Lately I’ve been getting the sense that life isn’t that much different sober. I mean, I don’t have to deal with being ill and all the remorse and self-loathing and nonsense that comes with drinking and hangovers, sure. That’s definitely different. But, now that I’m passed the withdrawal stage(s), now that I’m moving beyond–over, I’d say–the cravings; I feel like Life (with a capital L) is still the same.
It’s hard to put my finger on it, but I don’t feel all that much different sober, personally. I’m still a hard worker, when I want to be. I’m still goal-oriented. I still like running, and animals, and music, and writing, and traveling…and all the other million things in this world that make me “me.” I’m just not obsessed with drinking at the end of my days! I’m happier, in general, sure, but it’s not like life is SO much better, or SO much different. I can see more clearly, yes, and my moods have improved. I can rely on my plans, mainly because I know that I’ll wake up in the morning and be able to follow through–yet, I would try to follow through anyway, it was just a billion times harder with a raging hangover. Maybe I’m just used to not drinking now, and all that comes with it.
I’m coasting. YIKES. Me? I keep waiting for the wolf to pounce, for the desire to drink to roar up out of the hole I buried it in; for the blood-sucking vampire to emerge, in full form, from the grave. I keep waiting, checking over my shoulder every few days to see if it’s following me, the wolf or the vampire. (Where art thou, Sparkle-toothed Unicorn?) I’m not sure I’m out of the woods. Truth be told, I know I’m not.
See, if I let my guard down and open a bottle of red, I’d down the whole thing, I’m sure. And then, I’d head off in search of another, I know. Sigh. How can I seem so confident and then realize, by the same token, that I’m still beholden to this compulsion? In other words, I can say all I want about how “good” I feel being sober, but I’d probably get drunk if I could. And, even more maddening, it wasn’t ALWAYS like this. There were days, let’s say when I was 28, 29, 30 years old (just 8 years ago), when I NEVER could have imagined that this obsession–this desire to down oceans of wine instead of one or two glasses–would have such a hold on me. I don’t remember thinking about drinking back then, outside of when I was actually drinking.
Anyway… Today marks 10 WEEKS, or 70 days! Wow. It’s the longest I’ve gone. I never tried to not drink, and over the past 10 years, I should have–I really should have. (It takes what it takes, as they say in AA.) The closest I came was 60 days in August, and now I’ve gone past that by 10. I’m looking ahead toward 90, but I’m not expecting it to drop a pot of gold on my head or anything; life is life, death is death, by turns glorious and surreal.
(I do wonder, though, what I’d be like if I was holding down a “real” job (read: office, deadlines, bitchy editor), or if I was living alone in [cold east coast city]. I’ve constructed a life here that’s pretty temptation-less, and so far, somewhat contained. When the time comes, I’ll deal, right? Right. Let go and let God. ;))