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Thread: Sober - However you got there, whatever keeps you here.

  1. #61
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    43 days since my last drink. reading, taking walks, and writing lists are some simple things that keep me afloat. the thought of starting over at zero days also plays a part.

  2. #62
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    I'm five years sober this April. ...I went to AA for around two years. I'm starting to ramble, already, so I'll compose something maybe and post again. Good luck to all of you struggling. Its a real devil

  3. #63
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    Congrats! I'm at 3 and a half years now myself. Just started going back to AA meetings (sporadically) in the area and was asked to give the lead at a meeting this Saturday. Debating on whether I should or not.

  4. #64
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    4 years. I think running, working out, and eating healthy helps. Its like I don't want anything to interfere with this healthy mountain I've been climbing. Also sex is a lot better being healthy and sober, so thats a bonus that I don't want to mess with.

  5. #65
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    Drinking myself stupid for about ten years, mostly at weekends but recently I've been about to put away 6-8 pints of an evening and not feel that drunk. Started developing abscesses that needed surgery.

    Also got to the point where I sort of jump when I see my reflection. It's been easy to get this far because I can fulfil my responsibilities fine, I'm 30 but I own my own house, got a decent job, and a girlfriend way out of my league whos been loyal for nearly 13 years.

    But yeah, I've kind of gone from looking like Bill steer to looking like hagrid within 10 years. Not great. My life going so well means I could kid myself.

    I never drink during the day and rarely drink during the week, but it's begun to creep in during the evenings. I don't get withdrawal so thankfully I'm not at the all or nothing stage yet, not what would conventionally be described as alcoholic, but I've just decided to count myself lucky and draw a line under it before it gets any more serious.

    I figure I can get fat and haggard and drunk when I'm middle aged anyway

    Going to fully stop until I start to look better, after that strictly limit it to special occasions, if that.

    Only been about a week by I have to say I kind of feel relieved just for finally admitting it and resolving to do something

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sutekh View Post
    I never drink during the day and rarely drink during the week

    I remember before I quit I would think "well, I can't be that bad, I never drink on work days" but then after I quit I read somewhere that that's one of those silly things that alcoholics tell themselves to convince themselves they don't have a problem. "I never drink before 5 and if I was an alcoholic I'd be drinking all the time, so I MUST be ok". It's interesting how we can do things like that.


    Anyway, I'm glad you've realised and are going to do something about it

  7. #67
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    Cheers mate! Yeah it's a case of... well whatever the term for what I'm doing is, it certainly isn't a long term strategy for happiness or survival. Pretty embarrassing it's come to this, but that's life

    I am wondering how I'm going to fill the time and whether I'll enjoy stuff as much (I have never been to a concert sober - ever), but I look so terrible and the surgery was so painful for so long afterwards that im not actually worried. There's no doubt in my mind

    I can still smoke at least, so my life isn't buzz free

    How long ago did you quit? Did you notice any big changes? I've only been quit a short while and already I feel so much less tired

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sutekh View Post
    Drinking myself stupid for about ten years, mostly at weekends but recently I've been about to put away 6-8 pints of an evening and not feel that drunk.
    That was my situation entirely, though it got to the point some weeknights - maybe 1-2, but enough - I'd be up until about 1 AM with roommates at the time and we'd kill a 30 pack between 3 of us and some fireball, jager or other sort of spirit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sutekh View Post
    I never drink during the day and rarely drink during the week, but it's begun to creep in during the evenings. I don't get withdrawal so thankfully I'm not at the all or nothing stage yet, not what would conventionally be described as alcoholic, but I've just decided to count myself lucky and draw a line under it before it gets any more serious.
    I was the same way, except for one time I decided to have a beer with lunch while in grad school. I had some pounders of Molson Canadian, and decided to have JUST ONE with lunch. That turned into killing 4 within an hour and catching a solid buzz before showing up to work. While I was coaching, an assistant said "do you smell booze?" and I tried to play it off on one of my athletes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sutekh View Post
    Going to fully stop until I start to look better, after that strictly limit it to special occasions, if that.
    Man I thought the same thing. I'm 4 years sober now and don't want to even jeopardize my time. I'm at a point where the craving is gone and the impulse quickly subsides. #blessed
    Quote Originally Posted by Sutekh View Post
    Only been about a week by I have to say I kind of feel relieved just for finally admitting it and resolving to do something
    Keep going a day at a time! You've got this!

