All of Colorado has been on fire. For days. Having lived in California for a long time, I’ve gotten used to ‘fire’ being the unofficial fifth season. Still, these 100 + degree temperatures and the fallout they cause are alarming to say the least. My personal fires, thankfully, are easy to put out.
Before I go any further, I guess I should clarify that this will not be a post about me needing some kind of medicated ointment to soothe an awkward rash. Not that I won’t ever write about such things. Just not today. No, the discomfort I’ve been feeling is of a far less straight forward nature. I’m what my AA BFF Johnnie and I refer to as “crispy.” Dry is when you are sober but maybe not the most spiritual or mentally sound version of yourself. Dryness can be extremely uncomfortable but many people can live dry for many years. Crispy is dry turned up a thousand notches. Crispy individuals are crazy muthafuckers who’ve decided they are magically all better and can do this life thing without any help from anybody else, thank you very much. Crispy people are not drinking but their crazy attitudes, short tempers and erratic behavior are certain to make those around them run to the bar. So just call me Crispy Turlington.
The last year and a half has been a challenge for my recovery. See, on paper, it looks like The Sean Paul Mahoney Story wraps up nicely with me never drinking again, marrying the man of my dreams, getting the career I always wanted and galloping off into the sunset on the back of a lavender unicorn, living happily ever after as the picture of perfect mental health. The non-addicted rightfully think that we go through recovery, we get better and that’s it. But the journey of recovery doesn’t ever get tied up neatly. At least from what I’ve witnessed. As I have mentioned before, my brain likes to send me these messages like, “Please, bitch. You’re fine.” After awhile if I’m not going to meetings or doing the work, I believe these messages. Mainly missing from my life has been a steady diet of prayer and mediation. Goodbye trusting the Universe and thanking God. Hello Crispy City. A practice of meditation and prayer is essential in my recovery. Does everybody who is a drunk or junkie need to pray? I have no idea. I just know it works for me. I pinpointed my issue of self-reliance last weekend after a series of irrational reactions raised a red flag. “I’m a disaster and I need some help”, I thought to myself. Now, I’m not drinking or on the verge of relapse. The thought still grosses me out and I still have the ability to play the tape through. But as an alcoholic I’m acutely aware of patterns of behavior that are not okay and I’m aware of what I need to do to get back on track.
So I recommitted to going to more meetings. I’m looking for a new sponsor and I’m willing to do whatever to feel less crispy. Thus far it’s working and I feel better. And yet for alcoholics and addicts this is pretty much how it goes. As far as I understand. We struggle to stay on top of our disease. We live one day at a time. We get better. Some of us relapse. A lot of us don’t. Some of us do it with a program. Some of us do it without. Miracles happen in our lives and so do tragedies. What I do know is that recovery is possible and something I still want. Even the parts of this state I live that are now burning will eventually recover. Life comes back and even thrives. This gives me hope. Even my crispy self is actually okay. I still want to be not crispy and that right there is the moral of my deep-fried bucket of insanity. Unlike the people who have lost everything due to the wildfires, I have an easy clear-cut solution. One that has worked in my life for the past three and a half years.