch forward, testing the waters, starting to talk about the issues I need to work on.
I’ve been manufacturing my own misery, unable (unwilling) to truly trust. People have been subtly telling me all the things I have to be grateful for, and reminding me that it matters, that feeling of gratitude.
Maybe the next five year cycle is about settling in and realizing all that I do have, how lucky I truly am , how grateful I can be for so much. I could do a hell of a lot worse, right? As my friends say…”and so it is”.
When I left the meeting I thanked Danny, so grateful for what he said. I went to the Farmers Market and it felt like a miracle. Fresh fruit and veggies! delicious yoghurt! people, look at the people!. babies! I bought some stuff and then went to the book store, perusing books… look, there’s a whole yoga for chakra book! look, Where The Wild Things Are for my friend Kim’s new baby but OMG remember the Wild Rumpus’s we used to have when our kid was little? It’s overcast and foggy today and it’s a beautiful day, because I am wallowing in
I race home to begin writing this. I make tea and eat an apple, delicious! organic! How lucky am I! I have a computer to connect with my own thoughts and others! I have a tv so I can finish watching the O. J. series! I LOVE my apartment, this place is so awesome! The Hollywood Bowl schedule came yesterday, look at the shows I can see! Life may be impermanent and subject to change, but that’s ok, because right now, here and now, I am so filled with
And the next 5 years will bring what it brings, and whatever it brings I will handle because I am sober and I have tools and steps and I am grateful for it all.
You know, I had already started writing a “5 year sober ” blog since I do one every year. But I look at it now, in this moment, and, well, just no.
(And now it’s Monday…)
Five years ago I began this day with a hangover and ended it forcing myself into bed without going either to the refrigerator for wine, or the cupboard for some Jack. Today I am 5 years sober, 5 years without a drink, maybe 5 years into a (literal) life that I would not be alive for had I made a different choice that night. Certainly 5 years into this wonderful, perfectly imperfect, sad and beautiful life I am living. I started the day like I do…put the kettle on for tea, abhayanga and oil pulling, prayer and meditation. Breakfast and computer time, then shower and Yoga. After that? Who knows. The only certainty is that I will be sober for it.
I am so grateful.
For all of my sweet friends who have supported me along the way. For the people in AA who taught me what I truly believe…that AA IS the “easier, softer way” . For all of you, my sober blogging community, many of whom are now friends (albeit imaginary, but what the heck!). I’m grateful for all the help and support I have received here in this safe place I have to write about everything and anything, not just sobriety. For acceptance.
And for a gratitude that runs deep and true and that can change lives…certainly mine.
I am unabashedly bawling my eyes out…