oh the places you’ll blow

If you haven’t done acid in your grandparents backyard, you haven’t really lived. That’s what I always say. Actually that’s the first time I’ve ever said that. And honestly, your existence is probably okay if you haven’t. Yet as a young drug addict in training whose motto seemed to be “Sure! Why not?” my adventures in narcotics took me everywhere from acid in grandma’s yard to smoking crack in an alley with a now famous music producer. While drinking just seemed to get me into trouble, drugs always had a unique knack of putting me in the strangest of environs.

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I guess it’s the whole “because they’re illegal” thing. Or maybe its the very nature of getting high. Who knows. But when you’re laying on the floor of a jewelry designer’s warehouse after doing heroin afraid to move because you’re convinced Jesus has come down and is now an alien who shoots lasers from his eyes, you know your life has gotten pretty special. That was at age 20 and after dabbling in meth for a few horrifying months, I trotted off to Europe with the hope that when I got back my drugcations would be cancelled once and for all. Naturally, I smoked a wagon full of hash and bought ecstasy from the Danish version of Kurt Cobain while in Amsterdam but that was to be expected. It’s like eating pizza in New York or hot dogs in Chicago. I got back and despite a few drug free months, the party was back on and I was once again a hot mess. Hanging out in sketchy all night suburban bowling alleys waiting to buy drugs, doing cocaine off the dashboard of a someone’s mom’s Ford escort, using the Mile High City’s gay bar restrooms as my own party depot. Classy excursions all the way around. In a desperate attempt to pull my head out of my ass, I moved to Los Angeles at age 23. Cause there wasn’t in trouble to get into in LA in 1995. Seeing as my sobriety date in January 2nd 2009, we know how that move worked out.

While drugs and alcohol might have taken me to random places (4am at a Korean speakeasy doing shots with Horatio Sands is the first thing to spring to mind), the one thing they never successfully did was totally remove me from myself. That was one vacation that not even the Priceline Negotiator could figure out. Sure, blacking out was a good way to erase how much I hated the world for a few hours. But it never lasted. I guess I’m blogging about this today because I’m happy with where I am. Yes, I could use a non-drug fueled real vacation. But overall I am okay with where I am– physically, spiritually, mentally. And I’m more than okay that my average, daily adventures no longer put my life in danger. That’s always a good thing. It’s also an incredible gift to wake up and know exactly where I was the night before. I don’t have to search receipts or look at fast food bags on my coffee table to piece together what happened. This isn’t to say my life is boring. Or maybe it is. But at least it’s real and at least I’m no longer trying to getaway from my life. Even though the beach sounds pretty incredible right now. Hold the acid.

guilty of gordon ramsey-ing

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m kind of a reality television junkie. Mainly competition shows and my favorites are ones revolving around food. Top Chef, Iron Chef, Master Chef. Basically anything with chef in the title and an elimination at the end of each episode. Yeah it’s not Deadwood or Game of Thrones but it’s also not Keeping up with the Kardashians or some crap about pregnant teenage girls either. We all have our television crack and mine just happens to feature people cooking trying to win money. In addition to being totally enthralled with Master Chef this summer, we found another show starring Gordon Ramsay on Netflix called Ramsay’s Best Restaurant.

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Ramsay, if you don’t know is this floppy haired, super tall chef who likes to yell at people and who has roughly 17 million reality shows both in England and the US. Depending on who you ask, Ramsay is either a total jackass and buffoon or the best thing to happen to reality television. I happen to think he’s a little of both. Anyway, this show features Ramsey travelling around England to find the best restaurant and holding mini-competitions where two restaurants of the same genre (French, Indian, Chinese, etc.) compete against one another. One of the segments in every episode features Ramsay observing a dinner service and criticizing the head chef and owners. It’s pure entertainment and totally ridiculous. During this segment in French episode, Ramsay looks in the camera and talks about how the kitchen is falling apart and how they’re disorgranized and how basically this restaurant is going to a bouillabaisse soaked hell if they don’t do what he says. However, upon closer look, Ramsay’s full of shit. The employees are happy, the food looks incredible and the head chef is relaxed. Ramsay invented some non-problems to make things interesting and more dramatic. It struck me as I chuckled at the whole silly, overblown affair, I do the same damn thing.

