sober lifestyle

Enjoyment

One way I tried to feel close to home this holiday season was to tune in to “The Score,” my go-to Chicago sports radio station, via an app on my phone. I listened on my daily walks through the neighborhood, gritting my teeth through the copious commercials — Radio.com has replaced its ear-wormy Kars4Kids ads with repetitive plugs for some Astros scandal podcast 🙉 — in order to hear host Dan Bernstein and guests break down the Bears’ big make-or-break matchup with the Packers in today’s regular-season finale.

They touched on other topics, but the resident NFL football team and its many flaws, particularly its beleaguered GM, coaching staff and quarterback, dominated the discussion.

I’ve been thinking about something that was said for the past several days.

A guy wrote in to Bernstein’s show, taking to task all the Bears fans who actively root for failure in this Packers game because they want to blow up the team and start over. The thinking is, by getting beat and thus missing the playoffs, Bears ownership will have no choice but to make a change — fire Ryan Pace, axe Matt Nagy, end the Mitch Trubisky era once and for all…in other words, get rid of everyone responsible for these past two subpar seasons. You know how this stuff goes. It’s par for the pro sports course.

So, this guy wrote in to “The Score” to scold all the city’s Negative Nellies. His letter said, and I’m paraphrasing here: “If you can’t enjoy what you have in the moment, with your team in a position to beat a hated rival (at least in theory) and extend its season/get one step closer to the Super Bowl, simply because the team/franchise is imperfect, you need to turn in your sports fan card and find another hobby.”

Such wisdom! From a sports radio listener! 😳

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sober lifestyle

Certainty

Celebrating a sweet Chicago Sunday on my Monday sunrise walk. Forgive the tired face; it was smashed into a pillow like 10 minutes prior to taking this pic. 🥱

Sunday was the first time in a long time that I sat down and intentionally watched sports. It was a “safe” endeavor, given my complete lack of skin in the Eagles-Washington game — which, come to think of it, lacked “skin” altogether, now that the home team has dropped its controversial nickname.

“Safe” is all I do these days, now that I’m sober.

Of course, the second that game was decided, the sports gods LOLed at my snugness (and smugness), and FOX switched to the final seconds of Bears-Lions. Detroit had the ball down 4, with favorable field position and plenty of time to snag the winning score. Then, before I could change the channel in a panic, they had it — no, they dropped it! — and Matthew Stafford was launching one more last-ditch pass…😱

This was precisely the type of emotionally-charged, unpredictable situation I have been strenuously trying to avoid for the past 14 1/2 months.

It’s almost — no, it’s exactly — like I don’t want to feel things I can no longer numb with a drink. 🤔

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sober lifestyle, Uncategorized

Identity

For Secret Santa at work, they asked us to write three things about ourselves on a piece of paper, to give the person who ends up picking our name a clue for how to spend their 20 bucks.

I wrote: 1. Chicago sports fan; 2. Love scented candles; 3. No booze.

Yeah, I’m not sure the last one was really necessary. I could’ve just said I drink coffee, or something. At the same time, I’ve seen plenty of bottles change hands in office gift exchanges over the years, and I’m not ready to even hold one in my hands to re-gift it at this point.

Over the past five months, not drinking alcohol has become the biggest thing about me there is. It’s the headline of my bio. The plot of my story. It’s even listed in my Twitter profile, right there alongside my pledged allegiance to the Cubs and Bears.

Thank goodness for the sports thing, by the way, or I’d have literally nothing to talk about with people outside of recovery meetings. As it is, I have to stop myself from blurting out, “I’m [X number of] days sober!” every time someone asks “How are you?” Continue reading “Identity”