No one talked about insobriety-related problems when I was growing up. Not just familial, but any media. While it’s a weird, controversial thought: If there’d been even one source of media, one cartoon, that accurately addressed how terrible it is to live with this aching sense of addiction aimed at children, I probably wouldn’t have started. But then, if something like this existed, would I be here? Or would someone else be writing this column?
There is strength in experience.
I can work as hard as I do in part because my experiences tell me that there is no other choice. Do I want to return to being strung out, wishing every day to get drunk so I wouldn’t have to deal with life? Not anymore, but that was a thought that plagued my early months of sobriety. Now it’s just more of a minor annoyance on most days. I don’t like thinking back to those days and those times, but in a way, it’s important for me to dredge through those sensations and write about them or how I’m living now to produce that which might have helped me along years ago.
Let’s say I never drank.
Let’s say instead of finding the allure of escapism appealing, what would have happened if I hadn’t? Would I be living a life that was wrought with misery, not being able to even consider this life’s mission and goals of writing “The Story?” I imagine that the version of me that wouldn’t have gotten into alcohol, either completely or to the level that I had, might have continued in a career path that was decent enough for him. He never really liked it, but it was the first good field he could get into. Maybe he’d have achieved some level of success I don’t have? Maybe, if he’d heard the stories of this version of me, he’d leave well enough alone?
That’d be the hope and dream.
Because as much as I like being on this path that I’m on, it’s hard. Not many people really understand it. They can empathize, but they don’t really know how it’s like. The best I can describe it is, on those terrible days, living a gray world where nothing is interesting, and there is nothing worth doing other than indulging in some escapism. The more powerful the escape, the better. It should be a distraction so powerful that it clouds out any of the negative talk and sensations that cloud my inner judgment. It should be just enough to where I can wade through the next few hours then go to bed, wake up, and keep on doing the same thing.
In a sense, it’s being OK with avoiding stress.
Instead, I tend to face it directly. Today, not so much. I’m feeling physically sick: a sore throat, phlegm, runny nose, and fatigue. Everyone can understand that. That is a sickness everyone can see and perceive.
Needing to drink more than anything isn’t as perceivable.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Feeling like shit.|
|Related: Other Sober Living essays.|
|Picture: Celeste is a good distraction. I’ve been playing it a bit too much lately but it’s nice when I’m feeling sick like this to not focus on that sickness.|
|Written On: February 1st [30 minutes]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft.|