A Conversation On Not Drinking
how recovery has transformed every part of me
I drove one of our creative director’s wives home last night and about 2 minutes into the drive she turned to me and said, “You don’t have to answer this - but I’ve never seen you drink?”
And I replied “You’re right - I don’t (drink). I haven’t in a long time. It’s perfectly fine (to ask me about it)” and smiled. After 8 years the subject doesn’t bring me any discomfort or anxiety, and it’s been years since I had any desire - so I don’t mind talking about it.
She went on to ask me what most people want to know, which is the “how?”
The root of that question isn’t how my life became unmanageable, or how do I have fun sober, the driving question is how do I manage (today)? And sometimes the question is “Aren’t there feelings you want to be free of?”, which is really asking “How do you escape from the pain of being you?”
The simplest answer to that question is that it doesn’t hurt to be who I am. Being who I am and who I’ve been called to continually brings light into my life and the lives of others. Doing the work hasn’t betrayed me once. And I’ve reached a point where I don’t have expectations that doing the work will benefit me in an exact or specific manner. I just trust that it will benefit me, even in areas I’m not aware of yet.
Once you claw your way out of the darkness there’s no way in hell you want to go back to what buried you. But just as importantly I know there’s nothing this world can throw that’ll drive me to use or drink again.
Even on the darkest days when I’m experiencing shame, grief, and the thought of intimacy feels like violence - life still finds a way to be a miracle. Light finds its way into my life through the cracks, through the tears, and loneliness. It gives me the courage to stand alone. It grants me with the strength never to betray myself again.
Living authentically doesn’t require validation. But it does require us to own our stories and then to radically change them.
I’m not sure when my recovery changed from being afraid of using again to knowing that even if there was some miracle cure that allowed me to use or drink successfully again - I still wouldn’t do it. Nothing has benefitted me like recovery, because nothing else is properly equipped to allow me to continually transform.