It's funny how when you first stop drinking time crawls along - agonising hour by agonising hour. You follow the old mantra of 'one day at a time', and one day is an eternity.
But now - blimey, where did that last month go?
One of the reasons I was terrified of quitting was that I feared life being boring. I've always wanted to be extra-ordinary, special. Don't we all?
I thought that drink had the ability to make everything more. More fun, more wild, more interesting. (see my post Rebel Without a Cause)
By the same token, I assumed that 'sober' would be flat, dull and grey.
But the truth is that drink, because it blurs all the lines and rounds off all the edges, takes away your ability to see joy in anything ordinary, or to see the ordinary at all. If it's not jumping up and down and yelling "LOOK AT ME" we pass it by, overlook it, trample all over it.
We even start to actively fear the ordinary. Ordinary emotions, like anxiety, boredom and anticipation. The minute we feel them we medicate them away.
One of the joys of being sober is re-discovering joy in the everyday, the ordinary. A sunrise (who knew?). A tomato, basil and mozzarella salad. A child's fingers tickling the back of your neck.
You find that the flat and grey, when you look up close, is teeming with colour and life and little miracles.
That's why this quote by William Martin from the Parent's Tao Te Ching made me cry:
Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.
If we can't see the joy in the ordinary, then how on earth can we teach our children to find it?
Being sober is more 'ordinary', but that is its joy. I've had it with the artificial ups and downs of drunk.
And, you know what? The extraordinary really does take care of itself.
Just you wait and see....
Related posts: Six Months Sober!