Face masks and Donuts

Sweet 16
May 10, 2020

I have many excuses; writer’s block, COVID, malaise, post-divorce blues, I moved, my career is crazy busy, blah blah blah.  Mainly I’ve been in a funk. I haven’t written a post in three months – the longest I’ve ever gone in over five years of having my blog.  Unfortunately, I haven’t even missed it that much. A woman I sponsor signed up for my blog and it’s giving me the push to put pen to paper or finger to keyboard.  How’s everybody doing during all of this? All this that I thought was only going to last for a couple months and look where we are today.  I still find it uniquely surreal and haven’t been able to accept this is our new normal.  I also feel guilty – more on that later.

I wear my mask when I need to, and I try to social distance. But I miss my friends so when I see them, I sometimes hug them. I flew back east in June to see my family and I remained healthy during that trip and felt completely safe in the Airport being amongst strangers. It was a much-needed visit for me to visit my siblings and their children.  My entire family is back in Philly and with COVID I got that feeling of impending doom and that complete Armageddon was happening all around me.  I needed to feel connected to my kin to know this will all be OK. And it is OK.  It’s one god damn day at a time and I just keep on going.

It’s 5:45 AM and I’m still lying in bed. Sunrise isn’t until 6:14 this morning and that’s my excuse for not getting up yet. Even though I get to start each glorious morning with my neurotic rescue Bailey, and we walk the few paces to the beach where she gets to gallop on the beautiful sands against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean.   It’s the best part of my day.  When I had to move out of my old place, I decided I wanted to do something entirely different.  I did what I’ve heard others do – I sold almost everything I had and then moved into a teeny tiny beach cottage.  I bought new home furniture for tiny spaces that had a beachy vibe – I feel super cool living in my beach bungalow.  This is all post-divorce of course because doesn’t everyone do something life-changing after going through that ordeal? I set up a PO Box, I bought a basket for my hybrid beach cruiser, I purged and donated a lot of clothes and Marie Kondo’d my life and I’m content.  Oh, and I also live behind the local donut shop. I smell them every morning when I’m walking Bailey.  I want to go buy a dozen and keep them for the week, but that won’t happen.  I’m an addict and when I buy two, I eat both by Noon that day.  I buy one per day, two days a week now and shit, I’m proud of that!

I’ve been doing Zoom meetings, a few a week, and I vacillate with liking them and then not liking them.  I try not to care what I look like but of course, I’m constantly fiddling with my hair and making sure I look chill. I’m vain and yes, it’s stupid.  Sometimes Bailey’s with me and sometimes I sit with my girlfriend and sometimes I’m solo. Sometimes I’m paying attention and sometimes I’m not. But I keep showing up because I need to for myself – but mainly for those newcomers that are getting sober via zoom meetings. I have so much admiration for them and they give me hope every day. I still think of drinking – a lot.  I fantasize that I’m swigging Cerveza on a hot summer day and having carefree days on the beach. Who am I kidding? My last few years were not carefree, they were very careless.  I’m grateful for those that keep it green for me.  Relapse has been high during COVID.  I get it.

I’ve been able to maneuver life-changing situations without a relapse or a psychotic break and I’m taking comfort in that, because the normal Nancy, the one that drank and used for over 23 years would have been scorching a trail of destruction with smoke billowing behind. I need to THINK that first drink through.  I’ll start off at the nice ritzy hotel in Del Mar and end up at the skanky dive bar in Cardiff at midnight looking for blow and a dude.  Usually in that order.  No Thank you. AA, the Universe, and my Fellowship keep me sober, alive, and accountable.  My brain has an imprint.  Every day.

So, here’s the thing I feel guilty about.  COVID and malaise.  If I didn’t have my dog that I had to get up for every morning to feed and walk, who knows how my days would go.  Maybe I’d work from my bed or barely at all. I just feel BLAH!  And the guilty part for me is my job, my likelihood, and my income has all stayed the same! We are busy, I still have a job! When I think of all the people – single moms, retail and restaurant workers, unemployed Dads, students entering college, high school, and elementary kids alike, they are missing out on the basics and fundamentals of life learning and being with their classmates – that camaraderie is so important! I have a lot of sadness for them and wish I could do something! Each time I go out and wear a mask I’m vividly reminded how fragile our existence is in the universe today.  We are having a volatile political and social injustice landscape upon us and with the BLM movement and our plight for equality being at the forefront of our country’s agenda; our presence seems more sensitive and pertinent than it ever has.

Do what you can people! Wear your mask, (a Philly Eagles one if you can, because you know, the Eagles are my team!) Do your social distancing, protest if you want to, post your COVID life on IG, wash your hands and don’t go to those freaking COVID parties and oh – stay sober AF!

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