I’m at my desk at work, listening to The Fall Into Time by Oneohtrix Point Never, and waiting for my old coffee maker to work its magic. I stayed up with my wife watching two new Amazon pilots last night (Z, based on the life of Zelda Fitzgerald, and One Mississippi, starring comedian Tig Notaro). Both were quite different from each other and also both excellent. I don’t know how Amazon picks which pilot to go with…hopefully, they’ll pick both.
It’s nice to stay up and watch TV with my wife while the kids sleep, and it’s equally nice to fall asleep naturally and quickly (i.e. not pass out). I’m still grateful for that ten months into sobriety, just as I’m grateful for waking up without a hang-over. I laugh at myself almost every morning because when I get up, fumble to find my glasses, get my chapstick and my phone with also serves as my alarm (I have quite a routine), I’m still half-asleep and I weave my way unsteadily to my son’s room to get the dog. Sometimes, I have to hold onto furniture to steady myself because my balance is still somewhere under the covers. I always groan when I walk down the stairs because I have arthritis in my knees–I know, this is getting sexy–but by the time I let the dog out to go pee, put my contacts in, and turn on a few lights, I’m awake and mostly functional.
I wonder how in the hell I got out of bed hung-over some mornings, showered, got the kids up, and made it to work to teach an eight o’clock class. I suppose the alcohol in my system protected me, in a sense, from some of the difficulties of getting up early. At least, the alcohol masked the normal aches and pains of aging. And there was always the promise of another drink when my selfish little inebriated bubble popped.
Sober weekends are another gift that just keeps on giving. Lord knows it wasn’t that way in the beginning; I remember standing in my kitchen on a Saturday, crying my eyes out because I didn’t know what to do with myself. I stared into the freezer and willed a bottle of vodka to appear; I stood at the sink and took ragged breaths. On more than one occasion, my wife and kids found me there crying, and I just had to deal with it.
Weekends now are full with activities, even if those activities are low-key. I try to get at least one nap in on the weekend, and two if I can manage it. Naps are so, so powerful for a newly sober person, and really powerful for everyone, I think.
Highlights of my sober weekend, in no particular order:
- Getting a sustain pedal for my keyboard. Writing music without one is possible, but it’s hard.
- Watching Gremlins with my oldest son. It’s one of my favorite movies, and he’d never seen it before. He loved it.
- Watching my kids picking up pecans from a pecan tree that borders our back lane. The gray was gray, rain misted down, and there was a chill in the air. It finally felt like fall had come. Some migrating birds had paused in the pecan tree and they set up a glorious racket. I recorded their calls on my phone, along with my children talking to each other. It was also one of those rare moments that I realized my kids will grow up quickly.
- Playing zombie apocalypse with both kids. We got out our weapons cache and successfully beat back eight waves of zombies. Sadly, I was bitten and turned, and so I had to put down. My sons said they’d honor my memory by bravely carrying on the fight.
- Celebrating my son’s birthday sober. So proud of myself for this one.
- Catching up on sobriety blogs and reading some new ones.
- Having a poem published!
That’s it from Savannah, GA. The high today is seventy, and it’s rainy. My kind of day. Now only if I could be at home curled up with a book and a cup of coffee instead of grading papers and meeting with students. Ah, well. This is good, too.