First night in bed with Cara. My new laptop. Antiope, Diana and Stevie made the short list of names on the drive home from Best Buy, but Cara felt right. I didn’t want her to remind me of anyone else. I needed a new relationship. Even if a computer.
Cara means friend. And Anam Cara, “soul friend.” A Celtic concept that resonates with me. Every powerful love I’ve known has never been traditional. I suppose that’s why solitude comes easy to me and family does not look like a series of stick figures on the back of my car.
I have hidden myself from sobrietypoet for some time. I felt like a total fraud for even thinking of her. Truth is, I have failed at sober more times than I can count and my longest stretch of clean was a whopping 6 months. It’s just so damn easy to crawl into that warm, dark hole and pray nobody shines a light.
But 38 days ago I turned the light on during a text exchange with my mom. Drunk on a Monday night, sitting Indian style and sobbing in front of the closet where I drank my last box of wine.
I rapped that dying flashlight against my palm and held on, hurling truth after hideous truth at her and myself. A moment of sweet freedom and stomach-turning shame. For hurting my family. For all the lies. The hiding. The isolation. The pain. The suicide of soul.
That’s the moment I choose to hold in remembrance. Not the temporary release of that first sigh in the cup.
I am and always will be an alcoholic. I need to say it. Every day I will say it like a prayer.
So, I’ll keep my journal here. Write every day. Maybe even write a few poems. Stay in the light. Enjoy what sleep I can claim. Drink coffee. Pet my cats. Read. Feel. Be present in the face of normal, human emotions. Treasure waking up without dread and loss.
I want to win. I want to live. But I have to plan the trip, take it in chunks. One day at a time. I hated hearing that at first. Eye rolls and whatevers under the breath kind of hate. But it really is more than a cliche. It’s battle strategy. I actively mourn the idea that I will go through my whole life never making it out the other side. At any moment I could fall. And I have. So. Many. Times.
But I can win each day. And isn’t every day essentially a lifetime? It’s all we have. Literally. There are no promises beyond now. That is a dark and precious truth that I find oddly sustaining. It’s the place I have found to put this disease. I can stand on top of that mountain at the end of every day and exhale.
And look out upon day 39. I’ll be back to let you know how it goes.
SobrietyPoet (wow it felt good to type that)