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!
88 Days Sober