90 days of sobriety, as of today. On the one hand, hey! 90 days. Way to go, me. On the other, I’ve been here before, so … you know, there’s that.
I’ve slogged my way through anhedonia, a seemingly endless swamp of shame and self-loathing, and a months-long sugar binge. Triggers were intense at first but have receded. I feel a bit more settled in my skin, able to walk with my head up.
I completed outpatient treatment yesterday and will move on to a less-intensive recovery support group. It is the outpatient ritual to coin a person out on their last day, meaning a graduation coin gets passed around the room and each person says a few words and puts something — strength, hope, resilience, that kind of thing — in the coin. It’s an extremely nice gesture but it’s the nature of the process that by the time you graduate, the group members you’ve been with for weeks have moved on, and new people have taken their place. There’s a lot of “Um, I’ve only known you for two hours, but …”
Awkward, but fitting. ALL of this is awkward. Talking about feelings is awkward. Sitting in a room with strangers is awkward. Being open about being an addict is awkward. Doing things sober when you used to do them not-sober is awkward. Having certain people say, “So how are you doing?” and there’s all kinds of awkwardness in what’s unsaid in that question, which is awkward.
The terrain is uncomfortable but familiar; I’ve spent most of my life feeling awkward. Man, I’ve hated that about myself for so long. Somewhere along the line I decided awkwardness was a terrible character flaw, something to be medicated into oblivion. I lost sight of the fact that everyone struggles with feeling out of place and vulnerable.
So here I am, 90 days out: messy, awkward, uncertain. Naked and weird and a thousand miles south of perfect. In other words, human.