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.


8 thoughts on “nine.

  1. Well how was your BS meter with Governor Quinnochio? A family of four making $80,000 in total will now be paying about $2000 more in taxes, that’s going to stimulate hiring. Illinois sucks.

  2. also, didn’t think the tax hike was about stimulating hiring. thought it was about saving IL’s ass.

  3. We could get into a long diatribe about this, but who saves my ass? Even big ears Obama recognizes you don’t raise taxes now. 3 companies have already said they are leaving. And if you think this “saves” Illinois you really are smoking the liberal pipe. There have been no cuts in spending. Do you realize overall we pay the most taxes across the board when you add it all up. And what do we get? Most people like me are on the cusp, make too much for fed help with college for the kids but not enough to keep them from running up huge debt in loans. I know a guy that quit his job and took a 50% pay cut. He is coming out way ahead because his kids are getting all kinds of fed $ which of course is tax free. He threw his savings in annuities which don’t count for FAFSA. He’s a genius, but it’s not something I could do in good conscience.

  4. Congratulations!!!! 9 is awesome! Don’t be deterred by the talk of it being a tough year, they say that about all of them. I hear 34 is when it truly gets tough! 🙂

  5. Back to serious stuff. Moonbeam Brown, probably one of the biggest libs of all time just cut taxes and spending in Cali, basically saying “everyone knows you don’t raise taxes in a poor economy”. Well I guess everyone but Quinnochio.

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