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Drama was my first drug of choice and cooking it up was something I could definitely win a reality show at. Naturally walking in with a perception that things are bad and everything is going wrong, like Ramsay did, is kind of how I lived my life for along, long time. But as I watched the French chef smirk at Ramsay’s histrionics, I realized my perception that things are horrible or dramatic or going to hell in a handbasket is usually way off. Ramsay, at least has an excuse. He’s on a television show and he’s trying to keep his job. I have no excuse in making life more dramatic than it actually is.

So as I go out into the world on this Friday, I’ll try to accept things the way they are and not make things harder on myself. Mainly, I’ll try to adopt the relaxed attitude of the Frnech Chef instead of yelling and acting a fool like Ramsay. Vive la France! 

prayers for the terminally self-involved (who are trying to be less so)

Prayer is an interesting topic. It’s a little like cooking a chicken. There’s a billion ways to do it and everybody has their favorite. I guess now would be the time to note that this is a spirituality post and not one about religion. Or cooking chicken for that matter. Although I could ramble about the latter for at least 10,00o words. (Book idea: Eat, Pray, Fry Chicken) Prayer or talking to God or communicating with the universe or whatever you wanna call it is an essential part fo me being less crazy. In the beginning of my sobriety, my prayers were of the “Please help me not drink” or “God, help me make it through today” variety. Today, it varies. I try to take 30 minutes to just hang out and be grateful and pray for people who need help. And most days I pray short little prayers all day long like:

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“God please help me always remember between looking younger and looking scary.”

and

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“God give me the wisdom to delete bitchy or crazy emails/text messages BEFORE I send them.”

also…

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“God help me be less judgmental. Even to myself.”

or one of my favorites is

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“God, help me help other people. Even I ones that make me crazy. Especially them.”

And lastly, this one works all day and rocks for its simplicity.

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After two decades of being a self-involved drunken drug addict, I need all the help I can get. Right now, I’ve got a lot of uncertainty going on with my health stuff and it is scary. But thanks to having a spiritual life, I’m totally okay. Yes, I’m scared. Yes, I feel crappy. But am I going to be alright? Totally. Time has proven that I can get through everything thanks to my version of God and some awesome people in my life.

Listen, I don’t know how this prayer things works and frankly I don’t need to know. I just know that it does. So, readers, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll throw some your way if your throw some my way and we’ll get through whatever together?

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“Oh my god!” is what came flying out of mouth. Not, “Are you okay?” or anything of the compassionate nature. Just a good old-fashioned OMG followed by a “Fuck!” And judging by what I witnessed, I think in hindsight these were the proper responses. As I took a morning walk through the park on my way to a meeting the other day, I heard that noise. You know that painful crash reserved for people walking into glass doors or banging their heads on car doors or falling down a flight of stairs. This particular blood curdling clang was caused by a girl on a bicycle who had ridden face first into a steel sign. This sign which apparently came out of nowhere for the rider is the standard “no littering, hours of operation, blah, blah, blah” thing meant to help parkgoers. In this case, however, all the sign helped do is knock this young lady off her bike. As the bike wrapped itself around the sturdy signpost, her face smacked directly into the sign causing the aforementioned noise. So dramatic was the sound and entire accident, a couple walking their dog ran over to help the girl up. Crumpled, embarrassed and a little bloody, she was helped back up and on her bike where, and this could only happen in Denver, she relit her joint and peddled away.

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As I kept walking, I wondered if she’d even remember the entire affair later. Personally, I know had dozens, if not hundreds, of ouch moments while inebriated and probably even more that I don’t remember. I’m not the most coordinated soul in the best , most sober situations so add any kind of chemical to my system and some falling down is bound to happen. Stairs, specifically, were my longtime nemesis. Falling up or down them while completely shitfaced was kind of my speciality. After a long night of drinking, tumbling up or down the steps to my apartment became not that big of a deal. Yet it was a painful, midday slide down their stairs after I’d been asked to leave a barbecue where I’d drank myself into a coma at like 2pm in the afternoon that would be my last drunken, stumble down the stairs.Of the hundreds of times, I’d made an ass out of myself this one stung the most. Not only because the fall itself was incredibly painful- I bounced on my ass down concrete steps into an unforgiving wrought iron door. But because it felt like a new low. My drunkenness had officially crossed over into the pathetic-guy-who-gets-blackout-drunk and ruins a barbecue territory and I wasn’t coming back. It took me another 4 months– and some other huge disasters to finally pull my head out of my ass and get help.

