Day 25/57: I Get to Make a Life that Works for Me

My first sponsor asked me what I’ve since learned are two classic questions: “Are you done?” and “Are you willing to go to any lengths to stay sober?” For me saying ‘yes’ was a no-brainer. It’s been a few years since then, but the same questions continue to be relevant, to drinking, and to other things that get in the way of me just doing my thing being me, real me, while I still can.

“Am I done?” “Am I willing to go to any lengths to live my life?” Really live, rather than just survive or exist going through the motions, doing some version of me, rather than authentic me-me.

What’s important? What will I regret at the end of this ride if I don’t get on it? It’s not the five extra pounds. Not the outfit my kid wears to picture day. It’s not even that grand ambition. Not for me.

My new sponsor, Glinda, gave me an assignment: “Make a list!” She intoned, waving her freshly manicured, bejeweled hand around imperiously in her sunroom. “Make a list of all the ways you distract yourself!” She instructed from her white fluffy throne while petting her white fluffy dog and sipping coffee from her white china mug.

“Okay,” I said, because the program is a little like the military I imagine in that one is to say yes ma’am and do what one is told and not argue. But I’m still me:

“A list of things that distract myself from what?” I asked, meekly. I didn’t want Glinda to fire me, since she had the goods after four-plus decades at this sobriety thing, plus fantastic hair, a solid relationship with a whole bunch of adult kids, grandkids, a husband, dogs, friends, creative expression, do-gooding, the whole enchilada. Me Likey.

“A list of things that distract you from the present!” She said.

“Oh,” I said. And I tried, silently, to figure out how that was going to help me figure out whether to take Ax for a haircut or go to a community meeting about rebuilding our town this afternoon.

“Lookit,” she said, “Your child is going to be gone in less than ten years. It will go like that.” And she snapped those long fingers, “He’s going to learn to drive and he’s not going to be around the way he is now. This is your time for that if you want. You get to have the life that works for you.”

“Oh,” I said.

“So make that list,” she said.

“Ok,” I said. And I left, grateful.

I’m gonna keep going.