That’s what I feel I have here. A blank slate. That’s what sobriety has offered me. I have cleared the cloudy thoughts, eliminated the worries, doubts, procrastination, and have a clear view of endless possibilities. Now I know what adults mean when they say to children, “you can do…you can be…anything in the world that you want.” Well, too bad I waited till I was ready to collect social security before that realization became clear. In any event, I have a blank slate to work with and I’d better get moving before it’s too late.
I’ve been reading several of your blogs with messages indicating that it may be time to move on, move away from the minute by minute sober evaluation. Perhaps time to allow other thoughts and activities to fill the void. Not suggesting total disconnect with sober blogging or group meetings, but maybe time to step out of the box a bit and spread our wings. Are we ready? It feels like most of those messages are coming from those of us coming upon our one year mark – or just beyond. I listened to a Bubble Hour podcast today (a rerun actually) where co-host Lisa explained that she needed to break from the show and take care of family business that she’d put off while in her first year of recovery. She explained that although recovery is still #1 on her list, she must step back a bit to be able to take on her family responsibilities with more energy. I get that. I’m feeling that. I’m feeling more secure as I come upon my one year. But I’m not giving up on my blogger friends. You all understand me. You are my soul mates. I could tell you anything and you’ll understand. My drinking friends/acquaintances don’t get me anymore.
Back to my blank slate. I’m having a blast filling that in. I’ve seen more changes in my life in this one year than I’ve had in…well, my whole life! Important things like watching my youngest get married, taking my dream vacation to Italy, retiring after 45 years in the workforce. returning my hair to it’s natural color (that’s really a big deal for me!), getting off blood pressure meds and heartburn meds, committing to daily exercise and healthy eating, and did I mention I quit drinking?
I was cleaning out a file folder of old health records the other day we when I came across a typed sheet of paper that I apparently planned to take along to a doctor appointment – 15 years ago, when I was 44 year old. My kids would have been 14 and 12. My list stated my age, 44; my weight, 160; height 5’8″; a family history of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure. There was a list of my ailments to discuss: waking during the night, waking with swollen joints, difficulty walking when I first awaken, heartburn, high blood pressure. Then there was a wish list at the bottom: Quit drinking, reduce caffeine intake (from 5-6 cups/day), exercise. 15 years ago the first thing on my wish list was to quit drinking. The following was penciled in there as well: “check liver function – am I hurting my liver?” Wow…44 years old – and I know I was probably worried even before that, but I didn’t type it and print it out.
I remember talking to the doctor about that list. She prescribed that drug that makes you vomit if you even get close to alcohol, I filled it, but I didn’t take it. So, I am now 60, I weigh 150, I exercise daily, I no longer have high blood pressure or heartburn, I don’t wake during the night and I have no swollen joints or difficulty walking, and I probably drink 3 cups of coffee a day. ALCOHOL…it was all ALCOHOL…
Take care, my friends. I’m sticking close to all of you. I depend on you and look forward to reading about you, your life, your recovery, every day.