I have to learn to sit with myself and my angst.
I always go into my Friday thinking that the weekend is going to be a breeze, and, I’m almost always wrong.
Another Friday night, and, I don’t want to go out. I just want to slink into my apartment, light my pumpkin candle, cozy up on the couch and read or watch a movie. And, in theory, that sounds like a monumentally amazing aspiration for a newly sober person.
What I’ve left out is, I can’t stop thinking about everything.
The bar, the glass of vodka and soda with lime, the regular to my left, to my right. And suddenly, even with the ease and all the comforts of home, I feel misplaced.
I go out to smoke a cigarette on my stoop. Drizzle and cold. I’m playing the classical radio station in the kitchen, and it bleeds out through the window. I feel like I’m in some sort of depressing indie film, smoke snaking from the tip of my cigarette into the foreboding sky.
I feel small. Like, all these worries and thoughts that have me paralyzed on my shitty, plastic, outdoor chair are just so meaningless. And for a few minutes, my sobriety doesn’t feel like anything. I’m not for better or worse. I’m not crying or broken. Just void of anything. An orb of myself. Some lost planet, so small and insignificant that it hardly matters.
A couple walks by with a bag from Plaid Pantry (a convenience store chain here in Portland, much like 7-11) and six pack of micro brew. I see myself and my ex doing the same thing, so long ago, getting ready for an evening together at home. A soft sadness, not quite heartache, creeps in. A feeling that I know all too well. A feeling that vodka could take away near instantly. That emptiness, that little bit that’s missing, and so, so easy to fill. Well, at least temporarily.
As I pull out another cigarette and chain smoke, I sit with these notions. A craving, not for the drink itself, but, for the peace it brings. The numbness that I so often sought, and the consequence of its discovery, so far beyond what I’d intended. Oblivion, if not devastation.
Sometimes it feels almost good to get lost in these empty moments. To feel. To know that the heart is capable of this void, and, to survive it. The still and inexplicable tension of life, suddenly without so many of the things that once held you together. It is pretty amazing to stand up after realizing how far out to sea you are, walk back inside, and finish your movie.
Because tomorrow is another day that I get to feel something, and maybe, it’s something different. One of the many gifts of sobriety.