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.

Comments

32 Responses to “90 days”

  1. Katherine on February 1st, 2017 11:13 am

    Some of my best days are the ones when I can remember that EVERYONE feels awkward, messy, flawed, incomplete, etc., etc. We all assume everyone else feels totally put together, just gliding through life on a breeze. And, most of us assume all of those perfect people are noticing every little wrong thing about us. Not at all true. They’re running the inventory of awkward inside their heads too. So, here’s one stranger standing next to you in solidarity.

  2. Pete on February 1st, 2017 11:13 am

    Congrats! Perfection is highly overrated. It’s our flaws that give us personality.

  3. Rachel on February 1st, 2017 11:21 am

    Love this. Congrats on 90d. It’s been a tough 90d for the entire world, let alone anyone in recovery. thank you for your words. I am always reminded how much we all share in this “humanity” thing whenever I read your blog.

  4. Angie on February 1st, 2017 11:28 am

    I’m rooting so damn hard for you (we all are). Every time I’m notified about a new post from you I am ridiculously, embarrassingly excited. Your words have been making me laugh, cry, FEEL for years. Thank you. Thank you so much!

  5. Jennifer on February 1st, 2017 12:34 pm

    I adore your honesty! Thank you for being willing to put it all out there, and to speak to the human experience with such eloquence and grace.

  6. Viviane on February 1st, 2017 1:11 pm

    Yay you indeed ! After 11+ years of sobriety, what I feel most often is pride. Of course I also feel bad sometimes about all the “before” years, but it is useless so I just let go. Be proud and learn to love your new self.

  7. Catherine on February 1st, 2017 1:13 pm

    Keep up the great work, Linda! Embrace the awkward, I say. I struggle with it, too. I think everyone does on one level or another. Keep being your awesome self and I hope you continue to share on your blog. Your writing brings me great comfort and joy!

  8. Kristi on February 1st, 2017 1:47 pm

    Meh, some of my favorite people are messy, awkward and uncertain. Mainly my kids, but hey plenty of adults too. Keep up the hard work.

  9. Lori on February 1st, 2017 4:03 pm

    I’ve been following you for years but never comment due to the awkwardness of telling strangers things but I just really wanted you to know that I like awkward and I appreciate awkward and if this were “real life, in person” I’d hope to be your friend. You sound like my kind of person and I always root for you.

  10. Jenny on February 1st, 2017 6:38 pm

    Congratulations on all your hard work, Linda!

  11. Elizabeth K on February 1st, 2017 8:24 pm

    I love your journey, and your honesty, and so appreciate you sharing the struggle. Congratulations, you are a hard worker and a strong person — I admire you.

  12. M on February 1st, 2017 10:17 pm

    I admire you too.

  13. Mary Clare on February 1st, 2017 10:45 pm

    You always know how to get the reader in the feels! Thanks for sharing your uncomfortable, awkward experiences and giving me some comfort about my own brand of awkward craziness.

  14. @ShannonSheh on February 2nd, 2017 5:19 am

    I will never stop cheering for you. Great work on 90 days.

  15. el-e-e on February 2nd, 2017 7:15 am

    Heartfelt congratulations. I picture you strong and happy. Just keep breathing, you got this. And yes, every single one of us feels awkward. All the time.

  16. Mary on February 2nd, 2017 8:02 am

    Congratulations. As someone who feels like I’ve known you for way more than 2 minutes even though we’ve never actually met, I offer to infuse your coin with all kinds of love, and compassion. All best wishes, friend.

  17. Grace on February 2nd, 2017 7:24 pm

    I’m so proud of you! I wish we knew each other irl, but I’d probably weird you out with my own quirkiness. ;) Anyway, you’ve got so many fans cheering you on and I’m in that crowd!

  18. Donna Brubach on February 2nd, 2017 8:42 pm

    I love you. Get it girlfriend.

  19. LD's Mom on February 2nd, 2017 9:24 pm

    Your human-ness is why we are so incredibly drawn to you as a “friend.” Keep it up!!!

  20. Heather on February 3rd, 2017 7:32 am

    Keep on, keepin’ on, girlfriend. Cheering for you from down south.

  21. Alex on February 3rd, 2017 1:02 pm

    You are perfectly flawsome.

  22. honeybecke on February 3rd, 2017 1:22 pm

    I’m really, really proud of you. For choosing yourself everyday, even on the really, really hard days.
    I love awkward, there is honesty in awkwardness. I’ll always be wishing you happiness and strength!

  23. MixerGirl on February 3rd, 2017 5:26 pm

    You are 90 days ahead of me.

  24. Sunny on February 3rd, 2017 10:52 pm

    You are loved. You are worthy of love,albeit a love filled with awkwardness and full of flaws. Keep kicking ass.

  25. Jules on February 4th, 2017 3:38 pm

    You are so very brave. Opening yourself up to criticism and judgement. Wishing you all the very best in your personal battles.

  26. Rach on February 5th, 2017 3:20 pm

    I only like awkward people – because anyone who isn’t awkward is faking it.

  27. Jessie on February 6th, 2017 1:20 pm

    Congratulations on 90 days! That is really something.

    I admire you so much. Keep on keeping on.

  28. Em on February 6th, 2017 1:46 pm

    Congratulations!

  29. Pat on February 7th, 2017 7:41 am

    Congratulations Linda! we love the people that feel awkward, don’t fit in etc because you are just like us. I think all the cool people are just pretending:) I love your writing, your honesty, and hearing that you are okay. I have been cheering for you from the sidelines for year & I worry when you don’t blog for several days. Please hang in & love yourself – you are so worth it.

  30. Amy on February 8th, 2017 8:42 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for years and I am so proud of you! I’ve always been envious of your ability to express how you feel in writing.

  31. Sara on February 9th, 2017 7:50 am

    90 days is a big thing. Congratulations, human being. We all love you & are proud of you.

  32. Tracy on February 18th, 2017 8:29 am

    So, somehow I have forgotten about this beautiful blog. Big mistake on my part. Like I always say, Linda..nothing but love for you. Hoping we can connect at the cabin this summer. Love and admire you.❤ Tracy

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