Y’all this is how I feel and I haven’t had any catnip or anything else remotely mild-altering but this website/blog/innernetz stuff is making me feel like that stoned-ass cat right there. I hope the improved site is worth it and I’m excited to migrate over to a more user friendly navigation and what I hope will ultimately be my little humble home on the interwebs. We’ll put the FUN in dysfunction up in here, yo! I’m thrilled to have you all join me in this new year as we forage into the abyss together – not knowing what we’ll find or what will transpire. I’ve always liked the feel of January – even in my younger years. I’ve always felt that the new year holds promise, no matter the wreckage of the year before, annoyingly optimistic as that is.
A fresh start. A second (or third or fourth) chance. Closure. A new beginning.
I will be turning 50 years old this year and that in itself is enough to give me great pause and gratitude. I was the gal who (glibly) never thought she’d live past thirty and I know a LOT of folks that would’ve taken that bet. It’s a bit shocking that it took almost another 17 years past my 30th birthday for me to actually realize that my drinking indeed was going to kill me and it wasn’t going to be all shocking, romantic, and windswept like on tv. It was going to be tragic and horrific and it was going to take all of me and my soul before it took all of my body. Pete Townsend wasn’t talking about alcoholism when he sang “I hope I die before I get old”, trust me.
BUT. There’s a BUT.
But . . . I didn’t die. I don’t know why. The only thing I can figure is that I am here now and I have a voice. Sure, I had a voice before, but now I have a purpose.
When I was little I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be when I grew up (save for that two week period after seeing CONVOY with that dreamy 1978 Kris Kristofferson and then I quickly decided it was a trucker’s life for me and could someone please teach me how to use a CB right this minute?!?) but I would always reply that I wanted to help people, in some capacity, although one could maintain I would have made a helluva trucker. I was always the kid that brought home the strays. I was also always the kid who would get talked out of anything I had because often compassion clouded my judgment. This could be seen as an admirable trait, but more often than not it was just me being gullible and naive.
Anyway, all of that led to all of this, and to paraphrase because I’m prone to rambling and whatnot, I’ll say this; I love to write, I really do. I feel like it’s what I’m supposed to be doing. I also loved to drink and for awhile, that felt kinda like my calling as well. I truly thought I was an improved version of ME when I drank. Now, on the other side of my addiction I can see how close I came to not making it back. My best friend didn’t make it back and died in May of last year, which brings me back to my original point, which is purpose. I’ve heard it said countless times, “If I can get sober, anyone can.” I feel that way as well and I’d like to help anyone else I can on this journey. Especially women. I think there’s an added degree of shame and failure that we carry that is unique to us. Believe me, I LOVED everything about drinking. From the delicious first stingy sip of a frosty martini to the magical clink of glasses raised in a celebratory toast, to the swimmy feeling in your head when the first notions of your buzz are starting to organize.
I LOVED IT. It was part of my identity. It was part of what made ME, me. I couldn’t fathom a life (if that’s even what you’d call it) WITHOUT booze.
And yet, here I am. Sometimes it really is life or death for some of us. So, I want to give it a voice. I want my voice to help. I want my voice to be one of hope. A lot of folks suffering with alcoholism aren’t afraid of dying, they’re afraid of living. Life’s hard and we’re all doing the best we can, right? We’re all trying to cope and co-exist and do the right thing. Most of us, anyway.
So, stay tuned in 2018 and we’ll wade through this together. I’ve been sober for about ten minutes so it’s not like I’m an expert on anything but I AM an expert on me and I’m willing to share my journey with you if you’re willing to read it and I sincerely hope it helps someone out there if only to let them know they’re not alone and if I’m super lucky maybe I’ll make a few people laugh along the way as well. How is THAT for a run-on sentence? Mrs. Proctor from my fourth grade class is seething right now.
So, stay tuned and hopefully by next week this plane will be outta the nose dive and flying at a normal cruising altitude and we’ll head into the joyful land of sobriety and serenity and there’ll be giant Pandas serving us heaping plates of one-bite brownies while we watch a Diane Lane movie.*
*maybe I am stoned.