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Now, that was my last drunken tumble but last time I fell down some stairs, I was sober. Newly sober in fact. I was crying on the phone to my mom, as I did pretty much for the first year of sobriety, and it was pouring rain like it does in February in Los Angeles. I was calling her from the campus of Santa Monica college where I had recently enrolled in school. As I hung up with tears in my eyes, I missed a step and went flying down the stairs, cutting my hand open on the sidewalk. A trio of well-dressed African-American girls with chic umbrellas came running over, “Are you okay? You fell pretty hard!” they said. I nodded and mumbled something and ran out of there. Aside from wanting to die, I was okay.

Why I felt compelled to talk tumbles today, I have no idea. Maybe I needed the reminder to help other people who fall down. Maybe I needed to feel grateful that my days of drunken calamities have been over for a while. Or maybe I just needed to remember that everybody crashes and gets back up and rides off. With or without a joint dangling from their lips.

The Things I Cannot Change

“Acceptance,” he said “seems like a great topic for today.” Insert the inner eye rolling and deep annoyed sighing from your’s truly. My response is primarily due to the fact the every freaking meeting I go to lately someone wants to talk about acceptance. I’m not sure why. I mean I couldn’t accept life so I drank to make it more acceptable. Moving on! And yet everybody has a list of things they have trouble accepting and they of course want to share about them. In short, I’m having a hard time accepting acceptance.

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Listen, I can accept a lot of things. I can accept that I’m an alcoholic and addict in recovery. I can accept that I won’t ever be a 6’2 olive-skinned matinée idol. I can accept a political system that I don’t agree with. I can accept that I am HIV+. I can (begrudgingly) accept that I am 40-years-old. I can accept that everything that’s happened up to this point has had a purpose and has played a part in shaping my life today. But other people? Well that’s when my ninja-like acceptance powers falter. In the serenity prayer, we pray for to accept the things we cannot change. Most of the time, I take the ‘things’ in question to mean the assholes who won’t do exactly what I want them to. They’d be so much happier if they just lived their lives in like I think they should. People,right ahead of volcanic rocks and our collective obsession with redneck reality television shows, are certainly things I cannot change. I was told not long ago that Sagittarius is the most controlling sign on the planet and considered to be bossy and unreasonable in the worse case scenarios. I wish I could say “That’s a boldface lie!” but judging by myself and my crazy controlling ass, its pretty much true.  From the way you mash potatoes to the people you date, I can almost guarantee that you are doing it all wrong and that I have a better way. Obviously this is not a pretty quality in a person so naturally this topic of acceptance keeps surfacing for a reason.

Accepting and loving people for who they are instead of beating the crap out of them for who they can never be is the real secret ninja power here. Being married helps me get better at it though. Working as a playwright in a world where dialogue gets tossed out, scenes get rewritten and actors vanish also helps me improve my acceptance skills. Editors who cut my best jokes, a cat who pukes on my steps, buses that show up late and even meetings where they talk about topics I’m sick of, are all great opportunities to practice this acceptance stuff. I find accepting the things and people and vomiting cats I cannot change gets easier when I love and accept myself too. When I stop and feel grateful for the life I have all the other stuff that isn’t going my way doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. But seriously.  Can we talk about something else for a change?

Nashville: A good television show about country music & a terrific one about alcoholism

My jaw-dropped at a particularly brilliant piece of writing during a recent episode of ABC’s Nashville. “I know a dry drunk when I see one” quipped Juliette Barnes, the pampered country diva, who shows up to help her friend Deacon Claybourne out. Claybourne, for those who haven’t been watching the ridiculously good musical-drama, is a sober guitarist whose life is still unmanageable, thanks in large part to a super dysfunctional relationship with his ex, the queen of country music Rayna Jaymes. Juliette goes on to tell her friend that even though he hasn’t picked up a drink in years, he needs to be taking care of himself, doing what he loves, and going to meetings. The exchange is written not in the ‘very special episode’ manner that recovery used to be handled on television but with  realism and humor. Nashville creator Callie Khouri, who won an Academy Award for Thelma and Louise, knows her way around this subject and doesn’t back away from it. And why should she? Recovery makes for great drama.

