I have to say, the past few days have been relatively…easy. I’ve only known this studio apartment — I rented it last September out of desperation to cut a few minutes off my horrifying 3-hour commute to and from “the Valley” (what tipped me over the alcoholic edge) — as a place where I fretted, thought, got drunk, hated life. Not drinking here hasn’t been the dramatic experience I thought it would be, though. In fact, the place feels empty. The walls and ceiling stare at me in silence.
What I think it is, is a reflection. Yes, a reflection of the good, calming silence staring back at them that is coming from ME.
Sure, I’ve had cravings, but not intense ones. I’ve got the bottle of red on the kitchen counter and I’d love to drink it (I spend way too much time thinking about it, though, too much brain space; but, it does make me feel excited now and again with anticipation, which is worth the $10, I guess). However, this is, well, a superficial thought. In fact, I’ve come to realize how many superficial thoughts, thoughts that come and go, that I have surrounding drinking. Now, deeper thoughts seem to abound — slower, more sustaining brain waves — pushing me through the sluggish waters of craving, of memory, of indecision, of getting stuck on one or two or three negative thoughts.
Could it be that I am getting more practiced at being sober, at focusing my mind on staying sober? Could it be that I have truly changed the way I think, and that one day, I could come back to thinking “normally” about my life, time passing, everyday “mundane” reality? It’s possible. Or, maybe I’m just having a good moment?
It’s not that I don’t want to NOT drink, but I don’t really want TO drink either. Life is boring, get over it. LOL More like, I know the cycle. But, I also feel something…else. Something deeper that’s holding me, filling me up with a simple calm. Which calm will be fucking shattered if I partake. Which calm will be disrupted and may bring rushing back all the bad memories of shit times had in this space while drunk (several noise complaints, an eviction warning, partying one night with a few crackheads off the street and ending with one stealing my bag…the list goes on and on). Reading, watching internet TV, cooking, working, just sitting here — these all seem not only much less vexing to do sober but also much more…OK. Satisfying might be too much of a stretch. OK, yes. OK, in a better way than just OK. Settling. Sustaining. It’s like, I’m coasting on a long surfboard and everything is riding on me staying balanced. I’ve gotten so much more done since getting sober, I’ve invested in actual change — work, projects, travels, relationship(s). Why break my stride?
It’s the concept of being sober that I like, that is so calming. That concept is a reality. My reality is what I’ve created it to be. I am in control. This is sobriety, too, not just NOT drinking when you want to drink. Why would I choose drinking over a long, calm ride down that wave?
Maybe this could be my Higher Power? Yeah, I still feel like drinking, but I’m going to go out (I live downtown and haven’t been out at all at night here, for anything, since getting home on Monday) and…get some ice cream. It’s cold here, as usual, and I feel somewhat claustrophobic compared to sleeping literally next to the Atlantic Ocean — walking and ice cream are my friends. (Maybe I’ll even watch more of the RNC speeches — who can resist Clint Eastwood forgetting to finish every other sentence? Gah.)