I suppose it is simplistic to say that addiction impacts one’s quality of life. When I was pounding chardonnay, I found it hard to negotiate or associate or relate (at the risk of sounding like Jesse Jackson) to anything but the next drink. It’s as if my periphery narrowed; life was lived within the confines of a wine glass…
One of the joys of sobriety is experiencing the simple things. The beautifully mundane act of being there for your own life. On Monday, I did four simple, sober things that I would never have been able to do in the old, drinking days and I want to take a moment to be grateful for how uncomplicated my days and nights have become.
4 Simple Sober Things
1. I dealt with the apartment handyman – He is one of those defensive types who always says, “I’ve been so busy,” in answer to any ignored maintenance request. My microwave died and also, for two weeks I have come into the building to find an unsightly, spackled wall – prepared for, but not painted. I sent in a maintenance request for both items and on Monday I ran into the building to get my phone and Brad was on a ladder painting the offending wall. He said, “Are you the microwave?”
If I were drinking, this personification would have set me off, and I would have said something like, “No. I am not the microwave, but I have a broken microwave,” causing Brad to hate me. I just smiled (without irony) and said, “Yes.”
He said, “We’ll get in there and take a look today. And I’m sorry about the wall, but I’ve been so busy and I didn’t think anyone would have a problem with it.”
Okay – I’m getting a little worked up here, because the wall is thirty feet tall, the first thing you see when you walk in the door from the parking lot, and it had about fifty splotches of spackle on it for two weeks. White on taupe. Everyone in the whole world would have a problem with it. But, I just said, “Okay. Thanks.” I was not snide. I did not feel the need to make Brad hate his life. Yay.
2. I drove for 4 hours in the middle of the day – I probably could have done this while I was in active addiction, but I would have taken a roadie. There would be a few shooters in the glove box, or I would stop near the end of the trip for a screw cap bottle and I would have drunk it in the car. While driving 80 MPH on the highway.
3. I made an impromptu visit to my mom – I don’t think there’s an alcoholic out there who has a good relationship with their mother. It was just nice to be in the neighborhood, stop in and see my mother for a couple hours and have nothing else to say about it. No drama. Yay.
4. I met with the manager of the Collegiate Recovery Program at the University of Michigan – Now I can say I went to U of M, right? I will tell you more about that in another post, but it goes without saying (even though I’m saying it) that it is remarkable I am able to connect with the head of a program who helps acclimate students in recovery after treatment and monitors and educates those who are living life on campus sober.
It’s the little things. The simple things.