Friday, October 7, 2016

Perverse Pleasure

If you asked me what I love about sobriety, I would say, the starkness and solitude of it. If I was going to paint a word picture of that starkness, it would be a shaft of winter sunlight piercing through a window with plain cotton curtains onto a weathered gray table with a centerpiece of fruit. Or, a still as a church, snow covered prairie with a lone tree stripped of its leaves and one lonely set of footprints.

For so long I feared that starkness, it is exactly what I didn't want. I wanted whirling lights and ringing laughter and the never ever alone-ness of drinking.

But then, the laughter became hollow and the lights dizzying and I found myself so many times alone in a crowd. At least I thought I was. Was I the only one that had begun to dread the life I thought I loved?  Was I the only one who kept drinking long after I wanted to stop?

Was I the only one scared to death to imagine a life stripped down and myself naked?

I received this comment the other day from a friend of mine who read my book:

"I didn't start reading your book because of my drinking, but you got me thinking
maybe I should be thinking about it. Your description of how you are
seeing the world sober, was an eye opening reminder for me. I have
never been one for New Years Eve partying because I take a perverse
pleasure in waking up with a clear head when the rest of the world has
a hangover."

I agree. There is a certain perverse pleasure in knowing I am one of a hardy but small population who is sober when the rest of the world seems to be gleefully drunk or not-so-gleefully hungover.

There is a special-ness. Even a superior-ness. As though I've been chosen. 

But I know that's not true, because I know everyone that suffers can make the choice. 

We are not chosen. 

We choose...

The perverse and seldom achieved pleasure.

We choose...



  1. Today I choose serenity, too!

  2. I thought you might. Funny, most drinking people would probably think of serenity as boring, but I haven't got tired of it yet.

  3. Beautifully written, and so true. Like you, I am shocked to realize I was avoiding life while I was drinking. The shaft of light you describe is piercing, and it can be lonely, but I love feeling that I'm not hiding from the world anymore. Big thanks to you for your words xo

  4. Big Thanks back at ya for your words. It is wonderful to live starkly, isn't it?

  5. Thank you. This has helped me. I am feeling very alone lately, my life has changed so much, after over 2 years sober. I will try and see the aloneness from another perspective instead of feeling rather hurt by it.

  6. Woah this is just the best most timely thing I could have read right now. Thank you! I have felt very alone and feeling sorry for myself weekend. Your words are a good reminder that I choose this life, and for all the tricky thoughts and bumps in the road, I am living honestly, fully and starkly.

  7. Amen.
    For me it is stillness and peace. Perhaps it is stark. But it is crystal clear and beautiful and I no longer feel lonely, not even when I am alone.