I found a pleasant nature spot by a lake on my lunch hour. I sat on a bench under the trees with the light breeze refreshing my spirit and all the birds pecking around noisily. It was really quite blissful. I texted this picture to my mom, just to say hello and let her know my first week at the job was going well.

At the midpoint in my workweek, I feel the time restriction most immediately. Such a big chunk of my day invested in work that does not involve food or feelings. In this job I get a lot of latitude in decision-making, so that’s good. I like problem solving. I am doing things I haven’t done before. I like challenge. It’s stimulating mentally and I get a break from spilling my emotional guts on the page. That, I feel most keenly. The absence is welcome, though. I need space–distance from it all. I know that.

I wake up super-early, 4:30 a.m. so I have time to feel like I have a life. To think and write and drink strong, black coffee. This is my favorite time of the day. I’ll never sacrifice my alone time for anything.

It’s going to be okay. I know exactly what I have done. But it’s for the best. The right choice is not always the easiest choice. But I managed to break free from the chains of compulsion. That is a major accomplishment.

I’ve always embraced the concept of self-help. Without drug therapies. I know it’s about getting quiet. I know it’s about simplicity. About being present. And here I am. Everything stripped away. Obsession, compulsion, attachment to false identities. And now, what is left? And what will I do with it?

A new job. A new life. The same me. Sober.