Things I have time to do now that I am sober

Kristen Pyszczyk
Apr 18 · 3 min read
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Sobriety is beautiful and messy and challenging. It also leaves most recovering addicts with a whole lot of time. For me this was time I used to spend sitting at home drinking, and when I got sober, I realized I now had many hours of lucidity to fill.

Some folks in recovery address this new reality by filling their days with hobbies or dedicating time to causes that matter to them or even spending more time with family and friends. I am taking a different approach. I prefer to fill my days with meaningless activities that serve no purpose other than to remind me of the futility of my own existence. Everyone does sobriety differently; there is no right or wrong approach, so please do not judge me. Please.

Here are some things I finally have time for now that I am not off my ass on booze most nights and sleeping it off most days.

Ordering a tarp and bungees on Amazon dot com and cancelling the order the next day after realizing that it’s against condo bylaws to cover one’s balcony with a cheap tarp and will make my unit seem like it’s a front a meth lab when in reality nothing so productive has ever occurred there.

Watching Selling Sunset for five hours straight while eating mini eggs and searching for an affordable, quality tarp on Amazon

Keeping up on email correspondence by putting all urgent emails into a special “TO ANDWER IMMEDIATELY” folder and taking no further action.

Spending hours scouring the internet for the best tattoo ideas and parlours, and later cancelling the appointment because I have no money for a tattoo. I spent it all on tarps.

Conducting hours of Important Reaearch to uncover the truth about actress Jeri Ryan’s surprising connection to Barack Obama and Drew Barrymore’s troubled family lineage.

Letting boxes of tarps from Amazon pile up in my apartment until I am devoured by them, left to contemplate the futility of my existence and wonder if I will ever really have an impact on the world.

Speaking to friends, family, and coworkers about different tarp options until my calls and texts go unanswered and people abruptly turn around and walk away if they see me approaching.

Research tarp addiction on the internet. Find nothing but various links to websites that sell tarps. Find some options I never considered and make some purchases. It’s not as if I am spending money on booze, after all.

Build a makeshift tarp tent at work after finding it difficult to work without interruptions. Name it the Innovation Tarp. Make a sign for the tarp that says “Innovation Tarp.”

Get called into HR for a gently probing discussion. The HR rep repeatedly emphasizes that I am not in trouble, but would like to know if I’m currently going through any personal challenges. She also asks that the office tarp be taken down immediately as its distracting.

Build a new feminist movement centered on tarps, somehow. Send out texts to mobilize the movement. Just one text, really.

Take down the Innovation Tarp and wrap myself up in it like a comforting crinkly blanket. Have another visit with HR. The rep is sterner this time but really who is this tarp business hurting? Yourself, she answers. I did not realize my voice carried through the tarp that I have now burrowed my face into and apologize for all the rude remarks and noises made during the duration of the discussion.

Realize my addiction wasn’t the issue but rather my awful personality.

Watch more Selling Sunset and eat more family size bags of mini eggs.

Kristen Pyszczyk

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writer | editor | cheese enthusiast | kristen.pyszczyk@gmail.com