I Want It That Way

Here’s a fun thing to try: punch the word “sober” into Google news and see whatcha come up with. Well, maybe it’s not that fun but I’m easily entertained. Anyway upon doing this exercise yesterday, I read the following amazing headline: BACKSTREET BOY A.J. MCLEAN PROUD HE MARRIED WHILE SOBER. Normal, non-drunken hot messes must be like “Well, duh” when they read such a headline.

But for those of us in recovery or trying to get sober, getting through your own wedding without being bombed seems like something very remarkable indeed. Personally, there wasn’t an event-major or otherwise- that I didn’t  try being loaded for. Concerts? Check. Going to the laundromat? Check. Work? Check. Easter brunch? Check. Sunday brunch? Check. Disneyland? Check. Cher concert, thrift store shopping, movies? Check, check and ch-ch-check. But for an alcoholic like myself the “big” events were really carte blanche for getting drunk. My brain would rationalize mass consumption of alcohol with a dialogue like this “Well, weddings/funerals/job promotions are reasons to celebrate and they’re kind of stressful. So I might as well have a few drinks. Isn’t that what everyone does to celebrate their wedding/funeral/job promotion?”  Oh but the thing about me is that I don’t know how to celebrate with alcohol. I never did. I know how to drink alcoholically until I throw up, pass out, cuss you out, score drugs, or wind up doing something stupid/dangerous/crazy.

As I’ve talked about before, it’s nice to have milestones and to be able to actually remember them. Like AJ, I recently got married. I too was awake and present for every special and beautiful moment. I remember looking into my husband’s eyes while the sun was shining in Central Park and thinking “Wow. I’m so lucky and I’m so glad I’m sober for all of this.” Unlike AJ, I didn’t have Nick Carter at my reception. But either way, if you’re a boy band member or a freelance writer or a Burger King employee and you’re sober than everyday is a special occasion indeed.