In a non-judgmental, truly inquisitive tone, she asked “So you don’t drink at all?”
“Like, at all, at all?”
“No, not at all anymore.”
“Because I am completely irresponsible with it and can’t do it at all.”
“And you realize that about yourself?”
“Oh yeah, there’s no question.”
Second friend says “She learned from highschool and beyond.”
“Oh fuck yeah, I learned.”
It’s been a summer of reunions for me and it feels like a reward for being sober 167 days. I saw Matchbox 20 in concert last night. I last saw them 13 years ago with friends I haven’t seen in almost as long. We reunited last month for a Tom Petty concert and it was truly amazing to be with friends after such a long time. Last night we danced, we sang, we hugged and we laughed a lot.
In AA rooms, the concept of isolation comes up often and it’s something I fully identify with. I’ve always shied away from people. Early in life it was because of social anxiety; later, it was because of (and for) alcohol.
I don’t like to think of the years I spent drinking in isolation as “the years I lost,” because it’ll depress the fuck out of me. I’m not convinced I would have done anything meaningful with those years anyways – even without the alcohol, I don’t think I would have cured cancer. But I do feel a twinge of regret for isolating myself from these friendships that were always available to me, had I just reached out.
I am tremendously lucky to have reunited with these women, even if just for a couple of concerts this summer. These reunions would likely have happened whether I was sober or not, but I am certain that I enjoyed them 100 times more than I would have, had I been drinking.
So yesterday, on Day 166, in a new world that’s filled with firsts, I experienced another one: telling a friend the truth as to why I’m not drinking. I’m proud of how I answered her curiosity. I’m proud that I was able to recently pick up my 5 month coin. And I’m proud to be sober on Day 167.