My mom told me this story one time about a man in church who had long, disheveled hair and a raggedy, unkempt beard. She came to find out that he had cataracts. One day, he came in with his hair freshly cut and his beard shaven, and she commented on how nice he looked. He told her that he had been nearly blind due to his cataracts for several years, but he was able to get surgery last week. After he came out of surgery he saw how he looked and immediately went to the barber.
I feel like the old man in the story. I don’t even recognize myself anymore. I see wrinkles I never knew I had, half the time my attitude is absolute shit, and I’m exhausted all the time. I feel like I’ve been in the dark for the last 13 years and someone finally turned on the light. I see these creases in my forehead and wrinkles around my eyes, and I struggle to recall the years I was earning them, laughing and crying. I can’t figure out what has callused me throughout the years to make me feel so angry and anxious in certain situations. And I have no idea how I use to have so much energy on just a few hours of sleep when now I can barely seem to function on seven hours and a pot of coffee.
I think that’s the most painful thing of all about being sober. Realizing all the time you’ve missed, all the memories you lost, all the people you were too fucked up to love. Now there’s no escaping it. Before, when this realization would become too real there was always some bottle of something to escape down. Now it’s just me and a head full of misplaced memories trying to find their place.
Whoever has the secret to making me feel ok with all of this, I would love to meet them. Actually, I would love to be their best friend and make them guide me through this life so I can’t fuck up again. I would love to have them by my side to tell me everything is wonderful when it actually is but, for some reason, I feel the complete opposite. I would love a guardian angel.