Sunday 12 October 2014

A quick hello at 9 months (plus a few days) sober

The other day I received a kind email from the lovely Amy, recommending a great book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, by Annie Dillard, and also, I think, checking in to see how I'm doing.  And I realized that I hadn't posted in over a month, and hadn't even responded (yet) to comments on my previous post. So this is just to say hello, in case you follow along here, and you maybe were concerned that I'd gone quiet.

I'm doing great! I'm in school and I am loving the intense intellectual focus of academic work. I am sober and happy and focused and clear-minded. And busy!

I can hardly express how happy I am that I quit drinking. I'm not going to try to catalogue all the reasons here. Thinking clearly is one. Feeling more accurately is another--my feelings aren't as distorted as they used to be, so it's not a problem when things het a bit intense at times, which they do. I really am upbeat and engaged with what I'm doing, even when it's hard and I'm tired and insecure and I don't know if I can do it all in the time I have to do it.

So much of what has often caused me grief, all that worry that used to be so familiar to me in my interactions with other people (Maybe they hate me! Maybe I talk too much! Was that a dumb thing to say?) seems to have just fallen away. No, that's not quite true. Those worries are there, but they don't have the teeth they used to have. They're just little grimaces some days. Some days they're not even there at all. I'm working on this, but it's getting a lot easier. It's all part of the practice.

Drinking isn't much of an issue for me these days. I can casually say, "when I used to drink," in a conversation without drawing much attention to it, and I'm more and more comfortable being open about that. It leads to some interesting conversations, but mostly no one notices. Yes, I occasionally romanticize the allure of a glass of wine or a wee tot of something, but these days that passes pretty quickly. I'm not especially working on being sober, as there's not much work to it just now. I just am sober. And I'm putting my energy into doing things that are interesting and meaningful to me. Life, in other words. I find the whole thing glorious!

(I know some people will worry that if I don't keep being sober front and centre in my life, it will all fall apart. I respectfully disagree. I expect there are many way to do this sober gig. I'm figuring out mine, and for now, it's working for me. So far so good.)

OK, I'd better get back to the massive pile of reading. Wishing you all peace and love and a happy Canadian Thanksgiving.