Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Yep, Another Analogy

Sometimes I forget, but my first step toward sobriety wasn't MM, my first step was actually this blog. This was my first public cry for help.

I received a comment on one of my earlier posts yesterday-a post written back when I was still going through that old back-and-forth tug-o-war with drinking. The reader asked, "At 50 years old, how do you make up for 30 years of drinking? How did you not blow it?"

My answer was, "You can't make up for it, all you can do is make your remaining years ones you don't have to make up for. 7 years later and I still don't have all the answers, but I know my life is better without alcohol, and I have worked to build a life I don't want to put at risk by drinking again, that's what keeps me from going back."

As usual, I kept thinking about that question and thought of a lot better answers, one of them being, You realize that the past is always going to be there and you can't go back and repaint that picture. You can keep trying to drink enough to make that ugly painting look better but, no matter how much you drink, you realize it is still as ugly as you painted it, you're only blurring it's stark reality. Or, you can finally grow a pair and start painting a new painting, a painting you know is going to hang right beside that old painting for the rest of your life. You'll have to look at that painting of your past every day, but now you have something else to look at also. It's a work in progress, but luckily you have that other painting hanging right there where you can always see it, so you don't repeat your mistakes.

Monday, April 9, 2018

There I Go Acting Childish Again!

I have a friend who is new to sobriety and I'm getting to experience the wonders of it again through his eyes. He makes me want it back, all that childlike wonder, so I'm actively pursuing it these days.

Do you remember what the first day of summer was like when you were a kid? How you had that endless expanse of time laid out in front of you in which anything could happen, and how you only ever imagined good things happening? That's how I've been trying to approach every day lately. Like I'm a kid who has tunnels to China to dig and treehouses to build. As though all the drudgery is too far away to worry about right now. I gotta say, it's working for me.

So, today the task is to look at the day with child-like eyes. What do you see? I see me eager to get back to work on the greatest book ever written, the one that's going to be more famous than Harry Potter, Gone With the Wind and Fifty Shades of Gray because a kid has no idea that 99.9% of books never make it to any editor's desk and even if they did, they wouldn't worry about that because they know their book is too good not to make it. Then, I'm going to splash around in the pool. Later, I might walk downtown to get an ice cream bar because, as a kid, I don't worry about calories.

Oh, and I'm not going to worry if my feet or shoes are dirty when I come in the house until someone hollers at me to wipe my feet and quit tracking in dirt. Because, really, is that so important?

Some people would say this is a frivolous outlook to have, sobriety is all about drudgery and dealing with reality without the childlike wonder that alcohol provide, even if briefly and fickle-ly-see, as I child I can make up words if I want. I say, "Bullhockey!" Wonder and joy are not frivolous, they are integral to our sobriety's survival. If you're not feeling them, you are in danger and you need to be in active pursuit. Like a kid who is "it" in a hot summer's night game of hide-and-seek.