Happy sobriety anniversary to me

I spent most of today playing on Pinterest, pinning the many photos of sunsets, rainbows and skies I've accumulated over the years (yes, I shot them all myself, except for the one of Pigeon Point in California... I have been there, but it was on a terribly overcast day).  I figured these pics would make a nice board.  Check it out if you'd like, and follow me on Pinterest:


Sky over Atlantic Ocean, Coast Guard Beach, Eastham, MA (Cape Cod National Seashore)

I decided now would be a good-enough time to go grocery shopping.  Saturdays are an awful time to go shopping, and I generally avoid doing so.  I will put it off until late in the day, when everyone else is already done with their shopping.  Not only does my fibro flare up from just the activity of shopping and having to interact with clerks, driving, parking, carrying; but I also have a hard time in crowds.

While I was getting ready to go out, I was thinking about tomorrow being the anniversary of the big blizzard of 2013, when governors in three states declared a state of emergency, causing Bon Jovi to have to cancel the first concert of what would then become what I consider their "bad luck" tour. That's a whole other story, for another blog posting.  Maybe tomorrow.

And then it hit me.  Tomorrow is February 9th.  That makes today February 8th.  And that means it's my anniversary!  Twenty-six years clean and sober, one day at a time (and I do mean, one day at a time... sometimes one minute at a time).  To me, staying clean and sober is a lot like learning how to manage fibromyalgia and chronic pain.  One day at a time, one hour at a time, sometimes one minute at a time.  Take it easy.  Keep it simple.  There but for the grace of God, go I. (I'm not religious, I should point out right here and now, it's just a nice sentiment -- in other words, "That could've been me, but for some reason, it wasn't".)  I wrote about using the 12 steps for fibromyalgia, here. (So sorry, that page looks like a flippin' manifesto! It transferred over from the old site as one huge paragraph.  I'll fix it one of these days.) The steps can really be applied to anything in life:  from dog training to the death of a family member.

I haven't written anything about the shocking death of Philip Seymour Hoffman.  I interacted, stupidly, about his passing with a stranger on social media, commenting on a news web site's social networking feed.  I used the sentiment mentioned above, but put the old "It can happen to anyone" twist on it, and this person attacked me.  He believes addiction is a choice, a moral issue, a character flaw. Much the same way some people think fibromyalgia is hypochondria, "just get over it", "you look fine", "we can't find anything wrong with you", "you're lazy", "suck it up", "you're a malingerer".

I wanted to write back and say that I am glad for him that he has had no friends or family afflicted by the horrible malady of addiction.  But come on now, get real!  EVERYONE knows somebody affected by addiction... it's no different than cancer.  You know SOMEONE.  But alas, I knew I would be talking to an ignorant brick wall.  That person is not worth my time and energy.  I did something marvelous, though... I stopped following all news media sites on that social network!  It was extraordinarily empowering, like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders, and I'll never look back.

There but for the grace of God, go I.  It could've been me.  It can happen to anyone.  I am sad about Mr. Hoffman's death.  He was a huge talent, and, unlike the other huge talent who recently died of drug addiction, Michael Jackson, we didn't see this coming.  PSH had succeeded in being a private celebrity. I hope that his death may get the "conversation" going nationwide about the addiction problems in American society, but I pretty much know it won't.

But I hadn't intended to write about him at all.

This was supposed to be happy sobriety anniversary to me.

26 years. One day at a time.