ROW 80 – Six Years Sober

May 26, 2006 was my first sober day. It was two days before my eldest daughter’s sixteenth birthday.  Saturday I celebrated six years! It has been a roller coaster of emotions, trials, experiences, ups, downs and all-arounds.

I can’t say it was easy all the time.  The first three months were the “pink cloud” of getting clean and sober.  It’s the cloud of high hopes we talk about in the rooms, groups and such.  We all hop on the cloud and say things like “this is so great!  I’ll never pick up again!” and we all mean it. I meant it.

I remember in one group, the counselor asked everyone “if you could have your drug/drink of choice without any consequences, would you drink/use?” A few people answered and said, “yes!” “absolutely!” “hell yeah!”

When the question came to me, I answered “no.”  The counselor said, “but you have no consequences.” I said, “that is not a hypothetical I want to talk about, because it’s bullshit.  I will always have consequences if I pick up.”

I guess I thought, if I start talking in hypothetical mumbo jumbo so early in my recovery, I won’t make it.  And I had to make it.  If I didn’t make it, I would die.

These days, my worst day sober is better than my best day drunk or high.  I have learned so much about myself I continue to be amazed of what I am capable of!  I love to push the limits as I travel my journey never knowing what the next day holds.

And I do it One Day At A Time.

My ROW80 Goals/Progress are as follows!

  • continue to edit manuscript (I am making headway!)
  • AA meeting Tuesday night!
  • get back into Flash Fiction Friday (I just haven’t had any ideas!)
  • Triberr three times a week to share posts.
  • Read a book! (I have so many waiting – I haven’t decided yet)

That is my goal list for the week.  How is everyone else coming along?  Hope you are enjoying the holiday weekend!

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ROW80 Update – I Tumbled When I Should Have ROWed

You know how some people are physical creatures (running, water-skiing, dirt bike riding, quadding) and others are slightly more intellectual and then there are those who are some of both? Well, I was once the “both creature” but somewhere along the way I lost my physical edge.

Yesterday (Saturday) I went up to Ashland, PA for an exciting adventure into trail riding.  I had not ridden a quad (four-wheeler) in almost ten years.  I was given a speedy lesson on how to operate the controls, how to steer, yadda yadda.

I lasted seven whole minutes before I could not steer the darn thing to the left away from the hill (and the tree).  I screamed (yes!  I could not believe it either) as I tumbled down the hill, the quad staying with me as the handle bar drove into my pelvic area and I almost hit a tree.  The quad landed on top of me as Andy (my BF) and our friend Steve ran to my rescue.

I broke no bones, I did not go to the hospital and I did not bleed!  So it was a good day.  I did almost throw up from the adrenalin rush as I gingerly walked up the steps to the bedroom to lie down.  I still cannot really move my left shoulder well and my left leg is not moving the way I want.

These are the moments I know someone is watching over me.  I could have broken my collar-bone and my pelvis simultaneously. These are also the moments as I realize I am a writer first and foremost.  My daredevil days of flying down highways (and dirt trails) and risking my life for the “rush” are over.

It was still an amazing day as I snapped pictures of birds, flowers and other oddball things.

Now onto the ROW:

  • continue to edit WIP
  • continue to write in Penzu each day
  • read/comment blogs
  • Triberr at least three times a week
  • AA meeting this week
  • start looking at publishers.

That’s my ROW list of goals.  How is your ROW coming along?  Did you have a good week/weekend?

Flash Fiction Friday – Rise and Fall

Arch, Tory. The east end of the island is prob...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I watch the sunrise over the ocean like a wild animal creeping out of a forest den.  It will be full daylight soon and the pain will come.  Sure, I could run back inside and hide in the darkness of the cave. However, that would prolong the inevitable and I want to see the sun.

Last night got so out of control.  How could I let Lily go with the others? I could smell their abhorrent kindness. The way Kaud, the leader, stroked the small of her back as they walked into the cave drove me mad.

He knew it drove me mad and he knew I would do something foolish. What a foolish idea, charging at Kaud!

I heard Lily shout, “I never loved you, Vol.”

As Kaud broke my neck, Lily broke my heart.

Now, I stare at the sun, so blinding and pristine, as I whither to a pile of forgotten ashes.

