Jilly Beans, my heart therapist, says I need to make a gratitude list at the beginning of each day. She said this in group therapy today, in which I was the only one of the five person group present, thus making it a solo therapy session. Which is nice. It turns out I am a fantastic group therapy leader if I am the only one in the group, and it is easy to talk about myself for an entire hour. In fact, I wonder if I will be able to go back to sharing the floor with my other group mates.
No, of course I will. I gain so much from being part of a group, from hearing the other four stories, and worries and thoughts and ideas. This group is one thing I am grateful for. To actually be part of a group that is making a conscious effort to grow and evolve into the people we want to be, not the people we have become. It really is an amazing thing to be part of a group, whether its in therapy, in sports, in an industry, or just a small circle of friends. There is nothing more gut wrenching than when four other people are listening contently while you speak about your doubts, fears, insecurities. And then to have the feedback where they have the same doubts, fears and insecurities. There is nothing like the realization that you are not alone.
I’ve just completed a long day of realizing I am not alone, and this makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside as I slip on comfy pajamas and an oversized white tee. If you don’t mind, I’d like to reflect on the day, and the things I am grateful for. This is my working gratitude list.
Yesterday I went to a meeting in hopes of finding a sponsor. Surprisingly, I have a hard time approaching people, and women especially. Men now too I am finding problems approaching, but mostly because the approach I’ve used for so long (sexually charged conversation, flirtatious mannerisms) is not something that will work for me anymore. I mean it works, yes, being overtly sexual and flirty always works, but that is not the way I want to work it anymore. So in an attempt to rewire the old brain, I must resort to new methods of approach. Which leave me silent with both men and women. Only one word comes to mind.
How the fuck am I supposed to approach people if I can’t flirt? If I can’t make a dirty joke or two or four, and if I can’t say the word penis or vagina within 5 minutes of initiating conversation? What the fuck do people talk about anyway? “What’s your sign” just doesn’t seem appropriate. “Can I buy you a drink” doesn’t fly in AA, mostly because the coffee is already free. And “Is that windex in your pants cuz I can see myself in them” will only receive raised eyebrows and uncomfortable laughs. No, I need a new approach method, and I need one quick. So I’ve sat in the meetings over the past week in an awkward state of silence. Which suits the newcomer well.
Until yesterday, when a really nice woman approached me to welcome me to the group. I told her I have almost 30 days sober, and she said congratulations. I asked her if she sponsored. She responded yes. I said awesome. Will you help me? She gave me her number and told me to call her later tonight to talk.
And I did.
We didn’t really talk about anything, I haven’t been having cravings to drink as much as I have to get laid, or masturbate, but will ease her into that situation as it comes. The honesty levels are running on high, so immediately I told her my situation, of dealing with sex and love addiction, drug and alcohol addiction, and a complete life change. Career, ideas, location, everything in my life is changing right now. I didn’t tell her that I am a recovering pornstar, mostly because I didn’t want to scare her away. But supposedly its pretty hard to scare someone away in AA. I will be the ultimate test.
So that is the second thing I am grateful for. The simple fact that a lovely woman approached me to welcome me and accepted the roll as my sponsor. I have to check in with her every night, or day, or whatever hour seems best for checking in, and she is going to tell me what to do. I’ve somehow managed to surround myself with a ton of sober people, even outside the rooms and meetings, and that is something I want. To be successful, accountable, responsible, and to be able to remember last night. Here’s to no more hangovers.
Oh, that’s the third thing. As of tomorrow, it will be 30 days since my last hangover, and 30 days since I checked into rehab. It turns out they don’t serve Jack and Coke in the Pasadena Recovery Center, no matter how many times you put it on the request list. Sushi yes, Jack and Coke No. Go figure. Mick was right in that you can’t always get what you want.
So Sponsor asked me to read the first step, and to start praying to gravity or Buddha each morning and each night. I said no problem. I talk to myself all day, may as well direct it to something. Hence the title of this blog. Fourth on the gratitude list?
I am grateful to you for being a stronger force than I, Jennie Ketcham. I am grateful that you keep my feet on the ground, and the moon spinning round the earth. I enjoy it’s glow each night, and the way his face changes. Keep it up. You rock.
Fifth? I am grateful I live in LA and can at anytime, pick up a squad of amazing moving Mexican men from my local Home Depot to help me get the big shit outta my house, into the Uhual, and then back into another house, which is up a flight of stairs. There is no way if I still lived in Wyoming, or Colorado that I would be able to find such amazing service, and for this I am eternally grateful.
Sixth is my dogs farts. I am grateful that my dog has terribly stinky farts because in the strange case that I ever do get back into a relationship, gravity willing, I can always blame my farts on Saucy, “some days her butt just isn’t as stinky” I will lovingly say, and he will never know the difference. Unless of course he ever reads this post. In which case I’m fucked. But the idea still pleases me and for this I am grateful.
Seven…..I am grateful and thankful to have so many supportive people in my life. I really was terrified that I would be shunned, that people would laugh and say “go back to porn, no way for you to lead a real life now” and it has been quite the opposite. Every step taken forward I’ve been welcomed with open and loving arms, from blog comments to saying goodbye to my adult agent, this warmth I occasionally find hard to accept, but there again is that sneaky little intimacy problem I am trying to move past, so I must accept the fact that I am supported, and liked and even loved and return tenfold. Dinner and movies at a new friends house this evening is proof of this support, my friend Louie asking if I minded if he served wine, or if he should just keep it sparkling water and blood orange bubbly juice. He answered his own question before I even got the chance. And therein lies the support.
Eight? I am thankful that Jilly Beans says I get to take days off from talking to my mother. I know it sounds terrible, but in trying to be open and honest with her, I realize I am dealing with a bottle of alcohol, not the mother I know and love. Nothing can fix her but time, thought, and sobriety. None of which she is capable of participating in right now. So little Jennie gets to take some days off. Which is good. Because otherwise I will become very frustrated. And be bad. BAD BAD BAD.
Nine, feeling fine. I am grateful to be so clear headed about the way things are going, and about the life review in which I am currently participating. There are a ton of huge things going on, career, finance situations, new desires and goals, and none of these things would be possible if it weren’t for a clear head.
And Ten. The big Ten. I am grateful to have my good friend Duncan living down the hall from me. He is an inspiring and beautiful man, and every day makes me smile. I am thankful that we get to live so close without actually living together, which always poses the threat of co-dependency, and smothering. He has helped me to see myself in a light I didn’t know exists, and sees a future for me I never thought possible. His actions, words, and productions keep me in awe, and his ability to look at life in a positive light regardless of what has happened to him in the past is remarkable and admirable. I love him dearly, and I think when you get to know him, you will as well.
Okay. Going to bed. Good night and I love you all. Oh, by the way, here is my finished project…..let me know what you think.