At seventy days sober I feel like a total freak. What’s happening to me in my life right now is impossible to capture or collect in order to write down coherently. My journals are full of epiphany after epiphany all over the map. Granted I am waking up every day and reading volumes of books and articles and studies about the alcohol problem so my brain is now swimming in knowledge about addiction instead of the substance I was addicted to, but even at that, my thoughts are everywhere and they are electric. Expansive, hungry, alive, eager, buzzed with anticipation and excitement.
When someone I love turned me on to ‘The Alcohol Experiment’ by Annie Grace two days before the start of the new year, I told her I was afraid I couldn’t even make it one day without a drink. When I completed the experiment thirty days later and knew in my heart of hearts, soul of souls, I never wanted to have another drink again, I told this same beloved human whom I adore the very most amount, that I had to stay sober for good because if I did not there was poetry inside of me that I would never be able to get to.
And knowing in no uncertain terms that the ultimate cost of staying in my addiction was to give up on accessing the artistry that was me was far, far too great a price to pay. Where at one time I couldn’t bear the pain so I drank, this time I couldn’t bear losing the chance at joy so I gave up drinking entirely. It was no longer a question in my mind what I had to do.
Be careful with words like “addiction” “recovery” “alcoholism” “alcoholic.” Even “sober.” They have been so stigmatized that they have been stripped of their humanity. No story of addiction is the same. No story of recovery is the same, either. What will carry you, speak to you, save you, transform you, find you, surprise you, unearth you, kill you, birth you, collect you back together on this journey will be yours and yours alone. That’s the treasure. That’s the secret. That’s the gift.
And before you know it, spring will be just two weeks away and you’ll be so full of richly inspired stuff that you will have no choice but to bloom wild and unpredictable all over the places you were so sure for so long were dead and buried good.