Sunday, August 2

The Six Month Itch

"Your nails have gotten longer."
"Huh, yeah I guess they have."

When I returned home, my mom commented on how my nails had gotten longer. They're manicured, smooth, red. My claws are no longer bitten to the quick, hurting and pulsating from masticating anxiety from the night before.

Maybe once a week or so, I experience yet another benefit of sobriety. In the beginning, it was mostly about outweighing the consequences of my drinking with positive changes to remind me what I will lose if I relapse. Here's a list of some benefits I've come to realize throughout the course of my recovery:
  • I always know where my car is. 
  • When I check my bank account, there aren't any unexpected surprises like rounds for the band, late night pizza(s), or purchases from Ebay to supplement my denim infatuation. 
  • I wake up in the morning and check my phone to see what other people are doing, not to find out what I might have done the night before. 
  • I wake up bright. I'm not foggy, nauseated, ashamed, or guilty.
  • I shower because I should and not because I need to. 
  • On a related note, I've become more...girly? I'm now taking pride in my appearance and not leaving the house in an old t-shirt and sweatpants. Winter made it incredibly easy to not care about my appearance, but now that I'm sober in the summer, I'm conscious of how I'm visually presenting myself.
  • I'm making appointments and keeping them.
  • I'm emotional because I'm feeling something and not drinking to not feel. 
  • I'm attending celebrations or gatherings with the purpose of participating in the event with others and not using the event as an excuse to get shitfaced on free booze from an open bar.
  • I don't spend my days telling people "it'll never happen again" only to continue my regrettable behavior hours later. I keep my promises. 
  • When I'm bored, I'm able to find an activity to occupy my time instead of immediately running to Central Avenue Liquors to get beer and pass the time. 
  • I'm proud of the person I am. 
These benefits remind me of why I don't drink. Finally, the good in my life is outweighing the negative, the stagnant, the faulty, the abrasive. My aim is to be cognizant of the fact that I'm nearing six months of sobriety, and that I can't get comfortable. I've been told by numerous people that six months is around the time where people start to question their commitment to sobriety and start wondering if they can simply moderate or social drink. But I can't trick myself into going back to where I was tenfold, thus erasing my progress as an adult of whom I can be proud. 

On Friday evening, I went to my second AA meeting in Seattle, err, the second AA meeting in Seattle that I've taken seriously. I got my five month medallion while me and 50 other Seattlites made ourselves at home in a backyard in the Central District. A golden retriever even slept in the background while we shared stories of shame, helplessness, and triumph. The weather was sublime while we shared under the flight path, trying to amplify our voices under slowing engines. After the meeting, I ran into someone who I knew back in middle school. It's been about 13 years since we've seen or even thought of each other, I'm guessing. We caught up a bit and left on good terms with a smile and a fist bump. Seattle is a small world, but AA is even smaller.

My current endeavor is finding costumes for myself and my mom for a Roaring 20s garden party in a few weeks. Flapper outfits are either crazy cheap or authentic and very expensive. I guess the art deco fashion of Hemingway's era is coming back in a fierce way, modern materials with classic shape and swing. The garden party is an annual fundraiser for the 34th District Democrats. Supposedly I'll be volunteering for some of the event and MCing a few of the contests for the evening. I've also been tasked of creating a papier mache Donald Trump pinata. I'm not sure if I should fill it with Monopoly money or contributions to the Bernie Sanders campaign.

The Mariners are in Minneapolis playing the Twins for a four game series. It's felt good to relax and get caught up on my home team, new trades, old positions, familiar names. Most of my childhood was spent obsessing over the former Pilots. 1995 was a magical year for baseball and for those of us entering second grade. I still remember the line up, Joey Cora starting off with Edgar batting clean up, Buhner's stiff batting stance and Randy's custom made cleats. Seattle was finally excited about something. Both the Twins and the Mariners have new managers to break in this season. I'm still unsure which team is the home team. I like this Iwokuma pitcher. My oh my.

I got my new Washington license and my Washington plates. I sat out in the sun trying to pry off my bug splattered Minnesota plates with the tiniest of screw drivers. Rust and salt and snow made the screws strip a bit but I now officially have an instate vehicle. I have such a good little car. I put 1,800 miles on it in three days and it's dirty and gross and muggy and it's still my little friend who can go for miles. Happy car.

The Blue Angels are warming up, so yay for military airshows! From the house, I can see little dark triangles swooping behind the trees followed by a noise that kitty isn't too comfortable with yet. Seafair weekend will be just another weekend for me: sleeping in, trying to carb count correctly, rubbing kitty tummies, and staying safe, happy, and healthy. 

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