Still Experiencing Firsts

Tonight I’m in a hotel room in Toronto. I’ve been in this city, this hotel, countless times since I’ve been at this job. However, this is the first time I didn’t bring a bottle in my suitcase. The summer before I got sober, I had 3 one week stays for different training courses. 5 day courses that I would spend vacillating between buzzed and sick-to-my-stomach hungover.

I would always be on my own for these courses – alone, in a different city, with no accountability. Well, other than showing up each day for 8 hours of class and passing an exam on the final day. Other than that, I was in a private, hedonistic world. I could drink as much as my body could stomach and there was no one around to say “no.”

So here I am, 14 months sober, in the same physical space, but a very different head space.

Instead of ripping the bottle out of my suitcase as soon as the door closed behind me, I unpacked. Instead of hitting up the pop machine in search of sugary lemonade for my vodka, I made a cup of tea. Instead of turning on the tv to drown out the silence, I am here, laying on the floor quietly tapping out these thoughts of mine.

Life’s not perfect. In fact, it’s progressively gotten shittier over the past couple of months. So it’s not perfect, but it’s better.

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One thought on “Still Experiencing Firsts

  1. Your reflections are so appreciated as I prepare to travel in a few days. Last year when I took this trip, I worried that the alcohol in my bag would be caught by the airlines, that when I arrived it would still be inconveniently located, that hiding the drinking would simply be a new challenge. Not drinking was out of the question. This time around it is so much easier, but there’s no way I would have believed that last year.

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