Friday, November 4, 2022

12 Years Sober on Sunday, and no longer out in the cold.

These are my actual chips. They can be yours
This one not mine, but it's pretty fancy
Like Pokemon, you gotta catch them all, right?  I save every chip--going back to the 24-hour one. the monthly colored ones, and the yearly medallions. 
It's a good reminder  to suit up, show up and to re-enlist daily. For me, this means every day, but that's my choice 

       The early chips I kept, light in weight, big in color, are a reminder that I had to go back to keeping it all in the day many, many times that year (that week even). Bottom line is 2022 was kind of a dick. Many days felt really dark. I needed that reminder. My dad died in March, a relationship which was important to me had a change in status, and  my pet also passed.  All pretty devastating. Nearly everything that helped get me through the pandemic disappeared in some form or another---so now that the pandemic is "gone," I'm a little bit lost on life's baseline. Nothing is the same. 

      I  also had some medical shit, so there are changes around that too.  I'm tired both physically and mentally --- I'm fucking lonely a lot of the time. 

     Would I like these things to be different?  Of course, as they all cycled up and had an effect, but even though it was a challenging year for my sobriety, I made it. Yes, 2022 was an asshole! Relief was hard to find, especially after years of finding it in unhealthy ways. 

         So, woe is me?

         I didn't take a drink or a drug over any of it, nor do I want to because I now have a good life--something I didn't have on November 6, 2010. I have a roof over my head, I have food, I wrote a book in the last year, Joe the Salamander, which I'm proud of--and may have another life in another streaming form. My kids are healthy, my son got engaged, and I took a few trips too. I have a therapist. I have a sponsor. blah-dy-blah-dy-blah

      I have a lot of gratitude for my life.  I hope the next year is better, but if it's not, I have 365 days until I post about 13 years, because there is no guarantee that I can go even one day if I decide that my solution to stress, anxiety, a dick of a year can be found in some Johnny Walker Black. 

Here is my progression (in metaphor) of my drinking:

It all used to work--even when I was still using the way I did in college years later. (Sign Post: If you are 10-15 years out of college and are still drinking the same way or worse, it might indicate something).

1) It's still workingI go out wearing a coat, bringing my keys and letting myself back in. 

2) I think it's still workingI go out sometimes wearing a coat, sometimes losing my keys, and have to bother people to open the door at the end of the night. 

3)  It's not working and I don't give a fuck about anyone elseI go out never wearing a coat, and now it's freezing,  always losing my keys and banging on the door, sometimes for a long time and people are tired of letting me in. 

4) It's not working and I cannot stop doing it while not giving a fuck about anything: I go out, no coat and it's below freezing, no keys and people are no longer there at the house to let me in. I find it to be ok sleeping outside on the porch, after all, I deserve it. 

     Twelve years ago, on November 6,  I decided against the next number. Number 5

 5.) Hospitalization from frostbite or death by hypothermia.  No coat, no keys, no people, and this strange feeling of warmth...all I have to do is close my eyes.

     Finally, I had Hope.  There is some hope for anyone who could use some There are people out there, many needing help. Some of them I care about, and I've been saving a seat right next to me.  Besides saving seats, my people all are willing to help. I heard a story from a friend who knew someone struggling and they couldn't believe I would be willing to point them in the right direction. But it's not only me.  There are thousands of us out there willing to help, so if things are getting out of control, please find someone you know who knows what to do---and if you don't know what to do, reach out to me, I'm available unconditionally. 

\This one is not me, but note the faint resemblance 


Dano said...

Good for you, Tim. This has been on my mind quite a bit lately.

ctgager37 said...

Indicates something...