Notes on seven months of sobriety

Waking Up on a Hotel Room Floor in Manchester 

29 August 2021. 6am. Wake up. 

WTF? I’m on the floor. 

DOOF DOOF DOOF. Last night's party's still going on. Please kill that beat!!!! 

Ugh my head! Lord have mercy on me. 

Sigh. 

"am I in a brothel or a hotel?"

Jesus this place is ugly. Booking.com did a number on me!

Turn over. 

Breeeeath. Stare at the ceiling. 

Right. If it's the last thing I do, I’ve got to get away from this non stop banging. I need to go home. now.  I will not die in a hotel room!

Water. Gulp. Gulp. Gulp. Ah! 

Food/Salt/Grease/Black coffee/Anything to be honest.  👄 🥘 🤤 

"ok. you're not dead."

Dragged myself to the train station without vomiting all over Manchester city center. 

I picked the wrong train. WHY???? HOW??? Of all the trains to pick in this moment, I picked the (doof doof doof) one with longest trip back to London. 3 hours of dehydrated thudding ag-o-ny. Try not to projectile vomit on the lady eating her egg mayo sandwich in front of me. 

Finally. Home. My hangover routine hasn’t changed, even after 100 days of sobriety. Get soup, chocolate. Slurp slurp slurp. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. 

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz(doof doof doof)zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  (doof doof doof)

Next day. thank fuck. ok. time to think,. 

What happened?? How could I do this to myself? 100 days of sheer bliss and I top it off by doing the one thing I absolutely should never do again.

zzz

(doof doof doof)

I must have had about two bottles of wine over the course of that day and night. Honestly, I have no idea. I didn't even look at my bank statement. couldn't deal with the horror. All I can remember is being at my aunt and uncle's 50th anniversary, little bits and pieces of being back in Manchester, and then waking up in the whorehouse of a hotel i was staying in.

Aside from the physical agony, spent the next 3 weeks recovering emotionally and psychologically. am not being hyperbolic here, but (doof) CLAUSTROPHOBIAANXIETYDEPRESSIONLETHARGYCONFUSION. it was my condition for  21 days. 

20

one

days.


I put up with this shit for 20 years??????? NO wonder i became a nihilist.

my sssslittle...slip, shall we call it, was rather illustrative. I'd tasted sobriety and now I also had a reminder of what alcohol does to me when it's inside me. 


The choice was stark and bare. Black or white darling, no greys.  

 

Something in me snapped in those three weeks like a brittle ruler. I was shattered and there was no putting me back. I'd gone up and down that measuring stick of insanity and now it was well and truly broken. Going back to booze is just not an option for me. 

 

Adonis. Adonis 

1 January 2022. I love the underbelly of life. Loves it. I get electrocuted with joy and elation when I read Marxist literature and party in the bowels of london. Those are my kinks.

I'd heard about this fabulous queer party called Adonis.Adonis and decided to check out what was supposed to be their final party (it wasn't, naughty! 😡). I hadn't had a drink since that abominable evening back in Manchester on 29 August.

To be honest, I was rather nervous about going. Parties like these...well, parties in general, are associated with wine for me. lots of it. Understandably, i was apprehensive. 

However, their marketing had me and I decided to check it out. 

The funny thing is is that once I decided I wasn't going to drink; once I walked into the venue, stared down a bottle of wine and asked for a soda water, my apprehension just went away and I knew I would be alright. 

I pushed through those big black doors and was confronted with a sight: silhouette of hundreds of people dancing against a backdrop of red laser lights whizzing around, lighting up people's faces, bodies, COSTUMES! The sound was earthly and cellular. 

Now, I am not religious. I'm not even spiritual. but I worshipped the DJ that night, completely 100% certifiably sober.  

You need to understand, I thrive off rebellion and counter culture. This was everything I'd been craving in my life. 

I danced and smiled non stop for three hours. I don't think there's a metaphor available in the universe to describe the elation I felt. All I can say is that I cried when I left and I cried several more times in the days after Adonis.Adonis. i was so happy.

This kind of high was totally alien to me. It abducted me and did all sorts of weird experiments on me and now I feel like one of those people running around talking about their encounter of the fourth kind and no one believes them. This was an encounter of the fucking 40th kind!

I knew, after 3 hours of dancing, I was satiated. Wanted more. But I didn't WANT!!! MORE!!! I didn't need it. I'd had enough and that was enough.

So I left.

went home.

Showered.

Walked the dog.

Lay on the bed.

Read a book.

Posted on Facebook.

Cried (with joy).

went to bed.

it was disorienting in how remarkably ordinary this was and yet so extraordinary in its newness to me. By this point, at any point in my drinking days, I would have been utterly blackout wasted and stumbling home to a world of agony. Yet, for the first time in my life, I could remember everything, savor the high (which lasted about a week), and wake up refreshed and rejuvenated the morning after. And the beat was still going on in my head (doof doof doof), bouncing and tribal.

This was far better than any booze ridden high I had experienced.

 

Death in sobriety

My friend died two weeks ago. I was profoundly angry and, thanks to my sobriety, still profoundly present for it.

No amount of anger could change what has come to pass. Something in that brutal reality, like little flowers pushing through the cracks of cement made me realize that there was nothing I could do to bring my friend back. Nothing. And when I realized that, I let go. Yeah, something happened to me. we're just blobs of energy, here in one form and then we're not.  

I don't need some grand narrative to make meaning for me, string all these empty cans and bottles together and make a nice jingly outfit with. I can perceive with such clarity and acceptance all the little pieces of reality that are connected, disconnected, jumbled, ended, not started, this way, that way and which have all that have coalesced into something that resembles my life. It's kind of like my writing style, broken and all over the place. 

A lot of people experience anger, rage, and sadness in their early days of sobriety. i think it's because when we realize there's no going back, we have to say goodbye to a part of ourselves. to let a part of ourselves that once meant so much to us, die. it's sad. very. but you heal and discover and completely new person. 

I experienced death in sobriety and I accept it. My friend's passing gave me a way out of that never ending loop of anger and rage. The death of my old self has given me a way out too.  

Start. Something. New!

Catharsis. I love that word. Apt word for my life right now. Reality is much less rigidly defined now. it's more like a shimmer. silky. i'm ok with that. the sheet of silk that is my life constantly forms and reforms, ruffles, flattens. what's is a fold today is just a crease tomorrow; who knows and who cares anymore? I feel like I'm constantly in touch with reality now, even though I'm beginning to perceive it rather differently than previously. i'm totally enthralled by how strange it is. I'm so hyper aware that I will die one day and all that will remain of me is the choices I made. 

Alcohol calcifies the parts of you that need to grow as a person. I want to make better choices. Can't do this when you're a pile of calcium stuck to the toilet bowl of life. The little particles that make up each of us crystalize like limescale when we drink. sobriety is a great delimescaler. FLUSH TWICE!

 

I've found a way to break the loop, the never ending merry-go-round.   That song is tired now. 

I can see in color now.

I am human again. 

Life is not a GIF or a meme anymore.

A performance becomes reality. 

Death is rebirth.

Now I have a chance at life.

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