Reflections on Ten Years

This’ll post the day after I made it to ten years clean. I think I’m going to wander through my head and just put down what seems like it matters…

Some days are very easy to stay clean and sober, other’s it’s all I can do to not have “just one” beer.

The nightmares are finally starting to fade.

I’m less worried about being liked by the world at large and far more concerned with the opinions of a few people I love. Related to that, I conserve emotional energy so that I have more for them.

Little things make my day like a tasty bite at work or an easy drive home.

My very favorite hobby is “Doing Nice Things for Sweety”. She is the reason I stay clean. The Bible says “count the cost”. If I relapse, she is the cost. I am unwilling to pay that price.

My second favorite hobby is this blog because it is a gift to myself and some friends that I think of as Treasures. Yeah, the best things in life are the people that allow you to share their lives.

I have different priorities now than I had ten years ago. When I first became sober, I was trying to figure out who I was and how to deal with being sober. Now, I LIKE being sober and *grins* mostly sane. I also don’t think I’ll ever figure it out so, I don’t worry about it.

Interestingly enough, when I got sober, it was in a place that is Conservative Christian. Now, I am much less open minded than I was then. Yeah, “oddly” because although this is a blog that has a lot of posts for LBGT Rights and freedom from persecution for some Pagan friends, there are a lot of things I disapprove of. It just happens that being gay or Pagan aren’t things on the Disapprove List *grins* To clarify, there are a lot of things that are out of bounds…for me…that I am willing to encourage others to do. I can not drink ever again. As an example, that doesn’t mean I don’t tell people to have a beer and have bought them a beer on occasion.

I think I’ve grown up a tiny bit but, some days I still wish I was 4…

On a serious note, I NEED a “support group”. It isn’t a traditional AA type support group but, there are some close friends and my wife that I am able to turn to on the bad days. Yeah, I still have days that are “touch and go”. I can not rely on my own strength to stay sober but, I can long enough to be able to get to someone that will loan me some of theirs. Then I have enough strength.

I’ve learned gratitude. I am entirely grateful for the “bonus years” I’ve been given. I didn’t expect to live this long. I am grateful, too, for the people that populate my life in these years Sweety, Aj, Z, Kelladillo, and the rest of them. I never expected to have people I trust since I didn’t trust myself or anyone else way back then.

Trust is another thing I’ve learned. I am able to trust me and other people. I wasn’t able before. Go figure.

I still have baggage. I keep little stashes of food because I used to not have enough for drugs and food so I chose drugs and stayed hungry. Now, having food is security.

I also keep finding out that I’m far from perfect. I try to be a good husband…and some days I am. Others I take her for granted. People, even the ones I put on the unfair to them pedestal aren’t. Humans have faults. I just have a tendency to ignore their’s.

I have a huge weakness with labels. I want people to fit in nice little boxes. I try to make them fit my construct and world view. *sigh* When I was an addict, I didn’t care as much. Now, I want things to be neat and tidy. It manifests itself when it comes to faith in particular. I do a disservice to a dear friend, Aj, because I try to “Christianize” her when she is not. I have a hard time with that because I have a hard time stepping outside myself. On the other hand, because of those same attempts to put people into boxes, it makes me predisposed to like someone because of one aspect of themselves. Examples being that if I find out someone is Pagan I want to like them or if they are Lesbian, because of Z, I want to like them. Because most of my close friends and all of my “support group” is female, I tend to want to like them and am much more wary of having male friends. *editorial, I do have a couple of male friends but, am not as close to them*

For what it’s worth, being an addict sucked. Hating yourself is not fun. Ever. Letting every hygiene standard and all of your values suffer rots the soul. I can not find any excuse for who I was. I listen to a radio commercial for a treatment center that says “it’s not your fault” and entirely disagree. If it wasn’t my fault, it for d**n sure wasn’t anyone else’s or God’s. If I didn’t do it, who did? I had to learn to own my actions and thoughts. I had to realize that every step I took belonged to me. Now, I realize that even being angry is a conscious process and I control it. I used to make excuses about my life, now I don’t. I either fix it or take the hit, either way, it’s mine.

*****

I thought this was going to be a list of milestones. That’s not how it turned out. Sorry. Fatigue set in. Still, I wanted some words down. I would like to thank my family, my wife, and The Collective Conscience. God gets a bunch of the credit, too. I get very little except for being smart enough to turn to good people.

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