“Bound and Broken” Opening Scene

Below is the opening scene for my WIP.  I have gone over this scene the most as I revise my work.

WARNING: Language.

For the second time in three days, Celeste Murphy pretended the plaster pieces that fell on her face as she tried to sleep were snowflakes.  This time, inaudible shouts accompanied the stomping.  The intrusion on her ears and face took her from a snow-filled dreamland to reality.

Two squeaks came from the bed as she sat up; only one squeak yesterday.  The squeaks, shouts and stomps made her head swell as she reached for her cigarettes.

A mouse darted across the bedroom floor from under the bed and Celeste yanked her feet up.  She wondered if the squeaks were from the mattress itself or if the mouse had slept in the mattress at night along with her.  Her gag reflex kicked in as she pushed away thoughts of sleeping with mice.

She grabbed the pair of socks off the foot of the bed, put them on and stood up.  The blinds were up on the windows, which meant she came home DBR last night.  She blurted out “DBR” one night at work and after she explained it meant, “drunk beyond repair.”  Everyone thought she was a genius.  She guessed it was her “catch phrase” although she thought it was damn lame.

She flipped the light on when she entered the kitchen.  Cockroaches scattered and for a moment, she thought about cleaning the kitchen, but there were better things to do.  She rummaged in the bottom cabinet until she found a little pot and put water on for coffee.  Her favorite coffee mug was in the sink filled with a filmy liquid.  There was a foam cup on the table in the other room from two days ago.  She sighed as she grabbed it, rinsed it out and finished making her coffee.

The stomps upstairs had followed her into the kitchen. She grabbed the dust-covered broom wedged between the wall and the refrigerator and banged the ceiling.

“Just kill each other already,” she yelled as she banged the broom into the ceiling, and threw it on the floor.

Celeste opened the window to light rain as she sat in the chair next to the window with her instant coffee and morning cigarette.  The empty stand remained in the corner, which was once home to a television until last week when Celeste had come home drunk and knocked it over.

She needed a Valium or Percocet.  Her head hurt like hell and she had work again tonight.  Normally, she would not work back-to-back nights, but her habit was getting expensive.  Her purse was on the other chair.  She didn’t remember putting it there and rolled her eyes as she stuck her foot under the strap and brought it toward her.

After she got her head together, she went through her afternoon routine of ignoring the dirty dishes, counting her money from the night before and rummaging through her purse to see how many pills and bags of cocaine she had to get her by until she could get more.

After she dressed, she stumbled out of her apartment door into the smell of piss and body odor in the hallway.  She slammed the door while she held her breath. No way in hell could she hold her breath long enough to wait for the elevator today.

She counted the steps in her head as she descended; thirty not including the landings.  Counting helped her forget she held her breath as she went down the steps.  She exhaled when she got to the front door.

Her smile went flat when she saw the large figure at the bottom of the steps outside.

Row80: When Life Gets in the Way – Push It Aside

I thought life was supposed to get more simplistic as age came along… no? Not in my life.  I am sure there is still hope.

I digress.

My life is more amazing these days than it was this time last year and the year before that, and so on.  Who knows what is in store?  Only God knows.

Exciting.

In writing news, I started back up with my Friday Flash Fiction segments.  I posted the first one last Friday.  It kind of pales in comparison to some of my earlier work, but it turned out just the way I hoped.  If you want to check it out, you can do so by clicking here.

In sobriety news, I will be hooking back up with my sponsor at some point this week.  I hit a meeting last week and will hit one this week. My six-year anniversary is in two weeks.

In life news, I am really doing some soul-searching as to what this life holds for me and where I can tweak it to maximize my usefulness and potential.

I am faced with interesting dilemmas and decisions as far as living arrangements and mental health.  Funny how the two seem to be coinciding.

I was excited to finally get back into editing my WIP today.  I had the whole day to myself, Saturday!  It was great.

So… for this week:

  • continue to edit WIP.
  • walk 20-30 minutes a day.
  • get to an al-anon meeting.
  • continue to look for a reasonably priced car (my car is dying).
  • journal, journal, journal.  I have been doing this a lot and it is really helping me find out about who I am and what I want.

I hope everyone had a great week and that this coming week will be even better than the last.