As I emerged from the dark underground rat hole that is the New York City subway, I happened to look up. For the first time in a very long time, I realized where I was. The Empire State Building towered over me making me feel simultaneously insignificant and extraordinarily alive. Walking through the park on my way to work, I took note of the impeccable landscaping, newly planted flowers, and the smell of fresh cut grass. I looked at the faces of people passing by on the way to face their day just like me. I wondered if they were happy. I wondered if any of them had a hangover or a problem. I walked past a television show shooting on the sidewalk across the street from my building. I live here. I live in one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world where there is always something to do and something gorgeous to take in. And for the past 5 1/2 years, I plowed through it daily without giving it a thought. I emerged from my cave in the morning, quite often deathly ill, and kept my head down until I got to work. I did my job (sometimes) and then kept my head down again until I got home and was able to drink. And what was the point? What did I accomplish in that period of time? Absolutely nothing.
The most frightening thing that I’m currently dealing with is the sudden and disturbing realization that I just threw away another 5 1/2 years of my life. 5 1/2 years that I will never ever get back. And while I know there is nothing I can do about having lost the past, I can’t help but mourn the idea of where I could have been by now in my career if I would have just done the work to stay sober.
On another note, my body hurts. It hurts in a very strange way. Nothing too acute or piercing. But yesterday I had random pain on the left side of my neck that has seemed to disappear today. Also, pain in my groin area near my inner thigh. That, too, has subsided. But it seems like there are sudden and unexplained momentary bouts of soreness, sharp pains, dull aches, etc. They don’t linger too long and they aren’t debilitating, but I’m feeling my body so much more than I’m used to.
Positives: The sweating has gone away for the most part. My face feels smoother and has normal color again. I feel less bloated. My digestion, I think, is returning to a somewhat normal place although yesterday I randomly had some trouble for a few hours but am now fine. My blood pressure and pulse are under control and my medication is effective for the entire 24 hours that it is supposed to be effective for. While drinking, the pills I am prescribed sometimes did absolutely nothing and I could feel my heart pounding constantly. It was pretty terrifying. I’m sort of amazed how quickly my body corrected it with the absence of alcohol.
Lastly, I really wish I felt rested. I went to bed at 10:30PM last night and woke up at 7AM. That’s more than 8 hours of sleep but still it was a major struggle to get out of bed. I don’t feel rested at all, ever. This past weekend, I had to force myself to get up by 10AM so as not to miss my day. If I allowed it, I’m certain I could have slept for several hours more and still would not have felt rejuvenated. Hoping the B vitamin supplements, healthy diet, and exercise will slowly correct this. I honestly felt less sleepy in the morning when I was drinking. Granted, I felt AWFUL in every single other way imaginable, but I don’t recall feeling like I was going to fall asleep at my desk.
I suppose these are minor complaints and small prices to pay for freedom and life.