"Is That Your Beer?"


Just this afternoon, I was standing in a supermarket queue with my two kids, loading my groceries onto the belt. A single can of beer was about six inches in front of various items that were mine but were not separated by one of those dividers you pick up and put behind your shopping. The guy in front of me looked like the future me, had I not stopped killing myself on a basis daily. My son, who over the years had been dragged into supermarkets, corner shops, and any other establishment that would sell me booze day or night, looked at the can and froze. The look on his face was half horror, half questioning. He asked me, in a tone I have never heard, “Are you buying a beer, papa?” I didn't know whether to smile or cringe. I am proud of his courage to ask such a question and it fills my soul with joy to know how much he loves me. It also makes me shudder at what I put him through, but it is pointless to beat myself up over it. I was a mess. I got my act together. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the stress of life and as much as I do not miss drinking at every waking moment, I'd be lying if I said there weren't times where I would love to turn my back on the world, draw the blinds, and drink a crate of beer. I don't go to AA meetings as all that talking about getting hammered makes me want to have a Bombay Sapphire and tonic real bad. The meditation of running, the love of my family, and the reminders from my son keep me between the ditches. For me, being sober is like being a super-hero to my kids. I can face the music instead of running away from it. I can stand firm in the face of the inevitable problems that life lays in front of me and can distill it all down to what is most important. Staring at my Facebook feed and wishing I had someone else's life is a thing of the past. Today served as a milestone that it is not the big anniversaries of sobriety that matter but the simple act of getting through this amazing journey one step at a time.