One Year Sober & So What....
There is no magic in sobriety. Nothing gets unlocked or discovered. A year ago, I fell in love with a poet who had been sober for a while & I had already wanted to try getting control of my drinking & being with them made it easy. A year ago, I had my last real cocktail just before ending my first visit to Portland. I am no longer in love with that poet & very in love with Portland & still sober.
I wanted this to be something more elaborate but I’ve been waiting for the right time to say sobriety is boring. It’s lackluster. Frustrating & yet its material benefits also vary. I am glad to be sober, let me clarify, but to find glee in choice or will power feels unnecessarily indulgent (which i’m otherwise down for but here feels trite).
I just decided I needed to be done. I just decided I didn’t want to. I am not more avoidant of bars. I like the buzz of the room enough & bar food still. My father has been sober my whole life. My mother only drinks with a meal & usually never finishes a single glass. I wasn’t predisposed. I was prohibited in high school & mostly followed the rules. In college I was trying to die & alcohol was only one way. It wasn’t until after college, after non-profit hell, after haunting Boston & Detroit, after extensive therapy (where i omitted my problem), after returning to my home state of California, after falling in another temporary love, did it just click.
It took me weeks to sleep through the night. I still get so lonely sometimes. People are fucking rude & weird about it. I don’t know what to say. I feel no moral high ground & am blessed with low temptation sensors. I don’t give a fuck outside of my personal control. I have never been to a group meeting about it. I just stopped drinking & feel powerful.
It is a new baseline to hold myself. A higher bottom to hit than before. I live with manic depression & disassociate more than I prefer. Alcohol numbed the worst symptoms of these realities, that safety net is gone. However, every day I don’t drink is another day I retained some modicum of power for myself.
My writing hasn’t gotten any better. I’m not more brilliant. My genius stresses me to greater depths. My sadness has gotten a whole new wardrobe of clothes to parade before me. My joy is finally coming out of it’s room still not ready for the world but incrementally ready for the day. My stammer is returned & my mouth is a new kind of embarrassing. I forgot how much my body weighed. I look amazing. My writing hasn’t gotten any better. I hoped it would, sorta, but also feel this odd relief all those years were actually wasted doused in malt liquor.
I’m grateful as ever but lonely. I am successful as ever & devastated. I am here as ever & now.