I wish

The title of this entry is meant to be both optimistic and sarcastic. There’s a lot of things I wish were different that I know never will be. I’ve been thinking a lot about the future. What 22 year old isn’t? I don’t really think about what I’ll be doing but what kind of father I will be, and how my kids will see me. Okay that’s a lie, of course I think about what I’ll be doing. Still writing I’m guessing. Hopefully making a career out of it in some way.

I think I would do well as a novelist. Working from home sounds divine. I’d have a whole room in my house dedicated to it like Stephen King does. My office. My sanctuary. My happy place. Every writer needs that. Of course the wife and kids would have to stay clear of it. Unless I gave them special access. It would be a place the kids would often fantasize about entering, and eventually would when I’m not around only to find a boring office space. Hell yeah. That would be the life. I need to start writing fiction and poetry again. I haven’t done that since before rehab. I’m glad I started this blog though. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I hadn’t.

What else is there to ramble about? I’m still sober. 13 days now. I had to walk past my favorite bar to get to this coffee shop. That was difficult. I could smell the inside of it as I hurried by. It doesn’t have a noticeable smell, but if you’ve been there as much as I have you’d be able to recognize it eventually. I was hanging out with a couple friends earlier today who will probably go there later tonight. Maybe not, but probably. That’s fine. I’m jealous but not enough to break my rising streak.

I haven’t really been in a social situation where I have to turn down drinking yet, and I’m not looking forward to it once it arrives. Another thing with my future thoughts on fatherhood is the moment when I’ll have to explain to my children that I can’t drink. Here’s how I believe that will go:

My future son or daughter: “Hey daddio how come I’ve never seen you drinking?”
Me: “Simple my dear offspring. Your badass father can’t handle the sauce.”

The end.

If my kids end up as cool as I think they will then I will be able to repeat that sentence to them verbatim. It’s funny because my poison of choice was always beer. Occasionally if I was already smashed I’d mix liquor with it, but for the most part strictly beer. 10 to 14 a day for a while. I wish it were different. Of course I do. I wish I could be that guy that has a couple beers every once in a while, but alas I’m an addict. So I cannot. My hope is that this will do some good for my kids. That it will keep them wary once they are old enough to drink.

Addiction is interesting. Also very scary, but interesting. Now that I’ve been sober for a bit I can look back at myself when I drank and pick up on things I didn’t see before. How deep it submerged me into my head, not in a good way. My life revolved around alcohol. It was all I lived for.

I’m different now, but still newly sober and fragile. I have to keep my chin up. There’s still so much to learn, but I’m looking forward to it. I was listening to Marc Maron’s podcast at work a couple days back and found out August 9th was his 17 year mark of sobriety. I adore that man but I swear to you I didn’t plan that. It’s an awesome coincidence that we got sober on the same date though. I’m really glad that happened. In a small way it’s helping me stay sober knowing I started the same date as him. Eventually down the road I will email him again to tell him about my progress. He doesn’t have to respond. We don’t know each other, but I’m certain it will bring him some relief knowing that I’m dealing with my problem.

In that same podcast he briefly talked about inner demons. How everybody has them but in a way we can learn to appreciate our own. Just knowing that we have them at times reminds us we’re alive. Sometimes we have to go down a very dark path to see how bad they can effect us. I’m just glad I went down that path so young. One year sober seems frightening, but I can do it. My inner demons still visit me. Every day in fact. They tell me to drink. They will always be there but will fade over time.

I watched a short documentary a week or so on the last days of Philip Seymour Hoffman. He first got sober around my age. He was heavily into drugs and alcohol. He stayed sober for over 20 years, but at one party centered around the movie The Master he drank again. Then he dabbled in drugs again. He checked himself into rehab, but couldn’t stay sober afterwards, and it killed him. With addiction this can happen at any time. No matter how long you’ve been sober. No matter what the situation is. Once again, I need to keep my chin up. If I fall back into it I will check myself back into rehab, because that’s what I will have to do. Its developed too tight of a grip on me for me to just brush it off anymore. That’s the scary reality, but I’m glad I see it now.

We all have demons that haunt us in unique and colorful ways. Mine just happen to do it through alcohol. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. I can remember a moment when I was very young and I pretended to smoke with a pretzel. My dad said: “You’re never going to do that right?” I told him I wasn’t. I was wrong. Then once I started smoking I convinced myself that I wasn’t addicted. That there was no way that I possessed an addictive personality. Wrong again. Once I started drinking I told myself that I would never drive drunk. Need I say more?

My family history is littered with addiction. So my odds have never been in my favor. That’s okay. I’m a responsible man who fucks up sometimes, but I learn from it and accept the consequences. Always. That’s what I’m going to teach my kids to do. Whether or not they actually do it is up to them. Just as I have done with my mistakes and struggles.