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“Buying” the Sober Life (With the Proper Packaging)

“Buying” the Sober Life (With the Proper Packaging)

“Buying” the Sober Life (With the Proper Packaging)

I bought a new pot of face cream. The package promised to “erase fine lines in a week,” which is great because it’s my birthday today and I wanted to have a wrinkle-free face by that milestone…

 

The Quick Fix…

I mean, I actually bought the cream – $37.99 – because the box said it would work its magic quickly. Isn’t that what we all look for? And it got me thinking. Getting sober is like standing in the Lotion and Creams isle in the drugstore. We are all looking past the seductive packaging for the quick fix.  And discounting the cause – years of self-sabotage. In my case, Bahamian sun, booze, and the inadvisable practice of not removing mascara before bed and scraping it from the tender skin below my eyes with a rough washcloth in the morning…

 

It got me thinking that getting sober is a lot easier than staying sober. Let’s face it –  the long-haul, drudgery of sobriety and the punch in the gut demands when the addicted brain wants what it wants, are about the least fast things one can think of. It takes a lifetime. Just ask the AA old-timers.

 

Imagine the packaging for the product “Sobriety in a Box” – a brightly colored parcel, a symmetrical, smiling model and the promise it’s going to “TAKE YOUR WHOLE LIFE” to get the desired results. Who’d buy that?

 

 

Getting Sober Fast…

For about half of what I paid for the face cream, I can order the book: How to Give Up Drinking Fast and Stay Sober: An Ex-Alcoholic’s Guide to Overcoming Alcohol Addiction. Or a dozen other books promising “speedy recovery.” I haven’t read any of them, but anyone who has done what we have done knows it’s not about fast. And a surefire guide? One size fits all? I don’t think so.

 

But no one is going to choose the book titled Staying Sober is HARD.  With the subtitle:  The chronic nature of the disease may include a relapse or two… 

 

We live in a world where we fix every ill, quickly, prettily, with a pill or an unguent or a Google search. No one should have to suffer unnecessarily. Or, God forbid, walk around with the ravages of a hard life etched on one’s face… We are all like Willy Wonka’s Veruca. I want it now!

 

Benchmarks, Wrinkles & Atta’ Girls…

It is at milestones like birthdays and sober anniversaries when a person should stop and give proper credit to themselves. For doing the hard stuff.  The things that take time and effort. And we should give ourselves a break for continuing to believe the packaging – even when we know better… although I think the face cream really did reduce my fine lines…

 

So, on this birthday I can say I feel pretty darned good about myself. Kim is visiting and I said to her last night, “I might be older, but I am really happy with my body.” I don’t think I have ever said that before. (Although Kim reminded me I used to vogue in the mirror and say it all the time…)

 

What I meant this time, was that I am happy with myself. The body that I possess is clear headed. I am wearing my size twos again because of a consistent, long-term program of rigorous exercise and healthy eating. This person I have become, after all I have been through, is present. I am here for the long haul. And stronger than ever for having eschewed easy.

 

And I am happy with my body and my countenance.

 

Wrinkles and all…

Today I’m not drinking, because it’s my birthday…

 

 

How come you’re not drinking?

E2E – I know you are thinking of me today – I think of you every day…

Comments (14)

  1. Linda Pevac
    Nov 3, 2017

    Well, Happy Birthday, Marilyn! Excellent blog, again. I needed to hear this today. My first year of sobriety (Sept. 18) was all about just not picking up that bottle. I did not fully understand/appreciate that my hard work is now just beginning, now that I’m clear headed. It’s time to start working on why the heck I was so determined to “erase” myself to begin with. My best to you, and thanks again for being part of my recovery efforts<3

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      Nov 4, 2017

      Thank you very much. And thank you for the inspiration. “Erasing” oneself is a great way of putting it. That is exactly what addiction does to a person. And coming out of the fog gives you a chance to reacquaint yourself with, well, YOURSELF. Happy to be here. Happy you’re here too.
      XXXOOO
      M

  2. Tim S
    Nov 3, 2017

    Happy Birthday, Marilyn!

  3. Zentient
    Nov 3, 2017

    How come you're not drinking?
    Because I have a lot of other things to do every day!
    Happy Birthday Maryilyn! Enjoy the day and celebrate your amazing and mysterious life! Thanks for the post. It reminds me that I have to do something every day to remind me I do not drink/drug, no matter what. Meditate, a Refuge Recovery meeting, read, listen to a podcast, be in nature, do a good thing for somebody besides me. Keep the flow going!

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      Nov 4, 2017

      Thanks. And yes – every day we have an opportunity to learn more about sobriety and ourselves. Keep the flow going!
      XXXOOO
      M

  4. Michelle
    Nov 3, 2017

    With my own birthday right around the corner, this post really hit home. I’ve been walking around “with the ravages of a hard life etched on one’s face.” Thanks for being an inspiration, and have a happy birthday!

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      Nov 4, 2017

      Thank you! I can report that even with my new face cream I look pretty much the same… but it’s all good, and the main thing is that I FEEL great. Happy as a lark even though I am a year older. I find that I don’t look for the bad/crazy/wrong like I used to. It is true that positive thinking can change a life.
      XXXOOO
      M

  5. Natalie Crowe
    Nov 3, 2017

    How come you're not drinking?
    I want to say I love my body and the person I am becoming in recovery.
    Happy Birthday! Always look forward to your articles and it is refreshing each time. It was so nice meeting you a couple of times on the walks while I was at Sanford.

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      Nov 4, 2017

      Thank you. And it was a pleasure meeting you too. I hope everything is well for you after treatment – you have SO MUCH going for you… loved your spirit. You are welcome to join us walking if you can get to GR early enough!
      XXXOOO
      M

  6. Annie Oper
    Nov 3, 2017

    Happy Birthday Marilyn!!!! I’m so glad you came back into our lives. This came at a good time for me too! I was stuck at the same weight for two 1/2 weeks after food journaling, sticking to my dietician’s advice and even do some chair exercises. I was thinking of giving up even though I can barely walk until I get my new hip. I stuck with it and lost 2.4 more pounds in a day. It all was waiting. Not exactly the same as alcoholism, but enough that I can really relate. We’ll have to have some carrots and hummus to celebrate your birthday next time you come to Flint. Love ya.

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      Nov 4, 2017

      Congratulations. And yes carrots, hummus, tea and sympathy. I think you are right – sometimes a plateau-break or something that seems impossible happens when we least expect (wait for) it. The watched pot theory. I will call you next time I am in town.
      Love,
      Mare

  7. KB
    Nov 4, 2017

    Happy Birthday and All the Best with Many More Marilyn !!!!!!!

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