Wednesday, June 10

Chess: think first before you move.

While I reflect back on my time in inpatient rehab, I'm realizing that a lot of the information and "tools for my recovery" were extremely negative. Sort of like a hyper intensive DARE program. I don't think it was necessarily to scare myself and other alcoholics and addicts straight, but the negative information and insights that were fed to me were largely negative. I'm wondering if this is why so many people relapse.

While in inpatient, I had three lectures per day, after each meal. Some were given by a doctor or a scared intern while others were previous patients of Fairview Riverside when it used to be St. Mary's. A lot of these lecturers hammered home the idea that if we don't get a sponsor, go to AA, and surround yourself with sober peers of your same gender, you would relapse.

I'm approaching 120 days of sobriety in a few days. I'm struggling to keep a positive mindset about sobriety because of all the negativity surrounding sobriety while I was in rehab. You'll surely fail if you stray away from these facets of sobriety! Yet I don't have a sponsor. I don't want a sponsor. I already have a slew of people with whom I discuss my sobriety: my outpatient counselor, my therapist, my psychiatrist, my AA home group, my parents, and others who are supportive of my ongoing endeavor of always being to locate my car. Adding one more person who I need to report to on a daily or weekly basis is overwhelming. I also don't want to have to explain my entire life story to someone, yet again. 

I've been reminded on a few occasions that my recovery is mine. I don't have joint custody or share nights and weekends with another person. I'm doing what works for me. I'm guessing that there are people who relapse because hospitals and rehab facilities are under the impression that the same plan is going to work for everyone, similar to those who think organized religion will work for everyone, when really there are some of us who, while respecting those choose to follow the path of a prophet, don't need to be frightened into a corner and blindly accept the guidelines of faith. 

Now that I don't drink, I floss every day. My Facebook posts are of a conscious and direct manner. Tom Hanks movies don't upset me nearly as much. I make appointments and actually show up. I don't wake up hungover. I always remember getting home and what I did the night before. I'm eating less pizza, and Chinese delivery is no longer a staple of my diet. 120 days of sobriety can just as easily be seen as 120 days of responsibility. I want to be able to live my life responsibly, and so far I'm off to a good start. 

In the last few days, I've been reminded that there really are good people and that not everyone is my enemy. I know I've been hiding a lot as of recently, but I'm still looking for opportunities to go out and spend time with those who see me for me and not people who are going to judge me or my past. Comedy can be fun in the right setting with the right people. I've been cautious to stay out of situations where I might say or do the wrong thing, something against my better judgement. I'm protecting myself. I'm looking forward to seeing what Seattle has to offer in regards to comedy. I've only performed a few times in the city when I've been back for holidays or extended breaks. The folks I have met in Seattle are good eggs, and I've stayed in touch with a few on Facebook for the purpose of staying in the loop if or when I return. 

I've started making phone calls and discussing my plans for moving at the end of August. I've reached out to a few people who might need a room in the coming months and to those who have an interest in traveling out West. I knew at some point, I would be triggered by moving. I thought to myself the other day, I need to get boxes to ship my books. I should go to the liquor sto--nope nope nope nope nope. I'm glad I have the awareness to catch myself in these situations. 

I've been largely hesitant to fly anywhere. The last time I flew anywhere was back to Seattle for the Super Bowl. My mom's birthday coincided with the fuck up of a game against the Patriots, so there was a lot of partying to accomplish. Drinking for four straight days took a toll on me. I blacked out during the game and found out the Seahawks lost again later that evening. I've traveled solo a lot in the last few years, which always meant unsupervised and stress-free drinking: I wasn't flying the plane, so who cares? Turns out everyone who is close to me was worried about my drinking. 

At some point, I'll have to fly home to celebrate Ali's moving up to A Union in Seattle. I'll probably have to take the clothes I'm not planning on wearing for the next six months and possibly a cat. To a plane full of strangers, I'm just another passenger. But I need to be the responsible passenger who isn't going to get loaded and black out somewhere over Montana. 

The drive out West will be interesting. Like flying, I'll be unaccompanied and left to my own devices. I'm looking forward to making playlists, researching podcasts, talking to myself, working on jokes aloud as I drive, narrating my trip, blogging, and seeing the drive as an opportunity to grow and not to drink. 

Friend: Why are you moving home?
Me: I'm crazy depressed here and I need to be with my family. I'm looking to be happier in a more stable place. 
Friend: :( that's too bad. Do what makes you happy, lady! Life's too short to be sad. 

I'm going to do what makes me happy.  

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