Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Yes, It Is!!
Day 357 of Sobriety
I was sitting out on the front porch of my shitty little apartment shooting the shit with my neighbor, Kyvan, this evening. Kyvan is a driller in the oil field, and if you know much about oil field workers, you know that about the closest most of them get to refinement is what happens to that stuff that they're drilling that big hole and losing a few fingers for.. I can say that with pride because my daddy spent 30+ years in the oil field and he always liked to make note of all the years he spent in the field and the fact that he retained all of his digits.
Kyvan is also a recovered alcoholic and drug addict with 12 years of sobriety under his belt, I know this because my friend/landlady told me that Kyvan's first day of sobriety was the day he moved in next door, which was 12 years ago. I also know this because another friend told me that Kyvan helped her daughter get off the crack and booze.
Kyvan does not know I am an alcoholic. Or he didn't, but when we were discussing our mutual acquaintance, the daughter of my friend, I thought it appropriate that I let him in on my little secret.
"You know," I said, "I'm an alcoholic, too."
"It'll be a year within the next week," I added with what I thought was just the right amount of humility.
"Well," Kyvan replied thoughtfully, running his tongue under his bottom lip as if he was getting ready to let go with a big wad of chew (which he also gave up 12 years ago), "Ya gotta start somewhere."
I blinked at him dumbfounded for a minute, and then I burst out laughing.
Who was I to think that my peasly, measly, almost year would impress him? I'm sure he's seen the likes of me come and go and come and go again.
And then I thought of how I view the people with all those years of saying, "No" under their belts and how it must be so blase for them now and how the struggle has got to be practically non-existent for them. And really, after all those years do they really deserve much attention? Certainly not as much as I, who still thinks about drinking on a daily basis, and even today had an occasion to think, "I wish I could have a drink before I do this."
And then I thought of how I view the people who are just starting out, the ones that are getting their Day 1's, and Day 30's, and Day 100's under their belt and the pull of the booze is still the stronger opponent in their game of tug-of-war and I'm still not putting my bets on them because that ground under their feet is still to damn slippery.
And then I made myself remember how hard-won and amazing every one of my 357 days have been and how proud and thankful I was/am when I woke/wake up in the morning after making the choice not to drink the day before.
And then I made myself look ahead and try to picture myself 10 or 20 years from now and I wonder if I will have let my sobriety become monotonous or if I will forget how hard I struggled and how much I valued my early sobriety. How will I keep myself from being tempted to relinquish this miracle? Will all that time spent sober some how fool me, once again, into believing I am in control.
I looked into Kyvan's 12 years sober eyes and I could see the gratitude and pride that I knew was mirrored in my own 357 days sober eyes.
That's when I realized that every day we stay sober is a Big Fucking Deal!