Sunday, September 13, 2015

Four Years Of Breathtaking Normalcy

I am one of those dumbasses who waited until alcohol had painted such a bleak picture that normal life took on the shimmer and light of a Thomas Kinkade painting, so full of effusive light spilling out of windows and glistening every day life that it made my chest ache with longing.  I wanted that so bad but I thought it was a fairy tale.

And it was.

Real life doesn't glisten.  There aren't mittened skaters holding hands and doing loop-de-loops out on frozen ponds around every corner in the winter. Sometimes winter is just cold and bitter. Summer days can be endless and sweaty.  And those rose smothered thatch roofed cottages that Kinkade paints so well would have to have wasps' nests under the eaves. And I'm still lazier and rounder in the middle than I want to be.

Welcome to Sobriety, the Normal Life edition.

The other day I drove to Colorado Springs to look at a dog. (Yes, I'm getting the itch.)  I headed home dogless but on the way back I spotted a side road that lead along a stream.  It's fall here and the colors are starting to change and the light is so amazingly I took the road.  I drove for about twenty minutes along this sparkling stream and it hit me, I had become so accustomed to this, this freedom, that I've come to think of  it as normal.  Nothing special.  Run of the mill.

I had to remind myself that four years ago, the thought of driving into town for groceries almost sent me into a panic attack.  I would have probably had to have had a couple of glasses or more of wine before I had calmed or revived myself enough to go.

Talk about bleak..

Now, here I was driving along a back road without a speck of panic in my veins, without the constant weariness I had come to think of as normal, without the itch to get home or reach for the bottle under the seat. Instead the window was rolled down, the radio was blasting and I was at ease. I had all the time in the world.

It took my breath away.

Yesterday, the cap'n and I donned waders and got out in our stream above to toss around boulders to build the cascade you see upriver.  For a little while we forgot we were old and any slip on the slippery riverbed could result in fractures of very necessary bones and we splashed and stomped and whooped it up and grabbed onto each other to keep from falling.

Until we were breathless.

Then we sat back and admired our work and the music the water made as it tumbled over the rocks.

Last night we lit a fire in the fire pit and watched the flames dance and the sparks erupt while the stars peeked down from above.  There were no bleak thoughts or worries that the morning would demand payment, except for aching backs and shoulders from all that boulder tossing.

Kind of sounds like a fairy tale doesn't it?

But it isn't.

It's just normal life. The Sober Edition.

P.S. You know I actually started out writing this post with the intention of passing on the news that sober life isn't all glitter and gold, but that normal has it's own reward.  As is usual, my Co-Writer had other ideas and I guess he took this opportunity to remind me to take more notice.

Sobriety does glisten.

Hey you, up there, thanks for reminding me.

P.P.S. One of my friends on the MM forum reminded me that Thomas Kinkade died of acute alcohol and valium intoxication.  As I read more about his death at 54 I found out he had apparently had been arrested and served ten days in jail on a DUI charge eighteen months before his death. Two months before his death, he was found unconscious and spent days in a coma and was told if he didn't get help, he would die.
There but for the Grace of God...

Hey you, up there, thanks again.


  1. Congratulations!!!! Love your sober work. And get a dog! We have one - he's 5 months old and gorgeous. Quite a bit of work at first but wouldn't trade him for anything. Very easy to love xx

  2. Thank you, dear. I think I'll look for a dog when I get down to Mexico next month, so many poor homeless ones down there and the adoption process isn't quite as rigorous there. I had to fill out a 6 page form the other day and give references! I understand the need, I do, but still.

  3. Congratulations, Kary, and THANK YOU! I need to know that there is glorious glitter when you ditch the witch!

    Inching ever closer...

    1. Honey, you already shimmer. I'm going to have to pull out my sunglasses when you reach the pot of gold.

  4. love it! beautiful description of nature and all that life holds!

  5. Love this so much. Congratulations on your 4 years. I'm fond of this year, personally. And what a perfect message that, yes, sober life isn't a perfect happily ever after. But...if we stick with it, there is magic in every little moment and beauty at every turn. Beautiful post, hopeful and funny and true.

  6. Sobriety and normal glistens and shines and since I am all about the bling, it fits me very well.

    And you my friend are golden.


  7. Happy 4 years!!
    I need a dog, too!
    I'm with Sherry!
    Bling looks nice on me!
    So does sobriety!