Saturday, December 24, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Milestone...

I started counting the days of my sobriety on September 21, a week or so after my drinking cost me my job. Today marks my 90th day of continuous sobriety -- the first thing, it seems, that I've done right since losing my job. I'm still unemployed, in a couple weeks I'm out of this apartment, and I'm still unsure about where I'll be after that, but I'm not terribly upset over it. Just somewhat apprehensive, not panicky. The only way I can explain my current state of mind is the fact that I haven't had a drop of alcohol in three months, and as far as I'm concerned, that's just one more good reason for me to not drink anymore -- the last time I got to drinking, I turned into a real friggin' mess.

However, I have been real quiet lately. That might have something to do with the AA meetings I've been going to, what with all the free time I have on my hands. Sometimes, if the gathering is small (or, less often, if the chair happens to be one of those people who calls on others to speak when the lull between individual stories grows too long for their liking), I'll give my two cents for a few minutes on whatever the topic is, trying not to stray too far from it. But AA folks like to make use of hundreds of phrases and sayings, one of which is, "Get the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth." Most of the time, I attend the meetings to listen to what others have to say. I don't think three months is a whole lot of time when it comes to participation in a program like AA -- I've met quite a few fellow alcoholics who sobered up before I was born and have stayed sober ever since. If I had stuck with the program the first time I tried it, I'd have twenty-one months under my belt instead of three. So I usually just sit down, keep quiet, and listen.

The four people who still read this blog know that I've been a Steely Dan fan for ages. The other night, I was attending a meeting, and one of their songs started playing in my head:


The lyrics in the bridge are: "I can tell you all I know, the where to go, the what to do/You can try to run, but you can't hide from what's inside of you." If I've heard this song once, I've probably heard it a thousand times. But this was the first time I'd ever thought of those lines in the context of an AA meeting. For all I know, that might be the inspiration for the song -- Becker and Fagen are notoriously equivocal about the meanings of their songs.

Then again, the longer I keep quiet, the more my mind wanders. I have no idea what "Any Major Dude" is about. But I do love the tune...