yesterday marked my 9th anniversary in the coffee club. there’s a joke around the club that the “nth year is the hardest.” people say it no matter how long you’ve been around. i think it’s just because being in recovery always brings new challenges; no matter how long i’ve been around, i’m still feeling new in a lot of ways. there’s always something ELSE to take on, something else to work on.
that’s good, i think, because it means i never feel ‘cured’ or ‘graduated’ from the whole thing — that’s when things go sour, quick. it’s weird to get to a place where you know you’ve gotten a certain amount of experience, strength and hope, but also feel so powerless over so many things. to realize that for as much as you’ve learned (1), you have so much more that you do. not. know.
it’s weird when people say they’re “proud of me.” the fact of the matter is, i *have* done some things. i have taken actions of my own accord that have contributed to nine years slipping away without much heartache or trouble. i’ve shown up early, stayed late, helped out, and done things that went completely against my nature/were completely inconvenient to me (2).
in some ways, i’m still the same person. sometimes obnoxiously loud, always a talker. i love music beyond expression, and i am an avid reader and writer. but in so many other ways, my life has changed in ways i couldn’t have anticipated when i was dragging through the summer of ’01, hoping that somehow, some way, it could just END.
i have a ‘host of friends’ who are truly there for me and are uncannily adept at seeing and recognizing my bullshit (3). they are available to me at any time of day or night, although i’m sure they hope it can wait until morning. and it nearly always can. i have a ridiculous amount of things to do — parties, dances, workshops, and various activities around the city. i know now that i NEVER have to do anything alone — IF i don’t want to. i’ve gotten a connection to something bigger than myself; i call it god because i’m lazy. but i love higher power (HP) or creative intelligence or spirit of the universe. all of those work just fine for me. i’m growing in the ways of love, tolerance, kindness, compassion, honesty, open-mindedness and willingness. i can be alone with myself and not go completely crazy.
it’s been an interesting nine years, and i hope there’s many many more. god bless me, and god bless you.
(1) although it’s completely worth noting that as the literature i read says, “self knowledge avails us nothing.” it’s great to know that i want to write a book or that i eat too much or don’t the right amount of sleep — but it doesn’t necessarily mean i’m going to be able to do the right thing or change my behavior. many alcoholics have gone to the grave knowing the dire nature of their situation.
(2) i’ve got to admit: it’s kind of embarrassing how many times i’ve been unable to get up for work or changed/made appointments so they were later in the day and i could get sleep, or how many times my parents have called me early in the morning either to have me ignore their call/tell them groggily to call back later … all the while getting up at ridiculous times of day to show up for this meeting, that workshop, this event. i don’t do it all the time, but for some reason, when it’s coffee club, i nearly always manage to show up, no matter how far away or how early in the morning. even if it means i have to stay up all night.
(3) “you can’t bullshit a bullshitter.” no truer words were ever spoken. there’s times now when i can’t even believe someone is trying to pull something over on me, or at least conceal some overshadowing element of their personality/behaviors. it’s like … i’ve lied. i know a lie when i see one. i’ve been unreliable; i know when someone is being shady as shit. i’ve hated myself and done things that were not in my best interest — i can smell low self-esteem two miles away.