I’ve been clean and sober for 6 months now. I’m feeling a little shaky about it at the moment. Probably it takes at least this long to detox from it and to actually come face to face with myself.

I’ve committed to 12 months clean and sober. Living in Sonoma County means I’m surrounded by really good wine and really good pot. It basically falls off the trees as you walk down the street.

I would not have said that I had a “problem” six months ago. But I note the discomfort, now, that I feel facing myself from a somewhat detoxified place.

And that is what this is all about. Coming face to face with myself.

I’ve never been attracted to pharmaceuticals; I won’t even take aspirin. I have a deep distrust of the pharmaceutical industry. There are people close to me who have been on anti-depressants for 20 and 30 years. Are they “better off” for it? Or is the whole thing all about making money? You be the judge.

There are many ways I can numb myself. Working too hard is very familiar to me. Being physically exhausted is another. In the past, I’ve “used” running and outdoor athletic adventures as an escape.

Pretty sure that this isn’t sounding like a “happy” post. I am experienced with “happiness” as a way to distract myself also.

Like I said, right now clean and sober feels uncomfortable. But like getting back into climbing or running shape, when my body hurts, I know that I’m getting back up off the couch.

Living is an uncomfortable enterprise. It just is. If I am growing and pushing my boundaries, my body hurts. If I am opening myself up inside, I feel raw and vulnerable.

I have a pattern of waves. Sometimes I’ll sit numb for months on end. This is a time of beginning again to feel the feelings.

“They” teach you to avoid the feelings. The pharmaceutical industry depends upon it. The stoic cowboy myth of manhood I grew up with thrives on it.

But as I have learned, the only way “out” of difficult feelings is to go through them. Either I feel my feelings now or else they sit there, for years and decades at a time, waiting to be attended to.

Feel the feelings. The way out is through.