I’m not great at following directions or heeding the advice of others. In fact, my inner child is constantly screaming, “Don’t tell me what to do! You’re not the boss of me!” Suffice it to say, this has made my four and half years sober a challenge. It’s not my nature to take direction; its my nature to tell you to go screw yourself and to mind your own damn business. Over the years, I have gotten better at this though. I figured out pretty quickly if I wanted to stay sober, I needed to listen to people who knew more than I did. I’ve learned to say “Thank you” or “That’s an interesting idea” or “I’ll have to try that sometime” when well-meaning/controlling people have a litany of ideas on how I could fix myself. I’ve even learned to ask for advice and for help when I’m really stuck. So when my doctor told me to get rest this weekend, I took it seriously.
Stress and running myself ragged is something, like not taking direction, that also comes naturally to me. Unfortunately, given my HIV, its also the kind of behavior that can win me a first class ticket to the ER. Even though there were a ton of events and activities happening this weekend, I cleared the docket and chilled the hell out. I snuggled with my cat, I watched Hulu, I wrote a ton, I read and I napped in a manner that would make the aforementioned feline very proud. I cancelled a couple of things. I put off some work stuff until Monday. In short, I rested. And guess what? I feel better! Taking 48-hours to relax has really helped. Last week was a whirlwind of stress, doctor appointments and running around like an idiot. Amid the uncertainty and general fear, it was imperative that I find a way to power down and take care of myself. I managed to do it and I’m so happy I did.
I hate blogs that start with some rambling explanation about why the blogger hasn’t written so long. Like who cares? As if the blog reading public was wringing its hands while I slept in and spent my days making cupcakes and going to the library.I barely give a crap so I’ll keep the explanations to a minimum. I’ll only say that for the last ten days while I haven’t been blogging or really pounding away on my other projects with dwindling deadlines, I’ve been doing this weird thing I could never quite manage while I was loaded: I’m really enjoying my life.
Last week my niece had her “continuation” which is basically a nice way of saying “Congratulations on surviving middle school, now run like hell and don’t ever look back!” The whole affair was lovely as was the dinner that followed it even though my sister’s favorite sparring partner, her ex-husband, was in attendance. Everybody got along and my niece was really happy. Other events included the opening of our new theater space, the increase of paid work, trips to the movies and even a few rides on some roller coasters with my nephew. As we’ve talked about before, I truly believe in order to offer anything as a writer that I really need to try to the best of my ability to go experience my life. This can be a tricky task for someone who’s very nature wants to get high and vanish off the face of the Earth. Nevertheless, I’ve needed it.
Things have been really busy around here since January and even though I snuck off to the desert in March, I found myself feeling drained and uninspired. So I stumbled upon a “staycation” of sorts as projects for clients were done remarkably and uncharacteristically early. This allowed me time to read, research my new show, and hang out with my niece and nephew. I was also able to show up for some people in my life who needed the support so that felt good too. The real miracle here (and for non-addicts I realize how stupid this sounds) is that by just being open and available my life has been really fun and lovely. I no longer spend days wanting to drink or get high. I have a spiritual life and love in my life and blah blah blah. What’s incredible is that I don’t wake up in panic or constant calamity everyday. For years, there was always some impending doom or shitstorm brewing. And most of the drama in my life was handcrafted by your’s truly. Right before I quit drinking, I remember laying in my hallway crying and having a hard time breathing. My stomach was tied in knots and I was in bad shape. Things had gotten really jacked up and I was feeling like my life was about to be over. Turns out I was right! And thank God. Now a few years later, I can actually be present and have fun and sleep well at night. It’s so crazy to be able to feel and experience every part of my life. The good, the bad and the glittery.
So friends and inspirations, what have you been doing to enjoy and savor your life so far this summer? And what’s that little activity or gift from the universe that never fails to put a smile on your face? Fill my comments section with happiness and joy. That’s an order!
This Twitterddicted, Facebook fiend and habitual Hulu-er is doing something radical for four days. I’m not going online!
I know the fact that I consider this radical might a be pathetic but for me it’s kind of a big deal. I’m ALWAYS online. I work online, I socialize online and I write from this here laptop. But as I prepare to leave for Scottsdale, Arizona my laptop is will be staying here in Denver. Last summer, I went to NYC and didn’t work at all. I found I enjoyed the city so much more. So I’m taking it a step further this time and powering off the whole time I’m gone. For the first time in years, all of my three beautiful and amazing siblings will be in one place and I don’t wanna miss a moment! My dad put together a little family reunion in the desert and I want to show up for the whole thing. So for once in my life I worked ahead, got all of my writing done for my clients and left no projects hanging. I even knocked out a nice solid start to my new play! All signs point to unplug. And that’s what’ll do until Tuesday. Will I survive the high desert and my family without being high? Certainly. Will I survive without Twitter? That remains to be seen.
I’ll be back next week with reports from my sparkletastic trip to Arizona, some thoughts on getting your fabulous back after getting sober, and a post about how play writing is like having multiple personalities. Love all y’all! – S.