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It’s Sunday evening and I am home in bed. I’m listening to Elton John’s farewell tour via Disney streaming, which I’ll cancel in the next day or so, and I start crying. I love Elton John – his music evokes so much emotion and memories for me. I was born in 1967 and Elton arrived on American soil in 1970. I grew up listening to his songs, all of them, on the radio. I loved each of them. Especially Philadelphia Freedom, as that’s where I was living in 1976, and I knew the back story of the song as a close family friend of mine was instrumental in getting that song written.
Rocket man is the song that made me cry.

I think I cried because I miss my youth. I miss my parents. I miss my formative years. Life was so much simpler then. I didn’t have to worry about paying bills, doing laundry, showing up to my corporate job every day and pumping gas into my car. Life was spent watching General Hospital after school with my best friend Annie. Annie and her family lived in a beautiful farmhouse, circa 1776, on 5 plentiful acres equipped with a stream in the back yard, a trampoline, and horses with a stable. That was my afterschool life. Carefree. Then at 13 I got drunk for the first time, and the rest – well that’s in my Memoir, Last Call – so I don’t need to discuss that here. (However, hot off the press, my Memoir, Kindle version, is Number 1 for Teen & Young adult, non-fiction substance abuse)

Anytime something from my past comes up, whether it be a song, an old TV show, a fashion item that has come back in style or even just ordering a Shirley Temple when I’m out to dinner – it reminds me of how old I am now, and how life is fleeting. It says – “Nance, no one is promised tomorrow – so freaking enjoy it and love every part of it.” I wake up today with the attitude of One Day at a Time where I GET to live my amazing and sober life. Because that’s what it is at the end of the day. It’s basic and it’s served to me with my wiggly Boxer Bailey licking my face to go outside.

Almost 19 years ago, all I wanted to do was drink, snort cocaine and find a guy. Rinse and repeat. Over 20 years of that life. That’s not at all what my life looks like today. A friend of mine took a year token today, someone that I walked into the rooms with in 2004. He had some time, and then was dry and then struggled and then went out hard for a few years. I sat in that meeting and wondered why that wasn’t my story. No one is immune. Is it because I have been a good solider and follow the pack? Is it because my ego is too big for me to say “F it” and relapse? Or is it because of a greater force out there that keeps guiding me on my sober path?

I went through a few shitty months recently. I cried, I yelled at God, I journaled, I called my sponsor, and even my ex-sponsor, I complained, I eschewed meetings, I hated everyone in my life. All I could do was show up for work. I did a very long overdue intensive for two days and cleaned out all my chakra’s, cried (just a little bit), and got down to my causes and conditions – it was hard and raw. I left that two-day session feeling clean and put back together. Doing that work doesn’t shield me from life, but it allows me to be a better participant, friend, co-worker, and dog Momma. As the Holiday season is three days away, I find myself reflecting on the past few years. Some were good, and some weren’t. Most evoked loving memories with my family and old boyfriends, husbands, and close-knit friends. Sharing the laughter and joy of loving others filled me up. While some brought me to my knees in angst where I cursed my life and stayed in bed and watched Hulu.

I am going to the Central Coast in a couple days for the Holiday with Bailey. I didn’t want to be around friends or couples or anyone at all. I want solitude. I have been craving that loneliness that feels like a warm weighted blanket. It soothes me and holds space for me. I know when I come home, I will be so happy to be in my own bed, walk to Grandview and see my no matter what club posse. While I’m away I will enjoy my space. I can attend meetings – where no one will know me (isn’t that the best?) I can go shopping and grab a tea while meandering the aisles at the Barnes & Noble in SLO, I can take Bailey and wander along Cayucos beach, and maybe even hit the Avila hot springs – my options are endless!

I haven’t written a blog post in months. I’ve been too busy with my career and life and other days I play the negative tape in my head that says, “no one cares what you write about”. I’m glad I wrote tonight. I’m grateful that I can cry when I want to and not feel sorry for myself, but know that I’ve had so much LIFE happen to me and each day is an invitation from the universe that says, “Here you go, how will you show up today?”

As I log off, I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving; whether you are with family, friends or enjoying some solitude, “How will you show up?”