The Salesman, Vodka and Tea

I am a schizo-blogger. I go through periods when I blog constantly, only to neglect it for months on end. Sometimes I blog about politics. Sometimes it’s true crime or current events. Other times, it’s personal.

Lately, I guess I’m on a personal kick.

One of the most important parts of who I am is my sobriety. I have to work on it every day. I’m not particularly new at this, as it’s not my first trip to the rodeo, so to speak. Much like my blogging habits, the urges to drink are sporadic and often impossible to predict.

Tonight we are snowed in. It’s the first major snowfall of the season. The kind of snowstorm that requires a Winter Weather Advisory, with a ticker at the bottom of all the local TV stations, telling everyone which schools have cancelled classes, and which church services will not be held.

I generally love being snowed in. It’s cozy. I get to sit in my recliner, cup of vodka in hand, and relax.

Wait.

Did I just say “vodka”? I meant tea!

That’s how urges work for me. I’ll be thinking about something I love, like being snowed in, and some strange connection to alcohol will sneak its way in, kind of randomly. It doesn’t matter how long I’ve been sober, it just happens.

Sometimes it really pisses me off, too.

I got sober using a program called SMART Recovery, and there’s a word for this phenomenon. It’s called the “Salesman”. My Salesman, I’ve decided, is male, and he’s a complete asshole. He’s manipulative, he’s cruel, and he will stop at nothing to get me to drink.

Unfortunately for the Salesman, no matter what he does, he can’t erase my past. He can’t erase the damage I did to myself when I was drinking. He can’t make me forget the blackouts, the hangovers, the morning-after regrets. The constant fear I felt, knowing I was killing myself, that I was going to die if I did not stop drinking.

He also can’t make me forget the good that has come with sobriety. No matter what he says, he cannot make me forget that I’m clear-headed, I’m present, I’m engaged, and I’m healthy.

That’s the work I put in every single day. The work is to make sure I never forget where I came from, where I am now, and what it took to get me here.

Tonight the Salesman will be defeated again.

I’m at peace, sipping my vodka tea, content in the knowledge that tomorrow morning, I will actually remember what it felt like to be snowed in.

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