God Grant Me the Serenity

Today marks one year sober for me.

I never thought that would be a big deal. I never thought I had a drinking problem. I was more of a problem drinker. You know the type…drinks when they have problems…drinks when the problems are solved. Weekend warrior. Binge Drinker. Whatever you want to call it, it wasn’t healthy and it wasn’t a means to cope with my emotions. I was never an alcoholic, but that’s not an excuse for my behavior. Once I started, I couldn’t stop.

I never really made a conscious decision to stop drinking. Well, sort of, and I’ll get to that in a minute. It’s odd that the more my life started to crumble the less I wanted to drink. It just sorted faded out as a part of my former life. I have The Big Man Upstairs to thank for that. (By the way-I stopped drinking and the weight dripped off of me like water. Alcohol makes you fat folks.)

This weekend marks another pause in my life from a year ago as well. I closed on my house a year ago this weekend. I had tickets to see Kevin Hart and went out with someone I really cared about to celebrate. We had a great time. I no longer have contact with this person and that really, really hurts. That was the last time I had drinks. I was dreadfully hungover for an extended period of time after only a couple of drinks (and I was pretty buzzed after only a couple of drinks). My conclusion is that a medication I had started to take (and still do) must interact with the alcohol. I very rarely was drinking at that point anyway, and that was the last straw. It wasn’t worth it to be sick.

There’s several memories tied to this weekend in May. I lost my dream of home ownership, but I could be done with the house and move on. I had a fantastic time with someone I really cared about and now am not on speaking terms with. We were actually very close to a shooting in the parking lot of that Kevin Hart show and got blocked in by the crime scene investigation for a while before we could leave.

When I look at where I am today vs a year ago it just seems surreal. That was the point I thought my life was maybe going to settle some. So, so much has changed since that point. There have been moments in the last year, especially in last 6 months, when I didn’t know up from down or right from left. There was more than once when I didn’t get out of bed for multiple days except to walk the dog, and if I hadn’t had to that, I wouldn’t. But, I’m still here. I’m still figuring it out day by day. And never once in the last year did I try and wash my problems away with a bottle.

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A Day of Firsts

I threw myself waaaaaay out of my comfort zone this morning. Believe it or not folks, I am not comfortable talking to strangers, especially making small talk. I hate making small talk with people I know really well, but even more so with strangers. I deeply fear embarrassing myself  somehow in front of people I don’t know. I do realize that is illogical. Depending on which point in my life you met me (if we know each other IRL) you may or may not find this fact hard to believe. This is obviously a contributing factor in my social isolation problem and thus lack of friends. It is also certainly not helping me notice any potential dates either.

Today, I threw all caution to the wind, got up at 5:30am (I know, right?), and met a group of strangers on the streets downtown. The local running/fitness store put out a call for water stop volunteers for today’s Race for the Cure last week, and I signed up. My OCD self was even the first one there. We filled up water cups and passed them on to the racers and walkers and generally cheered with great enthusiasm to encourage people along. I may not be much of a runner, but I do love exercise, and I know how great it feels to have someone cheer you on as you go.  After the race we cleaned up, and that was that. Did I make a new BFF? No. But I made a babystep out of my comfort zone and met people with a common interest.

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After lunch I went to Loft to see about pants for work. It has been a good long time since I bought new pants from a store and not second hand. My weight loss and body reshaping adventures have precluded me from spending any significant amount of money on pants that may not fit for very long. I decided that I am officially ready to buy NEW pants. Loft was on the agenda for today. Armed with a half dozen pairs of size 4 pants, (and a few tops because you have to have tops to go with the pants, right?) I hit the dressing room.

Epic Fail.

Every pair of those stupid pants were too big. I don’t mean a little too big, I mean falling off at the waist. Even the petite size 4’s I tried on today were too big.  Now mind you, I have just given away/consigned most of my size 6’s. Most of what I have are 4’s and the fit is ok.  I’ve been measuring myself regularly out of curiosity if going GF would change my waist line, and I’ve lost a half inch in 3 weeks. That’s not enough to do this. I seriously think that Loft has done what I believe many stores are doing now: expanding the definitions for what each size is based on the average sized American woman today. All that aside, I still need pants. I grumbled back out to the floor and to the one rack of trousers I really liked best. No size 2’s. No petite sizes at all. Are you ready for this? I sure wasn’t. Image

The size 0 fit.

I had to ask the sales girl 4 times if she was sure they weren’t too tight. I didn’t have to hold my breath to get into them but they don’t require a belt either.

Shopping is still an emotional experience for me in a lot of ways. I’m not sure that I can explain how it makes me feel to say I own a pair of size 0 pants that fit. Sure, it’s a good thing, but it’s an emotionally heavy thing too. For someone who couldn’t wear the clothes the “cool” girls did (cool =pretty) as an adolescent because they didn’t come in my size, this is so odd. I remember being so thankful for Lane Bryant because I could get things in the smaller sizes there that were trendier at least. It is just odd.

I think in some ways my identity was tied up in that fat girl. Loosing her has been like loosing an old friend. It’s not the same face in the mirror. It’s not the same clothes in the closet. The fat was an armor against the world, a buffer for me. There is a reason for the stereotype of fat people as funny. I was always SO over the top outgoing that I hoped people would like me and be attracted to me for my personality and see past the fat. I’ve noticed that the less fat I am, the less outgoing I am too. However, the loss of fat also has occurred over an incredibly difficult transitional period for me too, so the correlation is not direct.

My sweet college roommate Alisha posted this quotation from the amazing Gilda Radner on facebook this morning, I think it really serves to summerize my place right now well. I’m not as content as Ms. Radner appears to be, but I am understanding this concept of  “not knowing” somewhat better.

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.
Delicious Ambiguity. ~Gilda Radner