Patio Season/Six Months 

Happy summer, folks. And Happy Six Months of Recovery, to me.

Summer is also referred to as “patio season,” a great time to go out and enjoy good food and drink on a sidewalk somewhere, people-watching and getting some sun.

I’ll be going out to my patio soon to grill food with neighbors, drink fizzy lemonade, and get some sun.

So what am I missing out on?

I did plenty of summertime day-drinking over the last decade, and I can tell you what I missed out on back then. I couldn’t go for hikes or ride a rollercoaster without fear of spewing, falling down, or passing out. I was so lethargic from the booze that I couldn’t see my way clear to do much more than sit.

I didn’t really enjoy the summer. It passed over me like a sticky, smelly, sweaty fog. I usually felt sick before nightfall, often rallying, but sometimes just retreating to the air conditioning to write sad poetry and pass out in my bed. 

What am I missing out on now? Feeling awful, both physically and emotionally, as I passed my time in six packs of cans and bottles. Lost, forgotten conversations and hazy interactions–my memory is much stronger now. Extremely bad decision-making isn’t the norm anymore, either.

Hangovers don’t happen, nor surprise trips to the bathroom on my knees. Sunstroke and heat exhaustion are much harder to come by when you feel what’s happening in your body, honestly and in the moment.

The summer is vivid, engaging, alive–especially in a place with so much winter. Others can enhance it with alcohol if they like. For the first time in my adult life, I’m enjoying it exactly as it is, with all the wonder and joy it has to offer.

My gratitude to all who have supported me as I make this journey. It’s great to be here, even when it’s challenging. I know it’s worth it!


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