Monday, June 3rd, 2013 officially marked six months of alcohol-free life for me.
Via a nifty little app called “From That Day,” which allows you to set & track noteworthy dates.
As I believe every single sober day is worth counting, I think this milestone is an especially substantial one to observe. It is said getting a full year of sobriety under your belt is imperative to the success of a long-term recovery program; reaching the halfway point in that first, all-important year is an accomplishment to wear with pride. There are likely a fair number of people whom I pledged my allegiance (I’ve been watching Game of Thrones) to sobriety with in rehab that have not made it to this point. It’s a sad truth; it does, however, keep me grounded in the moment, knowing that to falter is to fail.
In all, last weekend was a pretty monumental one: Saturday the 1st was the eleventh anniversary of my father’s passing; Sunday the 2nd my college roommate’s twenty-fourth birthday (falling a week after my own and a day after my father’s anniversary, we have traditionally celebrated together with late-night cigars); and then of course Monday, my six-month anniversary of sobriety. I therefore made a trip out to Buffalo to meet up & celebrate with a small group of friends, my sister included.
Each time I venture out into the world beyond the closed doors of my family’s dry abode, it becomes easier and less stressful for me to be in the presence of casual alcohol consumption. Whether this be the discussion of or the physical act itself, neither has too dire an effect on my cravings or triggers. The key to this minimal disturbance in the force, I believe, is simply: practice. The more I can engage in safe socialization, the less a threat my “environment” poses. Which is a sensible place to be six months in, I feel – especially given that there have been no potentially jeopardizing slips to set me back.
I felt a true return to form in my role as a concert-goer this weekend, as well. This is a pivotal step for me, because for so many years partying and live music had gone hand-in-hand. What better than an authentic set of funk & soul, to remind me why I love seeing shows so much in the first place? Sans a bevy of mixed drinks, I am able to appreciate how the music moves me, for what it really is, and not as some secondary by-product of manufactured enthusiasm via substance-altered states. “You can’t buy soul,” indeed.
These guys jam like strawberry Smucker’s.
So what’s next? It’s strange to think that 2013 is nearly halfway over. In two weeks’ time we will be arriving at the longest day of the year, and from there it’s just a short jump into July, and the summer will be well underway. With a birthday looming in the rearview and nice weather here to stay (except for what seems to be a week-long forecast of rain on the horizon), I find myself feeling antsy and anxious. I need to find employment as soon as humanly possible. At this point, the margins are razor-thin on what I am able to fruitfully “plan” for in the upcoming months, recreation-wise.
While this is certainly not my primary concern, I do not anticipate myself faring well with a largely uneventful summer. In any case, my outpatient treatment will come to an end within the month, and thus my full driver’s license will be returned to me – a welcome increase in autonomy. In the meantime, I suppose my focus remains with relentless job hunting and determined workout ethic. Off for a jog in the rain, it is.
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