A week ago, i got married. Like, a government marriage, married. It was decided about 3 days before it happened and even though it was spur-of-the-moment, nothing has ever felt more “right.” I went by the courthouse and called the magistrate last Wednesday to get everything in order for friday morning. In spite of my precautionary efforts, the magistrate left early and we had to get married at the jail. That meant soliciting help from strangers to be witnesses for us which turned out to be pretty easy and a great story. I had a few friends get butt hurt about not being included in the ceremony, and my sister called me”stupid,” but they all got over that pretty quickly. There has been a series of celebrations since then. And I like numbers. I like numbers a lot. i got married on 5/5. I think that is tres cool. Also tres cool is how smart and beautiful and fierce my wife is. She is also uncompromising. I can appreciate that. She is also accepting+supportive of my transition, the fluidity of my gender, my cold sores, the fact i don’t like my chest touched in a sexual way, my disdain for shoes–she is, ina word, perfect. Perfect for me, at least.
So, i met this amazing woman a month ago. I have seen her twice in-person. I knew very early on, prior to first meeting her in-person, that what was transpiring between us was special, like, hold the phone. This is my year, the year of the rooster, the year that i reach all my goals, the year that all my dreams come true, and ive straightened up my act, so to speak, so, i wasnt really all that shocked to have the perfect person cross my path right now. I am shocked, however, at how perfectly perfect this person is. I’m excited but that excitement has been subdued a bit because i don’t want to freak out everyone in my life and have them chalk my behavior up to insanity. The cool thing is i had a 30+ days isnt of sobriety to clear my head. This isn’t a drug or alcohol-induced neediness. The other cool thing is this woman lives 3 hours away so we can’t ruin our lives OD’ing on each other–we have this speed bump so that we can, ya know, maintain our autonomy, hem up some things, be present in our respective communities. At the same time, we are in love, and we decided to get married.
We decided on tuesday to get married on friday, and My sister came up to visit Wednesday. I told her over breakfast i was getting married. She told me i was stupid and was mad that i didn’t invite her and said she was suppose to be my best man. Im not sure why in the world she would think she would be my best man, but as someone who gives calendars out of themselves as Christmas presents, my sister is self important and thinks her (unsolicited) opinion is invaluable. She also doesn’t respect boundaries–i asked her to kindly shut the fuck up if she didn’t have something nice and/or constructive to say, but she continued to be an asshole the entirety of her stay. She was recently dumped by someone she was very in love with so in addition to her narcissism there is probably a little jealousy+bitterness in the mix of her yammer. Her lousy response and another lousy response from a friend of my girlfriend’s prompted me to post this on the facebook early this morning:
I’m getting married this weekend. I’m not asking anyone’s permission as, at 35 years of age, I’m finally realizing and expressing my autonomy! While, I am not asking for permission, I am asking for support. The beauty of Haywood County is, in large part, the mountainous landscape, but mostly, for me, the beauty of this place is the folks who reside here and make up my community. Yes, marrying someone I’ve known for a month is impulsive and crazy and impractical. It is also sweet and beautiful and optimistic. If your words are less-than-supportive, I request that you please hold your tongue. Ask yourself, “is this kind? Is this necessary?” I’m not able to articulate my feelings about Joanna Brooks sufficiently for anyone to understand my motivation to get married or to convince anyone that I’m making a “good” decision. I’m also not interested in convincing anyone that this is a “good” decision. It is a decision that makes me happy, overjoyed, in fact, and joy is something the world could use more of; therefore, we should get excited when we see it–even if it doesn’t necessarily make sense to us! I am embracing what god has put before me, and I am fully confident that the formula of following god+Joanna Brooks by my side+my community behind me=SUCCESS! We didn’t invite anyone to the ceremony–that is a moment we wanted to keep between the two of us. You are, however, cordially invited to spend the the rest of our lives celebrating with us. Cheers!
The-very-soon-to-be Mr Brooks
Friday is going to be a fun day–getting married (a government-sanctioned marriage that I swore i would never take part in), hiking, taking my new bride to a fave brewery, hanging out with some buddies, and having lots of amazing sex. We might also check out a house for accomodating an eventual splitting of time between where this woman lives and the beautiful place i call home. I have no idea what I’m doing but im more than willing to take this risk because there is so much to gain.
I heard to make a nice, fake beard slather Vaseline on my face, top that with coffee grounds, and shape using a credit card. I did that in some free time i had this afternoon following work. When you’re sober you have time to do weird things like craft a fake beard. I added glitter to the mix to more closely identify with my gender identity.
