The Sober Smarts


I’m like the rat in Flowers for Algernon. I am so clear headed and thirsty for learning I surprise myself. Some days I’m like Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds – the one with the obscure facts, top of mind, the speed-reading, goody-two-shoes at the front of the class with the gold star.  Let me give you a rundown on a typical day and remind you I am just two and a half years sober and new to the workforce after a twenty-five year sabbatical (if sabbatical = drunken, international party).

I woke at 4 o’clock and polished the two blog pieces I wrote for two different treatment centers, wrote the Waking up the Ghost post about the joy of coffee, penned a memo outlining the issues in a website I am tweaking free-lance (don’t tell), and headed to work at 7. At every stoplight on the way, I texted encouragements to Ellie and interfaced with Kim and Tamara as to our progress and our strategy in helping and protecting the girls. I also had a running conversation with my computer guy about my continuing issues with posting the blog to Facebook and why the great and powerful Oz of social media hates me. I also whipped out my portable rosary (something my mother credits for any and all success I have achieved in the past year) and did my morning prayers.

I arrived at work with my jumbo cup of java, polished my desk top and began the day. We are implementing Hubspot – an inbound marketing system (part Big Brother, part religion) that tracks sales leads and spits them efficiently into categories: “buyer personas,”  “to-be-nurtured” and “on-boarded.” I am learning what is essentially a new language, while helping to implement a score of landing pages, drip campaigns and website changes the giddy owner of the system is testing like a kid in a candy store…

We’re in a new office, with painters and electricians and the detritus of the move stacked about.  I multi-tasked with Jose to hang 15 paintings in perfect symmetry – 60″ to the center and equidistant from frame to wall and frame to frame. I am wired to a Fitbit, happily maintaining the 20 pound weight loss I recently managed. I am reading three good books and getting my Hubspot Certification in my free time.

In a nutshell, I am kind of awesome.

Do not think I am getting too big for my britches – I well remember that I’m the person (just two years ago) who had to write down snippets from key conversations and important events, because my long term memory was a black hole. My kids were always asking, “Mom, don’t you remember?” I actually thought I was getting earlyonset Alzheimer’s and stomach cancer – I was always nauseated and my gut hurt, but I was just a drunk…

I went to Google to see if this sharp-as-a-tack, brilliance was temporary and to see if I was going to begin to get dumber soon and then die, but any search that includes “smart” and “alcohol” took me to Smart Recovery (which is great, but not what I need – I want to know if I am going to degrade like old plaster and keel over in the street…).

The Bottom Line:

The bottom line, is that for the first time in my adult life I am unimpaired by anything but the occasional sugar binge. And although I did learn the cold hard truth, that “everything is not necessarily going to be okay,” it is unlikely I will lose my keen aptitude for learning or my positive attitude anytime soon.

I’m calling it the Sober Smarts and it’s just one more thing to crow about.

Today I’m not drinking because I am getting smarter sober…

How come you’re not drinking?