Did you know that September is National Recovery Month?
WE GET A WHOLE MONTH.
I remember when I got a chip for 30 days of sobriety in April of 2014. I had never made it 30 hours sober–much less 30 days–before that. At the time, I had a humorous case of the nervous sweats and an incurable desire to wreck every double-shot, Trenta iced coffee from here to eternity. I numbed myself with phone calls, constant coffee to the face, Now and Laters, entire economy-sized jars of pickles, HBO Go and Netflix. I walked over a mile one way every morning to my home group meeting at Café Tropical on Sunset Blvd, leaving my apartment by 6:15 am to make the 7am meeting (and to have time for two smokes beforehand with my friends). I chose the morning AA slot due to its magical charms and my utter disbelief that I could be up that early and not still be legally drunk.
And it still does. I celebrate 18 months sober on September 17. My heart grew one size bigger with the realization that I get to celebrate this milestone during the one month a year that is dedicated to shining a light on addiction and recovery. I recognize the magnitude of this shit–it is my right and responsibility to speak up. I am one person in recovery out of millions. I am alive and well today because I got help for my addiction to alcohol.
My enthusiasm for recovery hasn’t smoldered, but it has morphed into something far better than I could have imagined. The best and most beautiful gift of my sobriety is the freedom to be available to other people. I connect with new people and old friends who have resurfaced in my life now that I am not a complete C U Next Tuesday. It seems there is no shortage of love to go around. Forgiveness and acceptance are the prime suspects for my criminally large joyfulness.
I’m stepping up my game this month. Gratitude lists all the fuck over social media at least once a day, accompanied by topical memes and pictures of pandas (Google “panda daycare”– a surefire way to get you really happy, really fast). I’m doubling my meetings this coming week (my attendance is more sparse than I would like it to be). I am calling, writing or texting at least one person in recovery every day. I am following up on a story I wrote about the Unite to Face Addiction Rally by attending it in DC October 4. Lastly, I am “talking to Bowie” on a super frequent basis–i.e., praying a bunch for people and showing my flamboyant love to whomever is around to receive it. I am making myself more available, is the thing.
So let’s do this.