I always felt kinda ashamed of myself when I went into the liquor store before noon. But after sitting across the street from one for the last month and a half, I don’t anymore. All kinds of folk in and out of there all day long.
In other news, in another era I drank way too much of all of these except for the Ripple.
When I got to the place where I couldn’t stand myself anymore, where I didn’t want to be the person I’d always been. And not do the same things I’d always done, I can see now that’s when I had reached the breaking point.
The pain of being me had broken my very soul. Fuck.
It wasn’t the drinking, it wasn’t ever the drugs. It was me. It wasn’t the traffic or the other drivers. It wasn’t other people at all. Well, it was some of those people…but when that blanket of denial was pulled back just far enough I could see, when a light came on that cast a clarity almost too bright on what I’d been doing to myself nothing ever looked the same again in the days after.
Thinking back to that moment and all the desperate, frantic pain, tortured to tears, completely sober and sick of being myself, that’s when I turned a corner and walked down a path I’d only heard other people talk about.
Today I’ve drawn sober breaths for 7 straight years in a row. 🎉
The picture is from December 2011, the last one from the drinking era. I never wanted to look at the camera. Pictures have a way of capturing our soul, documenting for future generations. For good or for bad.
Today, I’m sure I don’t smell the same.
I am, however, wearing the same White Sox hoodie this very moment.
When I was newly sober, having a list of amends to make was like having a big pile of bills to pay. And I hate that feeling: a stack of checks to write and a list of people and places I owe. It’s just always on my mind, lingering in the back row like somebody murmuring behind you at the movies. When I stopped drinking my conscious woke up and I start hearing the voices of remorse.
And then there was that one time when I was in high school that I stole a whole bunch of books from the public library. It was way back when shoplifting was easy. Go in with a nearly empty backpack, load it up with Hobbit adventures, and walk out. Just be careful and it was really that easy. I didn’t feel any guilt at the time because for whatever reason in my head, the world owed me.