So the day has arrived. Today you are sober. And you stand there, looking around with your whole life to start living again.
People talk about when you get sober, it’s a chance to start over. And it truly is a real thing. Starting over meaning reliving everything and anything that you do with fresh eyes, a new mindset, a different mentality and an awareness that wasn’t there before.
Sure.... at my age I've experienced many things, been many places, met many people. But how many of those events... how many of those moments were lived while I was in my fog of alcoholism?
So many years everything that I did, there was one thing that was the common denominator—alcohol. It was a constant in my world. I woke up to it, I watched t.v with it, I grocery shopped with it, I dined with it, I showered with it, I gardened with it, I vacationed with it, I danced with it, I played games with it, I slept with it....... I lived with it.
Where I was... it was.. and vise versa.
So when everything I’ve done, and everything I’ve known I’ve been under the influence, that makes everything now that I try... like it’s the first time. So the whole “starting over” thing that I first looked at as just a figure of speech....is in a big way a very real thing.
Then I was told we have a day at the beach planned with Corey's sister and her family, and I was psyched! I was excited. Sure, I’ve been on outings like this before but it always was accompanied by the essentials— a beach bag and a bottle. How would all this go without my usual buzz?
Well, I’ll tell you. And for those of you who are reading this and know what I’m talking about you have to agree with what I’m about to say. It’s different. Now you’re saying. “Well, obviously it’s different... you are missing the staple that was always a regular part of the whole experience.”
It’s different because you notice EVERYTHING. You are aware of your surroundings. Everything from how loudly the group 100 feet away from you slurringly sings Home of the Brave, to the whiff of marijuana in the air every once in a while, to the brand of beer on a can, to noticing people’s special colorful cups wondering what concoction might be inside, to the closed coolers carried, so cautiously by their owners, as if it were a treasure chest.
That shit is inevitable... and I most likely will always notice it because I’m an alcoholic. It’s like asking a cop not to take note of a driver rolling through a stop sign when he’s off duty. It’s what we knew and lived for so long... you just still notice.
I tell you this because I’m being honest. However, those things are so small compared to the reward of all the things you notice that are beautiful. You notice the feeling of the warmth of the sun, the coarseness of the sand, the breeze that comes at just the right moment to cool you off, the ripple of the waves, the laughs of his nephews, the roar of the boat’s engines, the blue of the sky, and the shape of the clouds.
All of these things would have been there today no matter what, and I was truly present for all of it. And because I was sober, I got to experience my "first day at the beach."
P.S. I'm Grateful