Approaching 600 Days–Stay Strong and Smile

I’m approaching 600 days.

600 days clean, sober and free from the painfully tight grasp of alcohol.  I no longer have to ignore the calling of the corner market that would begin echoing through my mind at 10am.  Inevitably that call would be answered seven days a week—sometimes that call would be answered multiple times per day.

I no longer have to sit at my work station anxious with sweaty palms and a pounding headache—the days of constantly squinting indoors due to my disdain for artificial lighting have subsided.

I feel better.  Not perfect—just better.

600 days.  Yes, that has a nice ring to it.

This past weekend I went to visit a friend in LA for the night.  She asked me to attend her workplace holiday party at some swanky hotel and restaurant in Beverly Hills.  I’m not the button shirt and tie type of guy—but for this gathering, I was expected to be.  I felt uncomfortable, but I was happy to step out of my comfort zone for a good friend.

She wore a long black dress, which was accompanied by her long black hair—the dress was cut in a way that high-lighted her toned back and arms.  She smiled, as I think like many women, she was excited to dress up, go to a nice establishment to have a few drinks, snack on appetizers and cut a little rug.

So, we ate, drank (sparkling water for me) and danced.  A guy like me never gets invited to a place like Beverly Hills—Ferraris, mansions and $1,000 hand-bags littered the streets, and the party was over-run by pretentious accountants and lawyers.  But, I attended to see my friend smile—to do something for someone who would do the same for me.  Since becoming sober, I do a much better job of “doing to others, as you would have them do to you.”  A relationship that isn’t just one sided, is a relationship that can be sustained.

On the way home from the party, I felt hungry.  The fancy finger-foods weren’t filling—I needed real food.  We stopped at a pizzeria, and I ordered four slices—two pepperoni and two barbeque chicken. My friend dashed for the restroom, and as I was paying for the slices—the sound of her vomiting filled the air.  I looked at the cashier, starting laughing and said “someone had a little too much fun tonight.”

As my friend exited the restroom, I looked at her, smiled and gave her a big hug.  She deserved to have fun—but I couldn’t help but think: “I’m glad that isn’t my idea of fun anymore.”

I pass no judgment upon anyone—but seeing my friends party reminds me of the damage I once imposed on my body.  I crave, at times, a drink—as I’ve mentioned on this blog.  However, my cravings are followed by an ill feeling—sort of like when you think of eating a food that once made you really sick.

I flew back to San Jose from LA at 5am on Saturday morning.

On Saturday, I picked up Lila at 1pm and we went to meet her friends in downtown San Jose.  I spent the rest of the weekend appreciating the time with my daughter—and feeling lucky to be healthy and as happy as I can be.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas (or a merry whatever you celebrate) and a happy new year.

Stay strong and smile.

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