Sobriety Thread: One-Year Anniversary Spectacular

Two days ago was my one-year anniversary to the day that I decided to quit drinking and… Jesus Christ, what a year it’s been.  Since then, I moved from Long Beach to Silver Lake to Tucson, AZ where I bought a house after I lost my job after 11 years.  Two days ago, on the anniversary, I got two offers for a new job and my wife celebrated her two-year work anniversary.  It’s been a lot of things.  I’ve been feeling a lot of good emotions.

When I first quit drinking, I was never particularly afraid of having intense cravings or having everything fall apart on me because I didn’t have a means of dulling my senses.  What I was most afraid of was that my friends and my family would think less of me because now I’m openly admitting that I have a problem.  It’s easy enough for me to simply not drink, but my weakness is in vanity and in having people take pity on me when I’m not in a pitiful situation.  I’m happy and so thankful that no one ever did that to me.  When I would say something to the effect of, “No, thanks, I’m not drinking anymore,” when someone would offer me a drink, I received nothing but support.  That, I think, was essential for me being able to remain sober for a year now.

Reflecting on that time, too, the twelve months I’ve been without a drink, I think about all the wild ups and downs I’ve had.  I’ve felt cocky in my recovery, I’ve felt afraid, I’ve been everything in between.  But the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know shit.  Writing these essays, as I’ve said before, is a big help for me, personally, because it helps me take this tangled mess of vague feelings and form it into something halfway coherent, even if I don’t write these essays with any sort of regularity–only times when I have a burning need to get my thoughts committed to something tangible.

Three months ago, I said goodbye to my job of 11 years and it took me about two and a half months of solid searching and job interviews to finally find a new one.  I interviewed with a lot of bad companies, a lot of shitty organizations that wanted to dangle full-time employment in front of my face like an unattainable carrot and with one company that I really, really wanted to work with, only to have them tell me I did not receive the job, after being put through the wringer.  I went on two interviews, wore a fucking suit, brought my A-game material, wrote a thank you email, provided them with a writing sample, only to not get the goddamn thing.  They had another opening I thought I was suited for, applied, and was immediately dismissed, even after I wrote a thoughtful message thanking them for their time.  Devastating.

Right now, I begin Monday for a tentative job I’m weighing, but think I’ll like.  If it works out, I’ll stay on with them indefinitely.  I appreciate that they interviewed me once, told me they really, really liked me, and gave me a start date the next week.  I also got a job elsewhere, with someone much larger, and much more corporate, and they kind of dicked me around, putting me through hours and hours of interviews and a drug test where they took out huge clumps of my hair.  If things don’t work out, I can start there at the end of January, but I’m hoping I can politely tell them I found something else.  I’m taking a $1 an hour pay cut so that I can have weekends and holidays.

Today is my last Friday of unemployment.  I’m sad things didn’t work out with my last job, but at least I was able to stash enough of a savings through my 401k that I was able to spend three months off in relative financial comfort.  The bills got paid, I ate some good food, and I had time to watch a lot of TV I wanted to watch.  I drew some, I read some, I wrote some, and my “Level of shit I can take” meter has been reset to a zero.  I’m ready to go back to work and I’m looking forward to not writing any more sappy cover letters telling some soulless corporation how I excited I am for the opportunity to grovel at their feet, only to be ghosted without even the courtesy of a fucking rejection.  I tell ya, there’s little worse than the misadventures of looking for employment that’s halfway decent.

What sucks is that even after everything, I still feel a little guilty for having to tell one of these jobs I won’t be working for them, even though I know they’d have no issue feeding me to the wolves if it ever came to that.

Oh, well, work, life and sobriety are a land of many contrasts.

Speaking of “drawing some” here’s a picture I drew.  It’s some of Tim Burton’s early 90s Christmas movie characters having a party together.  Merry Christmas, everyone!