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As a kid from an alcoholic home who grew up in the 70s and 80s, I didn’t ever see my family on TV. Other than the occasional episode of Facts of Life or that random after-school special about ‘angel dust’, TV like the rest of planet avoided talking about how ugly and complex alcoholism and addiction really were. Besides, we tuned into shows like Knight Rider or Charlie’s Angels not to be bummed out but to be entertained. Corny television shows aside, my childhood was probably not the different from the fictional Juliette’s. See, our little country star does know a lot about this disease as her own mama struggles to get and stay clean. In Juliette, Khouri has created a difficult, temperamental, strong willed and ultimately sympathetic character. Like a lot of us from alcoholic homes, Juliette pretty much raised herself and was lobbed disappointments by the bucketful since an early age. As a friend of mine in the program recently texted, “Juliette’s not a bitch. She’s just an ACA!” The character even admitted on a recent episode that she wanted her mother to die after she screwed up her ninth birthday party.  Played by Hayden Panettiere with tart combination of heart and steel, Juliette Barnes might look like Taylor Swift to tabloid reporters but to kids who grew with drunk parents, she certainly looks an awful lot like one of us.
But back to that line about being a “dry drunk.” This zinger left a mark on me because not only had I grew up like Juliette but at four years sober I know thing or two about dryness also. Deacon may have the ready-for-primetime problems like the “is he or isn’t he” the baby-daddy to Rayna’s oldest daughter that I thankfully don’t know anything about. Yet like him, I know the struggles of staying emotionally sober and how tricky self-care can be. Since my second year of sobriety, I’ve vacillated with great regularity between being a happy, respectable sober fellow and a dry uncomfortable mess. Staying sober is a tough and tricky task that isn’t always met with the drama of relapse. A lot of the time, the drama comes with just staying afloat and getting back to the things that saved our lives in the first place. The character of Deacon seems to confirm what many of us in recovery have discovered. Just because we got sober and our lives got better, it doesn’t mean this whole life thing ever gets easier.
Leaving drugs and alcohol out of a show about country music would be a mistake. Country music might be the soundtrack of America’s heartland but it has a long tragic history with alcoholism and addiction. What alcoholic can’t relate to famous country songs like Whiskey River, Friends in Low Places and I’m so Lonesome I could Die?  Legends like Hank Williams, Keith Urban, Tammy Wynette, Merle Haggard, Randy Travis and even Saint Johnny Cash are as famous for their problems with drugs and alcohol as they are for their music. Just last month troubled country singer Mindy McCready lost her decade-long fight with addiction and was found on her porch by her neighbors. McCready had shot herself and in sad country song fashion, she also shot her ex-boyfriend’s dog.

While Nashville the city is still turning out the hits, it’s hard to say if Nashville the television show will last. Can normal, non-country fans relate to a show dedicated to the juicy side of the music business? Probably not.  Viewers need to identify with what character’s are going through, even on the most remote level. Most of us don’t know what sleazy managers are like or how to deal with slumping record sales. What might keep Nashville on our television sets for a few more seasons, however, is it’s no apologies and distinctly human look at an epidemic that continues to rock country music stars and everyday people alike.

Nothing More Than Feelings

“Just because you’re feeling it doesn’t mean that it’s the truth or that it even matters,” he told me at a few months sober. Basically, this friend of mine was telling me, whatever it was that I was feeling, it wasn’t a big fucking deal. Clearly, he didn’t know what I was going through. Because everything I’ve ever felt is a big fucking deal, thank you very much.

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In those early days of recovery, feelings raged bubbled up inside of me like hot lava and I couldn’t control where they spewed or what they destroyed. All I knew is after not feeling anything for decades, I was now in the middle of an emotional natural disaster.  There was never a middle ground with me and emotions. I either ignored my emotions or I let my emotions rule my life. Both ways were totally out of control ways to live. If I ignored whatever it was I feeling, eventually my insides would start to ache and I’d need something to take the edge off. A bucket of blow and a kiddie pool full of tequila usually did the trick. If however, I let my emotions drive the bus, I was in for a wild and unpredictable ride and so were the poor folks I dragged onboard.  I felt like people were out to get me. I felt like I need to control the way people reacted. I felt like I needed to be happy so I concocted bullshit stories to help sell this lie. I felt, I felt, I felt and it all felt crazy and therefore a drink would help fix this way of living too.

