I searched everywhere I could think of but there was no trace of you. It was the same story every place I went. When I asked about you people just looked at me blankly.
I wrote you a letter instead. I left it in the first place I thought you would look for me if you had gone to the future and found me missing.
I didn’t really know what to do after I had written it. I knew I could either sit here for the next few years and wait for you to come find me. Or I could go find where I was supposed to be now. Now that there was only me here in this place.
I think we have this misconception that life runs completely smoothly once the drinking stops. It stands to reason: Remove the chaos and all that is left is stillness.
But the thing is, life doesn’t always end up staying on the same course. Sometimes sobriety simply means an acceptance of finally being aware of all the variables we cannot control. Surrendering in the face of change. Acquiescencing gracefully to the hand that life has dealt us on this occasion.
Our instinct is to run away from pain, because it seems the sober emotional equivalent of drinking it away. But all that happens is we store that pain up inside of us, to the point where we build such an intolerance to the pain that it displays itself in other ways.
Not drinking this pain away is a brilliant start. It’s certainly an evolvement from past behaviour. But let ourselves feel this pain instead. In its fullness. That’s something worth experiencing too. Letting it work its way through our mind, through our body and outwards into the ether where it belongs.
That’s the best way I’ve found to move on from it, anyway.
It’s turns out doing it this way is a lot like having a vaccination against pain. You feel that one specifically focussed ache only once. And then it can’t really ever touch you again. Which is a lot different to feeling small twinges of it constantly and choosing to override them.
Turns out if we do it once with every bit of pain? We are freed once and for all from the ties that bind us.
I went to the future. But when I got there I couldn’t find you. So I sat on the floor of our old haunts and I felt my disappointment until I could feel it no more. I felt the fear and the anger and the loss.
And then I was okay.