I made it 30 days, and i made it to the tail end of my 7th meeting to pick up a chip for my efforts. My parents were making a special trip into town to celebrate. Well, at least, that’s what we had discussed. I texted a picture of my chip to my parents, some close friends, and the girl that im seeing. Everyone except for my parents responded with enthusiastic support. When I met my parents at the restaurant a little while later, my mom asked what wine we were drinking. I looked at her and cocked my head to the side, widened my eyeballs and said, “im celebrating 30 days of sobriety today.” On top of that bullshit, my dad, who is an alcoholic himself and a shining example of WHY i should stay sober, was in a pissy whiny mood, pretty much his baseline lately. So, what was supposed to be a celebratory supper turned rather quickly into something difficult to stomach the 50 minutes we were in the restaurant. I’m not sure why im supposed to devote life energy on situations that arent joyful and in fact, are detrimental to my mental health, downright toxic. The good thing that came of it all is that i was able to practice enough self control not to flip out on both of these people at the supper table. TANSTAAFL
Yesterday, i got up and ran in the rain. I ran the fastest i have yet because, ya know, i wanted to GTFO of the rain. I have found that if i lend myself excuses for not running (or any other obligations) i stop fulfillfing my obligations to the best of my ability and get kinda slack. I dont want to slack off on running–it is getting and keeping me thin, like the thinnest ive been in my adult life. Or close to the thinnest. My clothes are saggy, and not in a frumpy way, but in a cute way. I feel my muscles. After i ran, i got my not bible study program together and that went rally well for a first try. Then i went ot my 6th meeting. The meeting topic was about alcoholics being around alcohol and their various levels of discomfort. i found myself pretty much coming from a different perspective with my relationship to alcohol. Where one guy said he beads up with sweat like the condensation on a beer bottle when he goes into a bar, i love being in bars sober. I serve alcohol for a living. I have no qualms with it. I dont struggle to not put the alcohol im serving into my body impulsively or compulsively. The girl im seeing and my best friend said, “that’s because you arent an alcoholic.” I think i agree with that sentiment. I have experienced a dysfunctional relationship with drugs and alcohol, and oi want to habituated myself to not turn to booze for relief or enhancement for experiences. Like, i dont want to need a beer to celebrate or wind down or lean on. I dont want to look forward to a 3pm double break so i can go pound three vodka sodas. I want guitar playing or writing or reading or running or hiking to be the reward. So, im going to keep on being sober until not alcohol is the habit and ease back into an occasional glass of red wine, a good scotch, or an IPA. Im also in complete control or at least complete awareness of and better control of my emotions. Just the awareness is a change for the better. I want to keep that up until i master observation and non reaction. I want to be keenly aware of myself as i enter this new and amazing relationship i have found myself in. Sobriety aids that. I want to make sure i dont show my ass. Sobriety aids that.
My therapist clued me into the fact that maybe sobriety wouldnt always be as easy as it is right now. Im three weeks sober tomorrow, and up until today, everything has been a piec of cake, a walk in the park. Today i was caught off guard by anxiety, frustration, and sadness. I dont know where they came from, but i wanted to drink a beer like crazy. I didnt. I talked myself down. I had gone to a meeting earlier but felt tired and annoyed to the point that i left early. Im supposed to get a sponsor before my next therapy session as like a homework assignment. Tonight i am doing alright. Im home alone as the roomies are out on the town. Im trying to tackled some big projects that are attempting to paralyze me into inaction with their enormity. I can do it. And i will do it best sober.
So, between Thanksgiving and Christmas this past year, a friend of mine made a comment about always gaining weight around the holidays. I replied that I hadn’t had that issue because of riding my bicycle around instead of a car. My friend cut his eyes at me and said without pause, “yeah, it can’t be anything to do with all the drugs.” I respect this friend immensely but not enough to stop me from turning right around and spending 200 bucks on some ecstasy. Like all folks socialized as female, im obsessive about my weight. I’ve never been overweight, but ive been heavier than i would wish at times, and keeping weight off just feels like a constant struggle–UNLESS you’d doing drugs because when oyu’re doing drugs, dont want to eat! Voila! So, one of my concerns about coming off of drugs was that i would gain some weight. BUT because i was tramping around miles a day on my winter vacation and not eating much or drinking much, i managed to LOSE weight on vacation. Then my concern was that i would put weight back on once i got home, but that hasn’t been the case either. I completely cut out drinking alcohol since getting home, and that is saving me LOADS of caloric value. It is also saving me MONEY! Tons of money. I have become a very even-keeled person, and in the moments that im not, im aware of it and can manage to steer back into normal or at least observe wtf is going on to make me feel off. So, as the Lenten season nears to a close and i no longer have to keep up with taking on expressing gratitude BUT i want to keep it up because everyone appreciates it and it is good for me as well. and what am I grateful for today? Whatever the fuck will power is keeping me running and eating well right now. 16 days sober today!