sober lifestyle

Trigger

Everything I loved most in the world was at that table: my hubby, the Cubbies (symbolically, at least), tequila…and freedom.

We were about to fly from snowy Philadelphia to sunny Phoenix for a weeklong Spring Training vacation in Mesa, and although we were sitting in a cramped corner of a nondescript airport bar, the promise of fulfilling a lifelong dream, plus the blissful buzz of those first few drinks, made that moment feel like paradise. ☀️🧢😎

Oh my God, those moments when you’re right smack dab in the sweet spot between reality and intoxication, when all seems right with the world and your place in it! I still grieve for those moments.

Sometimes, I wonder if I always will.

I was overcome with grief when the above picture popped up on my phone screen Saturday morning, as I sat in my therapist’s office waiting for my appointment to start. Facebook memories nearly always trigger an emotional reaction, and it makes sense, because pretty much anything I posted prior to my sobriety date — July 7, 2019, not even 2 years ago — involved alcohol. A.K.A., my ex-best friend.

The memories aren’t all bad.

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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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