  9. #69
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    Many thanks guys... got a big hurdle on the horizon, Xmas dinner with my Irish family where they start drinking with breakfast and carry on into the small hours. Going to say I'm on heavy antibiotics for a wisdom tooth and leave immediately after dinner, lol

    Thanks again for the encouragement, I don't breathe a word of this to anyone IRL so it's reassuring to hear of similar situations - especially ones going so well

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sutekh View Post

    I am wondering how I'm going to fill the time and whether I'll enjoy stuff as much (I have never been to a concert sober - ever), but I look so terrible and the surgery was so painful for so long afterwards that im not actually worried. There's no doubt in my mind

    ...

    How long ago did you quit? Did you notice any big changes? I've only been quit a short while and already I feel so much less tired
    I find that I enjoy pretty much everything I do more now. I had to change the way I socialise, but I've made a real effort to still hang around with the same people (I just leave a party before everyone starts repeating themselves over and over). My friends are the most supportive people ever and there's never any shortage of tipsy people telling my how well I've done, they all saw how bad I was so they always mention the great change in me.

    It's worth noting that going to parties sober and seeing all the drunk people is a great way to remind yourself why you quit

    I do more active things nowadays and when I go somewhere I go to that place to see that place, rather than to have a quick look and then find the local pub.

    I've been sober for 3 years and 2 months

  11. #71
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    I feel your pain! I was stressed to the max before my first thanksgiving dinner with my now in-laws. I shared at an AA meeting how nervous I was. In my head, I was freaking out - how do I tell her family that I'm a recovering alcoholic with two DUI's on my record? An old timer eloquently and effectively shut me up. Paraphrasing here, but he said "You don't have to tell them a fucking thing. They don't have to know shit." I laughed, and he expanded. "You mean to tell me you think that man whose daughter you're dating is going to be UPSET that you DON'T drink? He doesn't give a shit. Nobody gives a shit that you don't drink."

    It was reassuring and true. I lied and said I was training for a triathlon. They now know all of my story, but at that time, and still, nobody cares. My first wedding sober was tough, too. It was a good friend of mine from my beach patrol days; we would get shitty EVERY night and sweat it out in the morning. It was somewhat awkward at first, but by the end of the night, it was a non-factor. I spent my entire wedding sober and sang "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" to my wife (and entire wedding of about 175 people) with the band.

    Concerts, weddings, holiday parties are easier - the little twinge of "outsider" still kicks in before an event, but once it's on, NOBODY CARES! The more you do things sober, the more you realize you don't NEEED that shit in your life. It's crazy the stories we manufacture about reality, and how alcohol can co-opt them so quickly and effectively.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by the duder View Post

    Concerts, weddings, holiday parties are easier - the little twinge of "outsider" still kicks in before an event, but once it's on, NOBODY CARES! .

    This is so true. Drunk people don't care if you're sober, they'll talk to you just the same. And talking to drunk people when you're sober is really, really easy.

  13. #73
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    my wife and i decided a few months ago that after my b-day party that was this past saturday, we were gonna take a break from drinking for the foreseeable future. of course, we have a bunch of booze leftover from the party (plus a nice bottle of gin i had bought for us that we didn't end up drinking before the party), so i'm glad we're having some people over on friday for Friday The 13th Part 3 in 3-D and we'll be able to unload it on them.

    neither of us have a drinking problem, but we both want to be a little healthier, lose a little weight, and save a little money. we tend to drink about 2-4 nights per week (pretty much always at home), and we snack A LOT when we have drinks (to keep us from getting hangovers), so this will definitely help with our goals. i'll miss tasty drinks but i think it'll be worth it.

  14. #74
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    You guys know about my drinking; i have talked about it TOO much.

    At any rate a few months ago i thought i had like "outgrown" alcoholism and started keeping wine at the house. At first it was a couple of glasses now and then, then a couple of glasses every night. But i was all proud of myself and shit.
    Then all of the fucking sudden i found myself drunk off that wine 24-7 and NEEDING to run to the fucking store for more and having to have a big glass the second i woke up.
    It all collapsed in epic fashion when i had to go to a drs appointment. I drank all night and slept for like 4 hours (i was still drunk and didn't know it.) I was out of pain medicine and wanted to feel okay for the 180 mile round trip to the dr so i took a bunch of xanax, and while i was getting ready, i fucking PASSED OUT. Like sitting there in the chair, with my wife and mother screaming at me, and i couldn't respond and couldn't move and felt like i was like flying around. I missed my fucking appointment.
    I was afraid this was my spirit trying to leave my body, but they said my respirations were okay and everything. But this shit, oh god y'all.
    I was only full fledged drunk all the time for like 10 days, but it was obviously a nasty slip.

