sober lifestyle


You want to feel like the world is deserted? Take a walk in the pouring rain. I didn’t see a single soul while out getting my feet soaked in the neighborhood this morning…not that I minded. Hell, at that same time my poor husband was fighting crowds (and the frustration of not being able to find what’s on the list) at our local GIANT, and who wouldn’t rather be out in nature with puddles in their shoes than getting bumped into by oblivious cart-pushers and staring at an empty shelf where the chamomile tea used to be?

Ugh! I just got the whams thinking of being in a grocery store parking lot during a pandemic. I don’t even want to think about going inside the store! And he does this every week! 😱

My husband takes good care of me. He always has. The man even wrote into his wedding vows a promise to always keep me plied with my precious Diet Mountain Dew. No joke, although it’s become our running joke. I used to guzzle that shit back in my 20s when we met, but then again, I’ve always guzzled everything I got my hands on. My hubby knew that about me from the start and grew to love me anyway. He somehow kept loving me — and doing it from the same side of the same bed — when the relatively harmless poison of aspartame and caffeine was supplanted by mood-altering/soul-darkening fermented agave juice — straight, no chaser.

It’s a cliche to say you can’t live without someone, but maybe some fellow addicts out there will understand me when I state — as definitively as one can state something speculative — that I would not be alive today without my husband.

I’d like to think he has to play protector a lot less, now that I’m not always drunk. But in reality, since I got sober 265 days ago, he’s just been wielding another type of shield.

He has stood between my overly fragile, hypersensitive — and now that I sit here writing this, I realize I need to add “incredibly spoiled” — newly-sober self and everything that makes me feel unsafe.

I mean, he’s the reason we didn’t have to move into someone’s basement when I was forced to change careers and start at the bottom of a new field. He’s the reason we own this cozy little home in a beautiful and peaceful Newtown neighborhood in the first place, because when we bought it, my ass was perfectly happy day-drinking on the porch of a shitty apartment and not bothering to plan for a different future.

Flash forward to nearly nine months of sobriety, and not only has he not brought a drop of alcohol into our home since July 7, 2019 — he was the one who handed over the last few drops in that last bottle of Patron to our taken-by-surprise neighbor, because I felt too awkward to do it — and stopped drinking around me entirely, but he’s joined me in embracing recovery via therapy and weekly meetings. He’s made sure I had access to every non-alcoholic creature comfort I wanted, from candles to Cool Whip, and put up with my not wanting to go anywhere or do anything (even pre-COVID19), and my going to bed when it’s still light out every evening, and turning on the same old murder mystery or HBO shows we’ve already seen 12 times or episodes of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” when he has no idea why there’s a truly awful D-movie with robot silhouettes superimposed at the bottom playing on our TV screen…

That was probably my longest-running run-on sentence ever, and I could still go on.

Because I have him, I was able to retreat into my little sober bubble where I felt like everything was OK, and not pay attention to much of anything else. Not to suggest that getting sober is easy or that I’m just swaddled in a blanket sucking my thumb over here (at least not at this moment.) But, for all intents and purposes, my world really would be deserted if I didn’t have my husband.

This post wasn’t intended to be a love letter, not that there’s anything wrong with it becoming that. It’s more of a realization, that in a bizarre time of panic over scarcity, real and perceived, when everyone is scared to death that there won’t be enough healthcare, jobs, money, food, toilet paper, (apparently) chamomile tea — you name it — to get them through, I have everything I could possibly ever need.

I have my health, my hubby, my sobriety, my family (no, I didn’t forget you guys even though you live far away!) AND an umbrella, so I don’t even have to skip my weekend walks. Right now, wet feet are the worst of what I’m facing, and right now is all there is, isn’t it?

It’s difficult now for any of us to plan for a different future. I feel incredibly fortunate to be safe and happy right where my squishy shoes are today.

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