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For the longest time, the program and my sobriety simply meant this to me: a laundry list of things I couldn’t do. I felt like I was on permanent injured reserve.

For some reason I equated the freedom to intoxicate myself with living a full, happy life, even though the end result was always to drown time; to get through and get over. Classic motivations of a depressive to be sure, but my alcoholism didn’t see it that way. Not that it has ever told me exactly how it sees things; only that I needed to be quarantined, sectioned off, isolated and alone. And all of a sudden, I’m missing out. On what I have no idea, but out there, somewhere, fun is being had.  So many things that I didn’t join in on when I drank, I now resented?

I wasn’t a bar drinker. Nobody knew my name. I was an undercover maintenance drinker: I was running poorly on two hamster wheels. To what end, for what reason? I was exerting a tremendous amount of energy just to half-ass everything.

Today, there’s no list of “to don’ts” on the fridge. That’s drudgery. And I’m not suggesting that it’s as easy as turning everything into a game, or hiding the veggies in the potatoes. Chores are chores. But today, I try not to do them in order to get to something else. Chores are not obstacles to other, more enjoyable things. That’s limiting big chunks of my life into various Tupperwares marked with self-fulfilling titles such as, “Another Work Day to Get Through”, and “God-damned Weeds”.

Add sleep to those numbers and the actual time I spend enjoying a day can fall well below a healthy level. Now I’m resentful of the weeds and the garden they’re in. Now I’m questioning my efforts. Now I’m doubting the point. That line of thinking is why they make sofa-sleepers.

Today, be mindful of the dishes I’m doing and nothing else. There is no dusting the bathroom in ten minutes. There is only this fork, this soapy water, this sponge.

Today: suck it up and soak it in. Then wring it out over the sink and put it somewhere it can get dry, otherwise it’ll be covered in germs and bacteria come morning.

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