Ever notice how beautiful the real world smells? Trees, grass, flowers? Well, here’s a fun experiment. Get SUPER drunk and then don’t leave your house for roughly two full days. Then go outside.
You’ll notice anything that doesn’t smell like old socks.
It’s like emerging from a cave after a winter’s hibernation to see the sun and marvel at how big, bold and bright it is. It was like I was smelling the world for the first time. I felt like a superhero. Smellman. Fighting crime by sniffing the bad guys.
I noticed it on my way to work on day 3. And then again on the way home as well. The air was crisp on a nice cold January day with not a cloud in the sky. The sun was shining but not throwing off much in the way of heat. I remember lingering in the moment a few times as I basked in the freshness of it. The basking was often interrupted by my thoughts going back to my anger, sadness and shame.
Day 3 of sobriety was showing me that there were in fact benefits to a sober life. Even if they were often overshadowed by residual emotions.
The next day was difficult for a new reason.
Day 4 was the day I had to let the real important people in my life know what was happening. Calls, texts, Facebook posts. The world was about to find out that Mike Feeney, damn near professional drinker, was hanging up his beer stein. Cashing out his whiskey chips and heading to a retirement in the far off land of Sobriety.
There were conversations with family that caused tears. Embarrassing admissions to friends. Surprise. Shock. Some people were sad even upset that I was quitting. I had some friends that actually wanted me to stick with it. I guess cause I entertained them?
“Hey man. Don’t give up. Why stop now? Just when you are getting so good at being a jackass. Seems a shame to go out when you are still in your prime!”
But I get it, you know? I was fun. People enjoyed watching me get into my, this is a generous term but let’s go with it, “hyjinx”. (I knew it! Should have gone with shenanigans!!) Maybe it made them feel better about themselves? Maybe it was just all they knew of me and they would miss that person, even if they knew he wasn’t a good person? There’s also a chance they simply didn’t know what to say.
Most of those conversations occurred while I was at work. Like I said. World class coaster. (As in coasting like a car on cruise control not in terms of being really good at protecting a coffee table from damage cause by a mug) (and speaking of mugs let’s get back to my life story) (Insert rimshot here)
But as much as there were some strange conversations and some strange comments the vast majority of the reactions were positive. Tell people that you want to change and they can be very supportive.
A sample of the messages:
“You can do anything you put your mind to my son. I am proud of you no matter what and will help and support you no matter what.” – that’s a combination of the support from my parents.
“Good for you, Mikey. You’ll do great. We’ll help anyway we can.” – my sister.
“Anything you need Feeney. Whatever it takes I am here for you.” – my best friend Spencer (whom I believe you met earlier).
And so on and so on.
Day 4 featured support, love and getting through another day without having a drink. Another good day.