The Larger Impact of Smaller Accomplishments.

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Today, I am 22 months sober.

Today, I also broke 400 miles in total distance on the jogging app that I have been using for tracking since the end of May 2013.

In a wilder, more chaotic life, such a statistic probably would not feel so significant to me (in fact, would probably not be reached at all).  But on the other side of successfully facing my substance abuse issue, I feel I tend to notice these (sometimes literal) milestones more often, and they feel that much more profound.  The fact that I am alive and healthy enough to run 400 miles over 14 months is nothing short of amazing, coming from where I came from.

I find myself ‘searching’ less, too, because these smaller more significant points of everyday success seem to have been doing a good job of filling the gnawing, existential holes in me that had for so many years been compounded by alcohol.  When you live one day at a time, you’re hard-pressed to take for granted whatever that day may have to offer.  Some are good and some are bad, some are confusing, some are sad.  But that any of them got to happen at all is pretty great.  There is a constant background level of gratitude that permeates my days, and when it really shines through I can’t help but smile.

This is a wonderful, soaring feeling, but I must remind myself to continue working on honing my emotional detachment.  For example, when some part of personal or professional life that I had been making considerable temporal & emotional investment in blows up in my face, it can be a short fuse for my emotions to mirror the explosion.  If I remind myself to separate my sometimes knee-jerk reaction to it, I can more calmly explore options for damage control, as opposed to adding emotional fuel to the fire.

I hope this practice benefits my communication skills, as well.  In a serious and demanding workplace I am quickly noticing how important clear messages and saving face can be.  I still do have amongst my personal file of referential hardcopy documents a one-page sheet detailing the list of varying roles and communication types that are commonly found in the collaborative space.  Organizational Communication was a fascinating & informative course.

This is one of the smoothest tracks I have ever heard.

Another background noise that permeates my waking hours is the kick drum.  The endless alleys of the internet provide an ever-rotating soundtrack of electronic beats that keep my energy humming along; the sonic stability is very comforting.  My thoughts feel louder in the silence…with the amount of mental concentration that I devote to delivering to the top & beyond in my job, I don’t always have the required energy to properly sort & identify complex thought.  I see my manager going home to be with his family and hear the details of my friends’ dating lives, and though seek a partner I do, sometimes one is enough.  I have been feeling more low-maintenance and generally relaxed as I have settled into a more comfortable lifestyle that is way less stressed by the need to earn a satisfactory living.  I am curious to see how this changes when I enter into my first serious relationship following my commitment to sobriety.  I suppose the goal is to find someone who I share enough a plane of existence with, that the transition and ensuing relationship will be as smooth as possible.  High drama is not conducive to the well-being of a recovering alcoholic.

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Red Rocks represent.

But I’m not worried.  Because there is so much life to live.  Memories to make with loved ones & acquaintances old & new.  The material goods that surround me are but temporary comforts; it is the lasting experiences that are really my valuable assets (of which Denver, though my weekend there fast & furious, so very much was).  Good people breed good vibes, and what a better quality of life, eh?

———-

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