    I went through AWFUL withdrawals, but all i could keep thinking was that those withdrawals were NOTHING compared to what the liquor withdrawals and seizures and shit were like in the old days. I remembered how much worse it could get.

    That was like a month ago. I haven't had any desire for a drink since then.
    I had started doubting AA and thinking that i COULD drink again, but it turns out that i was wrong.
    Now i am going to attempt to not ever drink again, because if i ever got back to where i was with the vodka, i would fucking kill myself.

    There are no AA meetings in this town. They just started an NA meeting, but how the fuck i'm gonna join NA while taking such strong opiates for my back? I would feel like a total fucking fraud, plus, if you don't know, NA uses a totally different text than AA so i couldn't just mentally substitute narcotics for alcohol when they say narcotics. That AA book is pretty much my religion. I wish there was a fucking meeting here, but still, since that slip, so far so good.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by elevenism View Post
    There are no AA meetings in this town.
    I did not think such a town existed in the United States.

  16. #76
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    I'm not exactly sober, per se, but on September 1st, my wife and I sold the bar we owned. And I was finally able to take the break from drinking that I couldn't take for years. I was excited, but also terrified that I'd actually end up with the DTs.

    Between 2011 and 2015, I drank about half a bottle of tequila a night (during this time, I curated the largest tequila gallery in upstate New York). Sometimes less, often more. From January 2015 through August 2016, I usually drank, let's say 16oz of 114-proof gin (or 110-proof Chartreuse) five or more days a week every week. At a minimum. There were usually also cocktails going at the same time. Plus the many drinks I had to taste test for quality control. Which was legitimately a thing.

    That whole time, I was on a number of antidepressants and Xanax just to get me out of bed and keep my head out of the oven. I was also on Ambien to get me back into bed because, despite enough booze to slay a rhino, I still couldn't sleep. I've had insomnia problems since I was six years old--not a joke.

    Well, since selling the bar, I pretty much went to not drinking at all. Also, I'm off antidepressants and Ambien. First, I didn't have a drink for ten days; then there were twenty days between that and my next drink; then I stopped counting. Some weeks I don't drink at all; three times since September, I've chugged two ounces of something to put me to sleep (insomnia persists because my insomnia has always persisted). I no longer have any tolerance at all. I'm pretty sure one ounce of my favorite 114-proof gin would get me wasted now.

    Since then, I've only been Drunk (capital D) one time and, man, it took me two weeks to recover from the shameover--my hangovers were always Biblical in scope, but that didn't bother me. It was always the post-intoxication embarrassment at what an idiot I'd been--even though according to pretty much everyone I ever drank with, I was a super-fun and lovely drunk. Evidently, I just get nicer and nicer until I sit down, and then I'm asleep (it's rare that this ever happened when anyone else was around; I wasn't the comatose guy you have to babysit or anything). Still, I was always mortified the next day. And I think this time--right before Christmas--was worse because it was with new people I'd never gotten boozy with before, and I hadn't been Drunk for about four months.

    My worst habit as a drinker was a bad one, but not as bad as it sounds (maybe): I made the three-mile drive home from work every night pretty wasted. It was through streets that never had any traffic, and at 4:00am, but still. It was never something I was proud of or pleased with myself for doing. But in the decade I did that (the bar I eventually owned and my previous employer were in the same building complex), I never hit anything or even got nipped by any of the red light cameras. Which means I was lucky, not skilled, I realize. But still, I guess it was the best possible version of that very bad habit. Like "Sure, he's into children, but he only has sex with the children who died of natural causes that he finds at the morgue." Still appalling, but maybe less offensive? I don't know. I'm sure it's all ex post facto rationalization to make me feel better about it.

    I'm not precisely sure why I'm telling y'all any of this. Being sober-er has been relatively easy for me since I've been removed from the daily temptation (although we have a huge liquor cabinet at home that I almost never touch, so I guess I'm not entirely removed). And I feel a fuck of a lot better than I have in years. I don't understand why this went so...well. I guess I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop? Like I'll discover in a month that this was all the calm and easy period and suddenly I won't be able to go a day without getting blackout Drunk again?