When emotions take over in sobriety, that is when things get tricky. The drama of feeling depressed, angry, victimized or heartbroken is another drug entirely for me. Something in my addict mind tries to convince me that if my life is hard or bad than I have a reason to check out. “He hasn’t left his bed in days but can you blame him?” is what I hope people will say. In reality, people don’t care if I feel good or bad. People, just like me, are too wrapped in thinking about themselves to give two shits about my mental state. My emotions and what I feel have turned out to be what that friend said they were: not a big deal. In this no-big-dealness, I just get to feel whatever it is I’m going through. The good, the bad, the unfabulous. I feel it, I acknowledge it and I move on. And sometimes I feel crappy for a while and this is okay too.

As I talked about in the post below, my life hasn’t been easy lately. I had nine days solid of a lot of drama of the boring professional nature. While disheartening and annoying, it has proven to be just that. I’m lucky that my health is good, that I get paid to do what I love and that my husband has my back no matter what. Mainly, I don’t drink when shit is uncomfortable or when feelings do show up. Today, I get say when somebody asks, “I feel like shit.” And I get to say that with no remorse or drama attached. I say how I’m feeling now because it isn’t a big deal but ignoring it is.

 

A Dream Deferred No Longer

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What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

– ‘Harlem’ by Langston Hughes

I remember reading those words as a young kid and thinking, “Wow. That sounds awful. A life without living your dreams? How horrible.”  I read them again at age 36 and thought, “Tell me about it.” True, I have no idea about what living in the crime ridden Harlem of Hughes’ poem is like but I certainly knew a thing or two about deferring my dreams. The fact is I buried my dreams for a long, long time. Sure it sounds terrible but you’d bury your dreams too if you were me.  It’s because my relationship was bad. It’s because my childhood was tough. It’s because I don’t look like a model or come from a celebrity family or own a Mercedes. Actually, it was because I was high and drunk for a couple of decades and when reality slips away from you for that long, your dreams are the first things to go. It’s insane how easily I let my dreams just walk out the door. Things I wanted to do since childhood just vanished and I let them go without a fight.

A few years into sobriety, I had what someone in recovery poetically referred to as “the country song in reverse”- you know, getting the car, the job, the wife and the dog back. And the dreams. Mainly, I got my dreams back. When I was a kid I wrote plays for my teddy bears and stories and poems and that’s all I ever wanted to do. Yesterday, I finished my second full-length play. Me the drug addict whose biggest accomplishment was finishing a case of two buck Chuck finished writing another play! One that people are going to come and see! How the hell did that happen? Frankly I have no idea. This process this time around was TOUGH. I wrestled back and forth with the plot, the dialogue, the characters. I second guessed my creativity, my sense of humor, my choices. I battled with it for nearly a year with tons of starts and stops in that time frame. Magically, a few days ago I surrendered and moved the fuck out-of-the-way. That’s when the miracles happened and here we are with a great version that will look good and hopefully make people laugh when it makes it to the stage this spring. 

However, most of that is out of my control. I can’t force people to love it or pay people to laugh. Or maybe I could but I’m way too lazy to mastermind that sort of manipulation. All I know is that I delivered on what I promised, I showed up and did the work. And today, that’s what a dream looks like. It didn’t dry up or rot or get put on hold. But maybe they do explode. Maybe they blow up and set a bunch of other amazing things, hidden wishes and  life-long desires in motion. I know. It sounds crazy but a guy can dream, can’t he?

Stay.

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“I’m so happy you’re here. Now, STAY!”the lady with a billion years of sobriety told me on January 2nd. Stay. Of all the heartfelt things people said to me after the meeting the recent afternoon wherein I picked up a chip celebrating 4 years of sobriety, “stay” was the most profound. Just typing that makes my eyes well up and my chest feel heavy. We tell our furry friends like that handsome devil pictured above to stay because we don’t want them to run off and because we want them to stick around and not get hurt. There was time I would have thought getting such a command would have been insulting. Now being told to “stay” sounds like something honorable indeed.

Simple to say or write down, to “stay” sober or in recovery is far from easy. I want to stay at the bar or stay miserable but stay and get better? That sounds really tough. Yet somehow that is exactly what happened. I’m not sure why I’ve stayed in recovery. Probably because I was finally in enough pain to stick around and see if I could get help. By nature, I am vanishing act which is to say I have always sought and found ways to disappear. Whether it was hiding under the stairs in a secret room in my grandparent’s house, concealing notes from creditor’s in junk drawers  or cramming ecstasy down my throat, I am a master of not being here and not dealing. Staying and being present in the sober world, frankly, sucks sometimes. Not having the option to check out means I have to really experience life’s most horrible, most boring and most uncomfortable moments; straight up and with no chaser.

