New Year’s Day

    Evenings are the most difficult time of day for me.  Especially late at night, in the hours before bedtime.  Sometimes work is an effective distraction, but unfortunately it also over-stimulates my mind and then I can’t slow down enough to sleep.  Exercise also wakes me up, which is why I usually hit the gym in the morning.  

     If the restlessness and unease threaten to become overwhelming, I usually go a meeting–there’s a few in the surrounding area.  The crowd gets more, ah, interesting late at night (MIDNITE, anyone?) and sometimes I have to force myself to go, but I never regret going once I’m there.  

     This afternoon I went to the crispy burnout meeting in my neighborhood for the first time since my relapse and did the hand-raise of shame.  Stayed to help clean up afterward.  I was invited out to eat afterward, but I declined because that struck me as an irresponsible expenditure right now.  A gentleman in my home group is having a birthday party this week, though, and I’ll go to that.  I spent the rest of the day cleaning my apartment, doing laundry, and making thank-you cards for the Christmas gifts I received.  I also sat down with a big calender and some highlighters and wrote down some 3-month and 6-month goals–mini-resolutions, I suppose.  

      2011 was a difficult year for me, but it was also productive for me, and I do not regret how I lived it.  Because I did live it,  which is a hell of a lot more than I can say for 2010.  When I look at the person I am now compared to what I was like a year ago, there is no comparison.  The financial insecurity of the last few months has been dreadful, but it is really nothing–nothing–compared to what I was subjecting myself to in the past.  I joke with people I know that I have re-entered the human race.  I got a little scorched as I hurtled back down through the atmosphere, sure, but it hurt a hell of a lot less than when I left.  And it happened much more quickly (THANK GOD).  I have people in my life who care about me–and would probably like to care even more, if I’d let them.  My phone rings.  In both directions, even.  I have plans.  I’ve done a ton of writing; my intellect is turned on full-force again and I experience (reluctantly, I admit) a full spectrum of emotions.  I have stopped degrading myself, and I have not done anything that I feel ashamed of–aside from pre-Holiday vodka-swilling, I guess–in a long time.  

      I have a lot to do, but I want to do it.  If I make the same amount of progress this year that I made last year, I might still be the sort of woman that I want to be.  

     The fact is, for the first time in a long time, I feel like I have choices, and personal autonomy.  I can’t change the past–there is wreckage, no doubt about that–but it is comparatively light.  Cleaning it up is a painful, nerve-wracking chore, but at least I CAN clean some of it up.  And I’m free.  I can still make a future for myself; I’m not locked in to anything.  Miss Margo–Soldier of Fortune–have Parrot, will Travel! 

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