I feel kind of odd posting this here. Every other sober “birthday” I’ve had, I’ve acknowledged on the old diaryland site. But one must embrace change, and I don’t want to add any new posts there as I’m really trying to direct traffic here.
So here I am – nine years sober. I was out last night at a benefit event, one for which many bands I deeply loved during the 90s (the years I really honed my craft as a professional hot mess) reunited to play, among them Curious Ritual, The 360’s, and of course Permafrost.
I don’t often “make a night of it” anymore, primarily because I simply don’t enjoy crowds (one of the reasons I drank was to make this more bearable). But the music has never let me down, even the music I associate with some of the darkest hours in my active alcoholism. And, to that end, neither have many of my friends from that period, even though they had every reason to write me off, what with my penchant for storming out of places in a huff, bouts of crying, and fondness for manufactured misery.
Even with nine years of sobriety behind me, it’s really only been recently – in the last couple of years – that I’ve truly begun in earnest to rid myself of THAT habit. I don’t have much patience for it anymore, and try to avoid people who still enjoy distracting themselves with purely unnecessary drama. It makes me uncomfortable and annoyed, and that’s mainly because it’s behavior that I recognize in myself and don’t wish to fall back into. I’m 40 years old – I don’t need it. It was exhaustingly puerile enough at 25.
Let me tell you – my life these days is about accuracy, accounting, dusting the tops of the doorways (because even if nobody SEES it, it’s clean), and being in bed most nights by 11. And frankly, this is goddamn awesome. Because when I do the next right thing – which is to say the adult, responsible thing – I am able to write more, write better, have fun, sleep well, and generally feel as though I’m no longer trying to stop anchors from sinking. It is vastly preferable to deliberately planting landmines and then being shocked – shocked! – when they explode in my face.
I’m grateful that I can be at a show, laugh with Linda and Carolyn and Ad and all these people who are still my friends, have my face rocked off, and remember it all the next day. I’m grateful that I can be moved by the music without having to “enhance” it. I’m grateful that I can simply have a nice night out.