Monthly Archives: October 2013

Something sober this way comes

 

Something that crosses my mind when I am overthinking the future and my identity in terms of sobriety is whether or not I will be fun when I’m not drinking. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I can have (and have had) fun in sobriety and that I’m still–if not more so–a hopefully lovable, sometimes obnoxious, goofball. I’ve met hilarious people in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and I value their humor all the more because I know and relate to many of the dark, death-defying, and generally fucked-to-bits experiences they have been gracious enough to share with me during my early months of recovery.

I guess my concern lies mostly in my own projections. I remember, suprisingly clearly, how I felt and judged people who didn’t drink. I generally assumed that their choice was based on naivete and/or a holier-than-thou mentality (one that I very much possessed when I eschewed alcohol during high school). I don’t want people to look at me like that. I realize that my distate was bolstered by the constant feeling of defensiveness I felt about my drinking/general life habits and may not be the immediate association that most people make about dry folks. Nonetheless, I’ve lived a hell of a life-or a life of hell in these past few years and in all honesty, I’m kind of proud of it. Proud that I survived and proud that I’m starting to want to continue to do so. I don’t want to say that I’m a non-drinker and have people misread me as a pollyanna or whatever pop-culture, tv minted, motherhood bound, pleasantvillian character is readily available–nor do I want to have to illustrate the shit-and-bodies-in-the-gutters road I previously traveled everytime I turn down a drink.

There is a happy medium, I’m sure. I was smoking on a porch with a fellow AA-er after setting up for our haunted house last weekend and after telling him a snippet of my story, he reacted with surprise, telling me that I looked like a mom, not the addict I was describing. I guess the medium I have to find is how to show myself that I can be healthy and interesting at the same time (without having to open with an anecdote about that-one-time-I-did-crack…).

I think I underestimate people. I probably should be less worried about how they percieve me and more worried about the way I think about others. If AA has shown me anything, it’s that every person is going through and has gone through a good deal of shit. We’ve earned our seats and cups of coffee in those rooms through a ghoulish contest of defects. We are getting healthy and we are sure as hell interesting. I’m grateful for their stories and, because I’m healing, I’m grateful for mine.

Hang in there–Happy Halloween!

TSS

88 Days Sober

Back to the Future

The first time I ever had a drink was actually earlier on than I initially remembered. I was babysitting. I had put the kids to bed and was riffling around the kitchen for something to snack on while I waited for their parents to return home. There was a box of chilled wine in the fridge. I remember a curiosity rising in me and the sour, watery tast of the wine hitting my tongue. I felt nothing other than a brief thrill of fear.

It wasn’t until the summer after my Senior year that I actively sought drinking. This was a delight to my friends who had spent several years of frustration as I tee-totaled my way through high school, terrified of trouble and my step-father’s actively abusive grip on my psyche.

I got drunk for the first time in a safe place with safe people and, truth be told, it was wonderful. I felt my morose and anxious personality float up above my head like a smoke-filled balloon. The first few months of my drinking were, if averaged, a fairly good-natured time. I was delusionally pleased that I hadn’t immediately turned into a monster the second I lost my first brain cells to booze.  Drinking, to me, felt like taking a big gulp of air after spending several years underwater. It removed me from my body and for a brief time seemed a viable treatment for both my mania and depression. Hell, even after I became aware that I was causing harm rather than treating it, I remained consistently loaded hoping for alternative results.

So the story continues and here we are at Incomprehensible Demoralization.  Cue the attempted walk of shame from a mostly horrendous 6 years of drinking, drugging, and general self abuse. I say “mostly horrendous” in an attempt to convince myself that drinking wasn’t fun (it sometimes was very fun). As I have chosen the route of AA, this self talk would constitute Step 1: We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol and our lives had become unmanageable.  I believe that both of these statements apply to me, sure, but do I really believe that there will never come a time  when my life could include alcohol and be manageable at the same time?

Hopefully. I’m really trying to hammer that information in there.

I’m 24, I’ve got stories, and I think it would help me to write them out.

I hope it helps someone else in the process.

 

TSS

87 days sober