    I had issues quitting cocaine (in my worst year, I did $10,000 worth of blow, which doesn't count what I got for free--and that was a lot); a vicious time quitting a Ritalin-Codeine-meth concoction I used to make and snort when I was a teenager; and especially cigarettes--I haven't had one for just over nine years now, but every day, four or five times a day, I still desperately crave a cigarette. Getting off Xanax (I was prescribed it for five years before I decided I needed to get off of it) took me three years of slow tapering and was some of the worst hell I've ever been through, and unfortunately, thanks to the dramatic events of the past year, I had to go back on it (though at half the dosage I was on it before). I don't know how to describe it. The phrase I usually go to is "spicy Ginger Beer poured into my brain." But that only covers one part of the physical issues.

    So, I guess I'm just nervous about what the future holds for me and alcohol? Given how much I drank and how frequently (I gave some dates above, but from 2001-2011, I was blind drunk four or more nights a week as well, my drink of choice just wasn't as predictable), there's no reason I shouldn't be having bigger issues with this. And due to an unrelated health issue, I had to have MRIs and ultrasounds last year, so I know that my liver and kidneys are in pretty good shape...somehow. I think I feel guilty for not being punished for twenty years of that level of self-abuse?

    And I do miss liquor (I never really drank beer or wine), but I actually miss being able to consume it because it tastes good and now, with my decreased tolerance, I can't enjoy much of it before I become drunk, then capital D Drunk, then end up behind the wheel of a car, out of practice and ready to drive into something. But I am genuinely afraid to declare "I'm not going to ever get wasted again." That part still scares me and, based on the past four months, I'm not even sure I need to go to that length, as long as I can commit to not driving.

    So, I guess this was a bit of a ramble. But I've never talked to anyone about this, so it sort of felt relieving. But in the end, it comes down to I'm seriously uncomfortable about relative success (and how to make sure I get more of it). How American of me!

    EDIT: Okay, a few minutes after having written this, I'm starting to think I really needed to say this out loud to someone. I didn't realize how much it's been weighing on me. Apologies, however, if it comes off as...condescending to anyone who's having a more contentious relationship with quitting. Not at all my intention.
    Last edited by Sesquipedalism; 01-11-2017 at 01:21 PM. Reason: Keep picking, and picking, and picking

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sesquipedalism View Post
    I did not think such a town existed in the United States.
    Alas, it does.
    I spent most of my life in the big D, but after a series of unfortunate events, wound up in my ancestral home of Stratford, Tx, population 2017.

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by eversonpoe View Post
    my wife and i decided a few months ago that after my b-day party that was this past saturday, we were gonna take a break from drinking for the foreseeable future. of course, we have a bunch of booze leftover from the party (plus a nice bottle of gin i had bought for us that we didn't end up drinking before the party), so i'm glad we're having some people over on friday for Friday The 13th Part 3 in 3-D and we'll be able to unload it on them.

    neither of us have a drinking problem, but we both want to be a little healthier, lose a little weight, and save a little money. we tend to drink about 2-4 nights per week (pretty much always at home), and we snack A LOT when we have drinks (to keep us from getting hangovers), so this will definitely help with our goals. i'll miss tasty drinks but i think it'll be worth it.
    My wife and I gave up drinking last year for pretty much these exact reasons. This Saturday it will be a year since I've had any alcohol and I'm probably in the best shape I've ever been in. (Obviously not from just kicking booze, but eating better and exercising as well.)

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archive_Reports View Post
    My wife and I gave up drinking last year for pretty much these exact reasons. This Saturday it will be a year since I've had any alcohol and I'm probably in the best shape I've ever been in. (Obviously not from just kicking booze, but eating better and exercising as well.)
    ugh, come help me exercise. i'm so bad at staying motivated because i can hardly find time to exercise : /

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    Quote Originally Posted by eversonpoe View Post
    ugh, come help me exercise. i'm so bad at staying motivated because i can hardly find time to exercise : /
    I found it was easier to stick to it at the beginning if we went together and held each other accountable. Once I got into a routine of doing X activity on X day, it became second nature. Now I feel guilty if I don't go for whatever reason.

    I absolutely despise working out (cardio, lifting, whatever) so I'm not one of those people that finds peace in it. I just wanted to look better and (hopefully) not die at 50.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archive_Reports View Post
    I found it was easier to stick to it at the beginning if we went together and held each other accountable. Once I got into a routine of doing X activity on X day, it became second nature. Now I feel guilty if I don't go for whatever reason.

