Sober autumn day

Drove across town early this morning through dense fog to have some routine blood work done at my HMO.  I’d forgotten what’s it’s like to be on the road at commute time.  Those guys are lunatics! Flooring it to get through the intersection before the light changes, dodging around left-turners and double-parkers like they’re in a slalom, roaring backward against traffic when a parking spot opens up–completely insane.  Isn’t it kind of counter intuitive asking people to do things supposed to help their health if they risk their lives on the way?  Of course I hadn’t had coffee.  Maybe I would’ve been driving that way too if I’d had coffee.

At the lab I took a number: 71.  Reception stations A & B were serving nos. 52 and 53 respectively and I thought longingly of the book I’d left in the car.  But the pace was brisk and I was out in 20 minutes. Sometimes they have trouble finding a vein, but this woman knew her stuff.  Six large vials and two small ones and the vampire was fed.

The fog was lifting when I got home, and my husband had the coffee waiting, praise be.  We sat shoulder to shoulder on the couch and read the paper and sipped coffee.  The gray cat jumped on my lap and purred and kneaded.  The orange cat jumped on the coffee table and accepted with dignified restraint his morning allotment of milk foam off our fingertips. Birds twittered, horns honked on the streets, a train whistle sounded from far away, hammering drifted across from a house under construction a block over. Monday morning in the city.

Cut up a fresh pineapple my younger son and his girlfriend gave us and ate a few pieces. So amazingly delicious. This must be what manna from heaven tastes like. Why would you ever go back to hangovers when you can start the morning like this?  Read a post from someone a couple of months sober, wondering whether her drinking had really been so bad she needed to quit forever. She did just what I did at the same point, compared her drinking to stories that were much worse, thought maybe now that she had a little sobriety under her belt she could drink moderately–then remembered all the times she’d tried that before and how, after a week or two or three, she’d be back to drinking enough every night to feel lousy the next day and wish she hadn’t.  It’s such a struggle in the early days, your mind playing tricks on you, gimme gimme gimme.

Another post, from someone who was sober for many years, now tries and tries and can’t maintain it.  Her life is being affected in major ways–jobs, marriage, friendships–but addiction has her in its grip, the relapses are getting longer, the Day Ones sometimes last only hours. My heart goes out to her, it could so easily be me. What a truly horrible thing addiction is, like a plague afflicting the population, all the wrecked lives.  She is a woman of courage and may yet come out of it, but we play with fire when we relapse–there’s really no knowing if we can come back.

Photo credit: Plant Database

But good news too in the morning scan–a marriage between two fine and sober people, a health scare only a scare for an old friend, my daughter and her family coming to cook us dinner tonight, another old friend awash with relief after making the break from a marriage that wasn’t working…life.

And everywhere now, orange pumpkins and bronze chrysanthemums, a brilliant autumn.

 

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One Response to Sober autumn day

  1. Mary LA says:

    That curious mix of what is so nurturing and positive, the dark shadows and tragedies — Susan I feel the same way about so much happening around me and in my own life. Fifty years ago the Cuban missile crisis, so strange to think about that —

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