Today is day 60 in sobriety. I get to take a new chip today, a 60 day chip to mark the passage of two months, 1,440 hours, 86,400 minutes, 5,184,000 seconds of not drinking, smoking (pot, lord knows the cigarette alert is on high), all that time with no sex, one time masturbating albeit not while watching Law and Order, and only a couple cases of seriously objectifying the people and things. All this time has passed, and I only feel slightly different, although I’m not quite sure how I felt before, except for the fact that I didn’t feel at all.
With the time passing, I’ve found a couple things have changed. One by one, I will share them with you. And I suppose, myself.
One: Persons, places and things all seem in sharp focus. When I walk into a room, I can see rows of chairs, people’s faces, and the perimeters which define the room. I notice things like corners, in which I can hide if necessary, men and women I can hit on, next year, and chairs for sitting, in case I need to hold onto something. I can see, feel and experience all these things as I’ve never been able to because before, faces blurred into the corners of the room, chairs fell out from under me, and men and women became one big mess of an individual, and none of this was of any matter to me. Mostly because I would forget it come daylight, but partially because it’s hard to have anything make a difference in your life when you are only semi-present.
Two: I am experiencing feelings as I never have before. These feelings include sadness, as you’ve probably witnessed here. Anger, as the man at Petco almost witnessed. Loss, through the grieving of my former self. Hope, the potential I can now see in my future, even present. I am experiencing vibes from other people. Vibes like “This guy is creepy mccreeperson, and I should probably attend more women’s meetings” and “I think he has an issue similar to mine because when I mentioned the underlying problems to my alcohol abuse, a look of instant recognition crossed his face, even if it was only for a moment.” I’m getting weirded out by people I wouldn’t normally be weirded out by, because normally I’d be shitfaced and give them a hug like fuck it. And I’m relating to people I never thought I would, because in reflecting upon my own battles, I’m realizing I’m not so alone. These feelings leave me uncomfortable at best, and ready to run at worst, but with every strong gust of wind, one passes and another comes along. They say recovery is a roller coaster, and folks, my big dipper is well on it’s way.
Three: My house is clean. Like, really clean. Before, I couldn’t be bothered to clean up the little things, like some cat hair here, or a dirty spoon in the sink. Now, when I get frustrated, lonely, when I am not sure how to fill my time, I clean. Not obsessively, but I clean in a way that I can’t help but feel is productive and effective. I’m trying to get my house in order. And I suppose my literal house is part of that.
Four: I’m not sweating nearly as much. When I drank all the time, I would sweat like a maniac. And I could never figure out why. No deodorant would do if for me, I mean, it would get so bad I would change shirts like three times a day. I would put paper towels in my armpits to keep from getting those stupid fucking sweat stains. I’ve even considered botox just to restrict the fucking things, and forbid them that sweaty release. Turns out when I don’t drink like a pig, I don’t sweat like one. Who the fuck knew?
Five: I can find things, including myself. I can find where I put things the night before, things like my cigarettes, or purse. I wake up in my pajamas, in my own bed, because I put them on before I go to bed, and then I climb in that bed. My bed. Which is nice. It’s always nice knowing what you will be wearing when you wake up, and what bed you will be waking up in. Unless of course I develop a very serious case of sleep walking, and end up on the couch, or on Duncan’s couch. However, if that does occur, it will also make for a very interesting blog. The nighttime travels of Jennie K. And her dog Saucy. Dot Com.
Six: The day’s go by very quickly, but I am able to fit a ton of things into the hours I’ve been given. It’s amazing really. At first I was making these insane lists to fill up each and every single hour of the day, only to have the day go by, all the things done, and me feel as though I haven’t accomplished anything. Now, I’ve quit making lists, I’ve started to let life happen. The only thing I plan each day is my coffee in the morning, meeting in the afternoon, and one in the evening. The rest of the day is up in the air, and the time is filled in rather quickly. At the end of the day, I am tired, and I go to bed right away. I feel as though I am accomplishing things throughout my days, even though some days, I just sit around and write, or paint.
Seven: I’ve actually started writing the book I’ve always dreamed about. I am amazed. I’ve never had the courage to actually sit down and fucking write. I’ve always been afraid that if I am to start I would never have the follow through to finish. But now, I know I can finish. I need to finish. It’s as cathartic as it is therapeutic, and to finish will be to close this chapter officially, and open the door to the rest of my life. With 60 days of sobriety, I feel as though I can actually finish something I start, which extends beyond the book and goes onto finishing school, scripts, therapy sessions, meetings. I’ve always walked out of life early, to start something else. Now, I’m ready to finish something first.
Eight: I see a future outside of my adult career. I’m becoming more comfortable in being called Jennie. I don’t walk past people when they call my name, and it’s in the first introduction with people I present myself as Jennie. It used to be Penny. Now I just feel funny when people call me Penny. Like they don’t get it or something. Like they just don’t know. And perhaps they don’t.
Nine: I am ready to accept the wreckage of my past. I am ready to deal with the trouble I’ve stirred, the problems I’ve caused, and work through the pain of traumatic events. Jilly Beans says that pain is mandatory, but suffering is not. I understand what she means now. I am ready to let things go.
Ten: I am ready to continue changing. We made these 911 cards that we look at when things get tough. The first quote on mine says “My life is changing for the better right now.” And the second is “I have choices.” I am finally starting to believe what I’ve written down. I believe that my life is changing for the better, and I do have choices.
Thank you all for supporting my changes, and reminding me of my choices.