    I absolutely despise working out (cardio, lifting, whatever) so I'm not one of those people that finds peace in it. I just wanted to look better and (hopefully) not die at 50.
    i can't go to a gym, i have to do it at home. there's something about the idea of exercising in front of a bunch of people that just fills me with dread.

    i know it's only been a few days, but i haven't once felt an urge for like "eh, a drink would be nice" so i'm off to a good start. i think having a firm cut-off date was a really good idea.

  22. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by eversonpoe View Post
    i can't go to a gym, i have to do it at home. there's something about the idea of exercising in front of a bunch of people that just fills me with dread.
    Yeah, I get rushes of anxiety at times when I'm there. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do around the house (I have done curls and head crushers with musical equipment in a pinch) if you don't want to gym it up.

  23. #83
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    @Sesquipedalism , you described some truly prodigious drinking.

    When you quit, did you not shake? Hallucinate?

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    Quote Originally Posted by elevenism View Post
    @Sesquipedalism , you described some truly prodigious drinking.

    When you quit, did you not shake? Hallucinate?
    No, neither. I was as prepared as I could be for the worst and nothing happened. Which was somehow pretty worrying in and of itself.

  25. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sesquipedalism View Post
    No, neither. I was as prepared as I could be for the worst and nothing happened. Which was somehow pretty worrying in and of itself.
    Amazing.
    I shook VIOLENTLY, had a few seizures and bouts with hallucination

  26. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by elevenism View Post
    Amazing.
    I shook VIOLENTLY, had a few seizures and bouts with hallucination
    I was expecting something like that. The fact that I didn't end up there made me jump right to like "I must have drank my CNS away. I'll surely be dead soon." Like I said, I'm still terrified another shoe will drop.

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    I'm addicted to the worst of the worst and I need to get clean within the next 3 weeks. It's going to be a bitch physically and mentally. I'm so not ready. But it's time.

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    Corona - start ASAP if you haven't. Find resources or groups of likeminded others. Get phone numbers. Call someone who's clean every day to check in. Pulling for you.

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    So, I am sober for a year and 7 months (I am a "quartal" alcoholic, sober for several months then drinking to death for a few days alone not going to work or picking up phone or anything, various methods of escape), plan to keep it up, and it's - dare I say - easy, probably also thanks to a community I am visiting each Thursday. But I'll stop going there.

    I want to be part of something, where people are geuinely trying to help, to listen, and to talk, and understand. But here, nowadays there are maybe 60 people, and half of them I don't want there - relatives which I can't trust, clients currently being there I can't trust, and what's the worst, this depends on who is doing the "show" on that day. Sometimes it's about 20 people and cool, but when the best entertainer :-) is doing the "show", crowded. Good for them (relatives, clients) if this works for them, keep it up, but I don't want to be part of the show where people go depending on who is the main act.

    Also a detail, they're charging my insurance without ever telling me about that, which is not exactly big problem (health insurance here is cheap and no-one will ever complain about these charges to me, as they should not). Once I asked where are all the money because we should get nicer place for that, that didn't go very well neither... ;-)

    Anyway, I found different group and will check how it works there. It wouldn't be smart to just stop going completely. I like how "comfortably boring" (my term) my life is now. :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Substance242 View Post
    I want to be part of something, where people are geuinely trying to help, to listen, and to talk, and understand. But here, nowadays there are maybe 60 people, and half of them I don't want there - relatives which I can't trust, clients currently being there I can't trust, and what's the worst, this depends on who is doing the "show" on that day. Sometimes it's about 20 people and cool, but when the best entertainer :-) is doing the "show", crowded. Good for them (relatives, clients) if this works for them, keep it up, but I don't want to be part of the show where people go depending on who is the main act.

    Anyway, I found different group and will check how it works there. It wouldn't be smart to just stop going completely. I like how "comfortably boring" (my term) my life is now. :-)
    Yeah I hear you on the challenge of finding the right group, and good on you for recognizing that stopping going completely is a bad idea. I had a bit of a struggle moving from Buffalo (where I first got sober) to rural Delaware. It's a small town vibe down here, where everyone knows everyone elses' business. Luckily, I've got a great co-worker who has over two decades of sobriety to talk with during my planning period. He's retiring next month, which is a bummer, but we plan on meeting regularly. For me, it works.

    Also - yesterday was my 5 year anniversary. Feeling good about how far I've come and where I'm at in life. "Comfortably boring" is not bad at all!

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