Well, 2018 has come and gone and mostly, I’d say it was a resounding success, for the most part. ANY YEAR that your blackened liver doesn’t shoot out of your ass is a GOOD year in my humble opinion and that, of course, completely rules out 2015. My point is that every year since then has been an improvement, and 2018 was the best yet.

I had an epic birthday spent in the Arizona desert with my three lifelong pals, the Douchebags. I will cherish that weekend for all of my days. It opened doors for me spiritually and put some closure on the strain of the last few years. The four of us have been through a lot together and my alcoholism put a strain on our friendships, naturally. I mean, when I WASN’T hilarious and engaging, that is. Keeping up with my shenanigans in my last years of active addiction was ridiculous, to be sure. I’m stunned they are still around, and grateful. I will also note here that my pals are relentlessly supportive but will also regale anyone who will listen with stories of my embarrassing behavior and outrageous antics. I figure that’s fair.

My husband and I traveled overseas together for the first (and likely the last) time. Mostly we are a good team but we learned a lot on our trip to Germany and I’m afraid we may have learned that we are not destined to travel internationally together, which is fine – because again, cue the Douchebags. I’m thankful for the experience though, and the amazing opportunity.

Cologne, Germany

I worked some crazy-ass temp jobs this past year, too. I will never forget my time in the HUD housing projects with some of the kindest and most genuine folks I’ve ever met. A few of my closest pals there were under ten years old. However, that assignment almost broke my heart and challenged my sobriety and I simply could not stay – I’m still saddened that I left before the summer heat as I was assured that I would witness a drug-induced streaker bolting through the complex at some point. Dammit.

I celebrated three years of sobriety this summer and I while I feel I’ve grown a lot in recovery, I know that I still have a long way to go, and a lot to learn about myself. I guess that’s the good and the bad news…there’s no graduation in this journey. Living sober and not drinking are two different things, if that makes sense.

I got a new job in an environment that challenges me and I absolutely love it. I’m learning new things every single day and helping people. I’ve made new fabulous friends and find myself shrugging somewhat incredulously that this opportunity landed in my lap. I don’t need to tell you how important health insurance is these days, so I’m delighted to have a permanent position after being laid off in 2017.

I was surprised beyond belief this summer when a dear friend offered me a SUPER cheap ticket to NYC to see ELO at MSG. That was a fun sentence to write. ELO! IN NYC! AT MSG! We weren’t there 48 hours but it was one of the most memorable and joyful trips of my life. I found myself with a gigantic smile on my face at the concert with tears of happiness rolling down my cheeks. For this lucky drunk, it was truly magical.

A girlfriend, a bowl of pasta, and the warm night air is all a gal needs in NYC, trust me.

So much more happened in 2018, of course – these are just a few of the highlights. Of course, not everything was terrific but I try not to dwell on the negative aspects of things, these days. It doesn’t serve me anymore. Part of being an alcoholic means you’re mentally ill. There, I said it. I imagine I’ll get some feedback on that comment, but hear me out. If you are an alcoholic, you live with insanity, you just do.  I mean, you can’t pretend that you have a normal thought process while you’re lying in a hospital bed with a failing liver thinking, “c’mon already, let’s get a transplant so I can get outta here and get a good stiff martini“. Alcoholics are wired differently and our brains think abnormally, it’s part of the package. I have to keep myself in check every single day and some days are harder than others. We cannot abide resentment, anger and negativity. So, I look forward to 2019 with hopeful (clear) eyes, a more compassionate heart, and a willingness to do/get/become better. I’m only in charge of me, after all.

Here’s to 2019! Join me, won’t you?

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