August 2nd, 2021
Though I am sober, it is important that I party.
Let me tell you P-A-R-T-why.
For a long time, my life was unmanageable. “Unmanagable” is a terribly nice way to say “completely f—ed up.” I believe that it continued like that for a variety of reasons, some of them complex, but some of them as simple as I couldn’t imagine how to live my life any other way, as though the way I got through the day was living at all.
I couldn’t imagine it, because I didn’t see it around me.
We live in a drinking culture. It is dominant and it is expected. Every single one of our rituals — weddings, funerals, birthdays, BBQs, holidays, sporting events, those religious brunches where you dunk the baby in the water, bridal showers, baby showers, just getting into the shower — revolves around alcohol. This is fairly apparent if you think about it for two or three seconds, and very apparent once you start to do things (or try to envision doing things) without the assistance of spirits.
I could not imagine functioning in any aspect of my life without the support of alcohol. I also work in an industry that is notorious for its alcohol use and tends to rank the personal, mental, and emotional care of its workers very low.
I feel strongly that if I would have had people around me who deftly navigated the same world I did without alcohol that it would have convinced me sooner.
And that is why I have to party as hard as I ever did.
I figure that if I can hit up a dive bar, play a game of pool and have as much fun (if not more) as the other people around me, then it could inspire a person who is struggling that maybe there is another way to do this whole thing. There’s an expression: people need to recover loudly to reach those suffering silently.
This is not to say that anyone around me needs help. This is also not to say that it is easy to do any of the rituals in a completely different way, or that I nail it every time or it’s never awkward.
This is just to say that I know I needed help. And that I wish I had known another way.
So hell yeah. Invite me to that new tap room. Hand me an axe to throw. Give me that damn mic, because my heart needs to sing karaoke both like it always has and like it never has before.
The life I have now isn’t for everyone. But it’s the only reason I’m alive now at all.