The kicker is that by staying and being able to walk amongst the living not stinking like a tequila processing plant is that I also get the good stuff too. I recently sat in auditions for the new show I have opening this spring trying to jump out of my skin with excitement. Here were these ridiculously talented performers saying my stupid words and making the whole thing sound just amazing and sitting next to me was my brilliant husband. How did this happen to the former waiter who was trying to drink and snort himself off the planet a mere 4 years ago? I guess the not surprising and maybe not incredibly deep answer is: I stayed. I kept trying. I kept making mistakes. From couch surfing and chicken sitting to HIV clinics and detox meetings, I stayed. Most incredibly, no matter what shitty news came my way, I stayed sober and never picked up. Again, I’m not sure how a lifelong hider transformed into a stayer, but I’m glad I did.

Speaking of staying, this blog is staying put too. I took sometime off to wear my increasingly large and all-encompassing playwright hat but I’m back and it feels good. I have lots of fun stuff happening in 2013 including a new ebook, an essay collection, multiple theater offerings and lots more blogging. In closing, I’m terrible at advice and never follow it in my own life until its too late but I will say this: If you’re going through something difficult and want to run the opposite direction, trying staying right where you are first. Because as it was said to me and I mean this “I’m glad you are here. Now STAY!”

High Resolutions

New Year’s Eve. New Year’s Day. New Year’s Resolutions. Barf and double barf to the whole lot. Especially New Years Resolutions. What sick, self-hating soul came up with New Year’s Resolutions? What kind of sadistic freak would set themselves up for an entire year of guilt for not following through on the unrealistic, pie in the sky promises they made to themselves? Surely it had to be someone Catholic.

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Now, I make no bones about my general distaste for New Years. In fact, if this was one of those claymation specials from the 1960s, I would definitely be the evil character who twirls his mustache and bursts into a catchy tune which would outline my diabolical plan to cancel New Years– forever! Cue the evil laughter, sobbing children and sad animals.

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It’s a drunk persons holiday and maybe I’m just a bitter ex-drunk person so that’s why I’m anti-New years . Maybe it’s because the holiday falls right on the joyous time of year wherein I hit rock bottom and it brings up awful memories  Maybe I’m simply a cranky old queen who needs something to dislike and since I now understand the appeal of both Carly Rae Jepsen and American Horror Story, New Years is my new favorite thing to hate. Whatever the case may be, I’m not a fan. As a failed “This time for sure!” relapser who promised himself that 1990-fill in the blank and 2000-whatever would be the year(s) that he finally stopped smoking, doing drugs, drinking and lying and generally being a delusional dipshit, resolutions really churn my stomach.

For years, I thought I needed to go hiking more or do more yoga or journal more to fix myself. Yeah. The only problem with those plans is that hiking, yoga and journaling are really hard to do when you wake up 7 days a week with a hangover hand-delivered from Satan himself. I learned over and over again that having the resolve or the good intention or even seeing the right “Live Your Best Life” segment on Oprah were not enough. It was going to take something major if I wanted my life to really change and get better. So on January 2nd, 2009 I made a promise to myself. But a different one. I promised I’d actually try and do whatever it took to stay sober. Looking back, I’m pretty sure I thought I wouldn’t make it. Never drinking after work? Never drinking at lunch? Never drinking period? These were hard promises to keep especially for a guy who couldn’t even finish the Alchemist or never watched all of The Secret. Against the not-so-great odds, I kept this promise. Not because I’m remarkable or some kind of will power ninja. All I did was ask for help and change everything.

Incredibly, this is my fourth New Year’s without a hangover. I sit here on my couch after an early morning shift volunteering helping other drunken disasters. My cat and I watched the sun come up. I’ve even changed my mind about New Year’s Eve a little too. I spent mine with my husband watching a Face Off marathon and eating German Chocolate cake as the fireworks from downtown exploded outside our window.  I even make tiny one-day at a time type of resolutions too. But they’re not about depriving myself or beating myself up. I like to resolve to do more of what I already love. Like more reading. More long walks. More learning. More  trying of things I’ve always been afraid to try. More love and less fear. More recovery. More writing. More change. More art and theatre. More happiness. More of you guys and your brilliant thoughts.

So in that spirit, what good stuff do want to cultivate more of in 2013? Inspire me in the comments section below. And I mean this when I say it, Happy New Year!