9 Months.

9 Months.

It’s been 9 months since I decided to quit drinking for good.

I’ve been staring at that sentence for 10 minutes now.. It doesn’t seem like enough.

It’s been 9 months since I decided to take a leap of faith.
It’s been 9 months since I closed my eyes and plunged, without breath, into the unknown.
It’s been 9 months since I chose to care.
It’s been 9 months since my “spiritual awakening.”
It’s been 9 months since I broke open.
It’s been 9 months since my soul said, “Fight.”
It’s been 9 months since the realization that I was no longer able to sustain a life the way I was living it.
It’s been 9 months since I changed everything.
It’s been 9 months..
It’s been 9 months..
It’s been 9 months..

It’s hard not to get emotional when reflecting back on my decision, and all the time that came before it.
They don’t tell you that quitting drinking is the easy part..
That what comes after is the struggle.
After 20 years of numbing out every emotion with all kinds of substances, suddenly, nothing..
It’s like every nerve awakens at the same time. Exposed. Raw.

The weight of regret hangs heavy, and dull..
Below it, is this frantic urge to make up for lost time.
This directionless motivation.
I felt a bit like a chameleon on a tile floor.

“Now what? Where to? How’s this going to work?”
“Who are you? Where are you? What do you enjoy?”
Therapize yoself.
I went to AA meetings.
I hiked.
I took walks every night with a close friend in recovery.
And talked. And talked. And talked.
I took trips.
I cooked foods.
Go. Go. GO.

And breathe. Make sure to breathe.
My skin was on constant vibrate mode.
TV, movies, or reading were out of the question.
Concentration is unattainable.
Shiny things, squirrels.. Any distraction was a big one.
Especially when the distraction is a huge shift in mood, or attitude.

I can’t pinpoint when that stopped for me..
But I remember a couple of months ago, finally laying on my couch, watching tv, and thinking, “Peace. I have it.”

Now the good things.
The wonderful things.

I’m a morning person. I like mornings.
I like sunshine, and birds chirping.
I never have to feel the weight of a morning in a dark way again.
I never have to see the sunlight out of a window with a drink in my hand.
I wake up, in the morning, feeling good.
And the sleep before it??
It’s real sleep.
Snuggly, soft, and peaceful.
I dream.
When you’re a drunk, dreams are few and far between.

There’s not enough time… In a good way.
It seems that when I was a drunk, I had all the time in the world.
Yet, most of it slipped right through my fingers.
Now, I plan things.
I see friends, and cook foods that I can actually taste when I’m done..
(before, i cooked with two bottles of wine)
I can do any and all things.
There’s no question as to whether or not drinks will be served, and where I can get one, and if they will have enough, and where will the next one be coming from..
Frequently, I was upset about leaving a bar to go to another, because that meant a drink would be missing from my hand for 10 minutes.
There was a constant ticking clock for booze.
Now, time is a blessing. What am I going to do with it?

That’s a big one for me.
With people, especially.
Alcoholism made me a fickle bitch.
Surrounding myself with people just like me.
The stuck. The drunk. The empty.
Children of chaos.
Creating it, reacting to it, then recreating all over again.
I can choose now.. Who I would like to spend my time with.
Those that are honest, kind, and good.
Those that make me strive to be a better person.

What a perfect time to be awake and alive.
All of my friends with their babies.
I get to watch them grow.
I get to hug them without the stench of yesterday’s booze, and today’s cigarette smoke looming on my clothes, and in my hair.
I get to be part of it.
Part of the memories of these little ones.
I get to show them kindness. And make them laugh.

New things.
For years, I felt like I was on this endless loop..
Groundhog Day, alcoholic style.
Wake up, get over the nausea, eat like shit, get a drink. Get 30 more drinks. Pass out. Repeat.
Now, it’s like every day is a new gift.
I get to try anything I want. Anything I want!
The amount of money I save not buying vodka, I can spend on all sorts of things.
This month, it’s been live shows.
I went to see a play and eat tapas with friends..
I went to a kick ass poetry reading on Martin Luther King day..
I’m going to see Broadway’s “Sister Act” at the end of the month..
On Saturday, I’m going to a plant sale, then to have tea at The Pfister’s “Blu,” then meat and cheese plates with beautiful chocolates at Indulge, and AN EDITH PIAF COVER SINGER AT THE SKYLIGHT MUSIC THEATER!!!!!!
What is my life??
I’m starting to get a bit of spring fever..
But all the spring fevers before this one have been weather related.
Now.. I want to get outside! And see! And do!

I’m trying now to set more goals. Or set any.
They say the hardest part about life is knowing what you want and saying it out loud. “They.”
Whatever. Definitely not the hardest part. But it’s hard, I guess.
Wanting something you don’t have is like wanting a dream.
It seems so obscure to me.
But that’s what makes me a waffler.
Do I really want that? How do I know I want that?
I guess you don’t until you try.

I cannot begin to express to you how much my life is better than it was before.
You don’t realize, really, how miserable you are when you are drunk all the time.
If you do, the feeling gets washed away in an instant.

So 9 months of a struggle to just let. things. be. different.
9 months of a bit of heartache.
9 months of awakening.
9 months of a complete, and total alternate reality than the one before it.

I am excited for what’s to come.
No longer just waiting to die.

I woke up this morning to be with my friend Lauren’s daughter Isabella before school, then to take her there.
I woke up at 5.
Now I write.. And soon I call my veterinarian friend Becky, to take my darling kitten in to see her.
It appears, with all the drinking and peeing, that she has possibly become diabetic.
GD ‘beatus.
Tonight, I am fortunate enough to have family dinner at a friend’s new house.

A week ago I started a new thing.
A diet thing.
I know, I know, I know.
But guess what?
I want this weight gone.
All of it.
So instead of buying a Groupon for pizza and brunch, I bought one for $89 of vitamin B-12 injections.
Aaaaannnndddd then they get you for another $400 when you go in.
(not to mention all of the supplements you have to buy a week)
It’s okay, I won’t be spending that on food for two months anyway, because you don’t eat any.
There’s this little trick my brain pulls on me, and no matter how often I think I’ve beaten it, it still skulks under the surface..
I talk myself into things a lot.
“You can have that cheeseburger, Cass. Cheeseburgers are fine. Don’t beat yourself up. Just don’t eat cheeseburgers all the time.”
And then I start to think, “Oh, I like cheeseburgers. If I just eat this cheeseburger today, and nothing else, and eat a salad tomorrow, it’s all good.”
And then the ball starts to roll.

Addiction to food is so complex.
I can quit alcohol completely. Cold turkey.(mmmmm)
I cannot quit eating food.
And I cannot ever act as if I can eat like a normal person without being vigilant.
The trick my brain pulls on me is that I *am* a regular person who eats regularly and isn’t a total and complete spaz.
Which is not this terrible thing I need to beat myself up about, of course, I just need to always know that it’s a fact.
I am a complete food spaz.

Reflections done for the day.
And what a beautiful day it is.