7:54AM. The sun hits the off-white apartment building behind my parent’s house. Wide awake, I stare blankly at my computer screen. — I hate this blog.
I’ve plotted countless ways to end it, this “project.” I’m still unsure how it continues, now, an almost two-year long endeavor. — How can I bow out gracefully, I wonder? A poignant, little story about nothing at all? A dramatic goodbye? Or, maybe — I just disappear. No post, no nothing. Radio silence.
In 2014, while my ex moved erratically between his heroin binges, I committed myself to writing a weekly blog. I needed an anchor. A piece of my own life that kept me outside it. Something I could show up for — and I could count on being alive. Something quiet and uncomplicated. Something that didn’t throw things at me when it was frustrated. And now, as I sit here contemplating throwing something at my laptop, I think, maybe, I understand him a little better.
I’ve battled the urge to abandon this blog before. I’m pretty sure whatever “Saucy” I had left in me, has long since dried up. I lay in bed and wonder where, exactly, it is that I’ve gone? I chase my own tail. I can hardly locate myself long enough to write 250 words on the subject.
Each week, I advise — and maybe advise is the wrong word — I inform people that sobriety is more than putting down a glass or a needle or a pipe. It’s an unpredictable, and often unpleasant, choice to be aware. Aware of the good. Aware of the bad. Aware of the unassigned.
A brave choice to be present.
It isn’t about the substance at all. It’s about grit. Choosing to be fully there — engaged — even when your inclination is always to do the opposite. Grueling. Tiring. Painful. But, also, incredibly Beautiful. I have experienced sobriety in profound ways. Joy and numbing sadness — I did not imagine this.
I’d tell you that I wouldn’t trade sobriety for the world. — But, the truth is, because of sobriety, I know the world isn’t mine to trade.
There is a part of me that wishes I could end it today. Radio silence.
But, a little bit of truth remains — junkie boyfriend or none — I am in need of an anchor. A piece of my own life that keeps me outside it. Something I can show up for — and I can count on being alive.
Something quiet and uncomplicated.
I watch as the morning sun draws the lines of the fire escape down the side of the building across the way and — I write.
Artwork: Nancy Herman, “Fire Escape Shadow”