Aging Sober & Dying Sober may not seem like the most optimistic topic to choose to write about, but I am sure of this one thing: Doing so may increase my quality of Living Sober.
In less than a month I'll be 70 (October 24th, to be exact).
That's 21.1111 in Celsius (Do you like my new coffee mug?). Which makes this valid point for me: It's all a matter of perspective.
When I was in my twenties (NOT my Celsius 20's!), way before my catastrophic downward slide, I already knew I was an alcoholic. At that time, I considered alcohol and drugs as sources for inspiration. The Tragic Hero had to have a flaw, an Achilles heel. Mine would be Alcohol, with a Capital A, a source of inspiration and the cause of what would surely be my Heroic Demise.
In my most vivid imagination, I couldn't imagine living past 40 (human years, not Fahrenheit or dog years).
Imagined pain was inspirational and real pain was to be handled by increasing my dosages of drugs and alcohol. The real decade of my 40's was the unimaginable pain induced by addiction, by losing everything time and again. Loss. The hospitals, detoxes, rehabs, intravenous drips, jobs lost, relationships lost, repeated periods of homelessness. Total loss, you get the picture, just this side of death, an impoverished life.
Pneumonia, Cancer, Addiction - I've survived giant clumps of physical and psychological hurdles since my 40's. Stages of my life. The final stage will surely come. "Past is prologue," so said Shakespeare. No matter your interpretation, one thing is certain: There will be a final curtain.
That's the word I'm looking for. I want to learn how to best adapt to the changing circumstances to come as I inevitably trudge forward.
That's the second word I need. I want to do it all sober, to be aware until all awareness is drained from me.
Word Three. I must have Grit (I feel like I'm playing Charades! First Word :-) Two Syllables).
I have found Recovery to not only be possible, but supremely doable and ultimately irreplaceable.
Aging and dying are both inevitable too. I'm doing both sober, so far. Aging and dying are both there, no matter what else I may do. I imagine I will become part of whatever world I emerged from when I was born. Today, at the very least, when I die, I wish to rejoin whatever may come after in that state that was before my ever, ever, ever first drink.
Aging Sober & Dying Sober. Sounds about right (a drink would change none of this). No Buzz-kill at all. Release. A final letting go. A sober parting. Happy to end each day sober now. Aging is unstoppable. Dying is another sober day.
I can speak only how I feel today.
Today. Today. Today, the days stack up. With any luck, they will continue to do so.
Life is good.
May you also enjoy this Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal