Tag Archives: Fourth of July

Published at ‘The Fix’ magazine!

5 Jul

10:27 am

I’ve been thinking so much about the power of blogging–and how unicorn-parade and glitter-balls awesome you all are to be a part of my world–that I wrote a story (well, essay) about you!

It’s been published today at The Fix, an online magazine for addiction and recovery. My piece, Blogging Myself Sober, is about how helpful online forums can be for sobriety.

Otherwise, we’ve just been hanging out. Beach, dogs, some reading, and thinking a LOT lately about the passing of time, how I miss the 90s (I even went so far as to create both a ‘The Cure’ and ‘James’ Pandora stations the other night=Who’s James?), and well, how sobriety fits into all this. Am I sad because I am sad about the fact that it was, yes, 20 years ago that I had the “whole world” ahead of me? Please, even I can see through that. What I’m sad about is that I had such a clear head back then, an unblemished slate–not state–of mind. Sure, I had the “whole world,” but I have more of that world now. What I had then that I don’t have now is…a lack of experience? A lack of cynicism? A lack of knowledge of what I know now about how bad things would get?

A friend of mine posted an interesting status update to his Facebook page yesterday: If you could call yourself from 5 years ago–and had 30 seconds to talk–what would you say? Hmm. Probably, ‘Quit drinking NOW’? Yet, would I have never learned what I was “supposed to” have learned, “needed” to learn, if I had quit before it got really bad?

Anyway, I wanted to keep it short, so more for later. Hope everyone is having a liberating Fourth of July weekend!

(Yes, there were pangs yesterday, but even I’m getting bored writing about them. Needless to say, I pouted, told my boyfriend to “pick me up a bottle of red at the store on his way out,” (to which he replied his usual, “uh huh”) and then, waited to forget why I wanted to drink in the first place. Wash, rinse, repeat, every six hours or so yesterday–not a great day for cravings, but I managed and they’re over and now we’re moving on to an entirely NEW day. SEE ya, wolife-boy, voice of cravings! Your tricks are so old, so TIRED. Yawns.)

What a year will do, or, Sitting around drinkin’ is weird

1 Jul

12:04 pm

Last July 4th, I was at my first sober wedding–I had 18 days, and it was the longest I had not drunk in like, a decade? (This was my “first” 18 days, btw, so a real first. I slipped at 60, then again about a month later, then again at almost six months this past March; I’m now in the double digits again, but I still consider my sober birthday to be last June 13th).

It was a struggle–and a BIG DEAL–mainly because I was at a wedding, and with a bunch of old friends. There was one guy who was going through a divorce, and he and I shared a room. I remember watching him get drunk all over the place, and I remember feeling for the first time that intoxicating (pun intended) mixture of relief and joy that can only come with those first outings sober-when-you-could-have-been-that-idiotic-blackout-drunk. You know that feeling? It was glorious: empowering beyond words.

I also remember noticing, for the first time really, how compulsive his drinking was. I mean, I had drunk with this guy for 15 years, and I was only now noticing that he was drinking too much? It’s not like he had a LOT to drink either, but he drank often: at brunch, then at lunch, then for an afternoon pick-me-up, then again at dinner. I kept thinking, Why does he need to drink now? And now? Is he that bored with my company?

Fast forward to THIS July 4th, and that small voice inside my head has morphed into a veritable chorus: It’s really…WEIRD…that people arrange their social lives around booze, isn’t it? I look to events now and think, Does it have to center around booze? More importantly, why aren’t people aware of the fact that they’re focusing their events around getting drunk? Are we all really that bored with each other? Afraid to socialize sober? Sadly, I think that the answer is yes, for a lot of people.

For this upcoming 4th weekend, one of our friends down here invited a group of us to a bash at his house in America. We’re not going, mostly because it’d be too expensive. And, you know what’s super-awesome, unicorn-parade, glitter-balls-all-around amazing? Instead of thinking, Aww, we don’t get to go and and drink all weekend, the first, second, and third thoughts I had were, Eh, it’s going to be a boozefest and I’d rather not; and, Well, it’s going to be a boozefest and no one’s really going to remember–or appreciate–our being there, so why bother? I’m not that much of a cynic, but in essence, that’s how these events turn out; I would often drink because I was bored of the company, too.

Yes, things have changed. I never thought I’d grow up, actually. And, I realize now that it’s not so much growing up as it is OWNING up–to not just my problem, but a pervasive social norm, which is getting drunk to avoid a shit-ton of scary things that for many people include socializing sober, spending quality time with others, enjoying life instead of escaping it through booze. Making real connections with real people.

I don’t want to sound too smug, though. Different strokes for different folks, I guess, and I would have been first in like with my empty cup getting off that plane–WHERE’S THE WINE, BITCHES?

This 4th? I’m looking forward to taking some days off, sitting on the beach with my boyfriend and dogs, reading, running, planning a (sober) volunteer trip. I love snorkeling; it’s so peaceful gliding through the underwater world, enveloped in silence, watching the schools of blue or silver fish catch the sun and reflect it back in one explosive glint. I love staring at the water, listening to it move and breathe. I can do these things now, tolerate them sober, enjoy them even! And, the idea, the mere thought, of going to an event that is centered around drinking? It doesn’t appeal to me anymore. It doesn’t even make SENSE to me anymore.

In case you didn’t notice, I updated my “big day is here” widget to mark September 14th as my 180-day milestone. Gulp.


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