I have exciting news! Two newses! No three! Well one is not exciting and that’s that I’m doing south beach diet to battle my sugar addiction. It’s not very fun so far. I can’t have any fruit or carbs of any kind for 11 more days. Not that I’m counting. Eggs are making me feel a bit pukey already, but I can also have nuts and low fat dairy and most vegetables and all the lean protein a girl could want. So I’ll keep you posted and let you know how the sugar cravings are once the dust settles. I don’t really miss sweet stuff at the moment. And it hasn’t made me terribly hungry, probably because I know the things I can eat are not terribly interesting. Although it turns out cashews are more delicious than cheesecake, especially when you can’t have cheesecake.
Okay, but two good things in my life. 1) I hit 9 months sober one week ago. 2) I spoke in front of two groups in the last week and I only wanted to die, like, 2 times.
My sponsor asked me to do the first one, which was Sunday night in front of a large group I had never been to before. I only recognized a couple faces in the crowd, which was probably good. I read a page from As Bill Sees It on the freedom to choose and how it increases the more we work on our sobriety. I read and then spoke for a bit on how I came into the program with basically no choice at all, unless getting backed into a corner and chewing your arm off is some kind of choice. Which, I know, makes no sense since gnawing off your own limb would be stupid defense if a dangerous creature backed you into a corner. But my point is that I had a choice between getting help or drinking more and more until I lost the many wonderful things in my life. And so it wasn’t much of a choice, but then again it was everything.
Then I spoke for a bit about how my choices have gradually increased over time, mainly because I grew spiritually and started recognizing the next right thing to do and actually did it. Sometimes. Of course I have a long way to go, which I wouldn’t have any other way because it’s always fun to learn and grow and it keeps me engaged in recovery.
Last night I spoke at my home group and told my newcomer’s story. For some reason I didn’t get nervous about this until I showed up at the meeting. This is very unlike me because I am one of those sissies who fears public speaking more than death. Maybe the lack of fear came from knowing I couldn’t really fuck up my own story. I lived it and I knew it and there was really no way to prepare.
Although I did prepare. Before I started, I told everyone I was nervous and said it was my first time saying my story out loud, but that’s not entirely true because I practiced what I was going to say in my car a few times. You know that scene in Magnolia where John C. Reilly’s character drives around in his patrol car and he talks to himself like he’s on an episode of Cops? It was like that only angsty-sadder and I hope I don’t ever piss off my car because it has a lot of dirt on me.
Once I started talking, my story flowed from me like syrup from a brand new bottle of Mrs. Butterworth’s on a stack of piping hot, buttery pancakes (dear god I am more hungry than I realized) and the whole experience felt downright magical. I only swore once and afterwards a lot of newcomers shared experiences that touched me and…geez, it was just a really beautiful night, y’all. A real gift.
So how are you doing? I know. This is a very self-absorbed post. But I’m happy now and I hope to convey to anyone not quite feeling the cozy love of early sobriety that it does get better and easier and more beautiful with a little time and work. If you were my car, you would know all about it.