I've just had a swim. There's a half moon out, more than half, heading towards full. And Jupiter is following nearby.
The water is so very cold. I swim for twenty minutes. Maybe more. It starts to get dark. The wind picks up. I'm cold. I walk, wet. Take pictures. They say it's not how long its been since your last drink, it's how close you are to the next one. I've been close, but strong. Getting stronger. Swimming, walking, running, yoga, meditating, writing, reading, sleeping, teaching. Forgetting, forgiving, remembering, regretting. They say it's not how long since your last drink, but two months is as long as I've gone without drinking in many, many years. In September 2019, when I told my wife I had been having an affair for the previous year, I cut back alot, but even then, I didn't stop completely, and the Covid lockdown the following spring became a great excuse to start drinking every day. And since then, I'm pretty sure I drank every day until September 4, 2022, two months ago. A LOT of drinking. And more and more cigarettes. A lot of difficult days and upset evenings. Drunk, dazed and confused ideas, turmoil, turbulence, violence, bad decisions, lonely crying, empty soul searching in the bottom of a beer can, just getting numb to the reality of the mess I've made of my world, and worse, the lives and love of others. The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love, AND BE LOVED IN RETURN. If you love somebody, set them free. If someone loves you, don't fuck up. And my children love me, and I don't want to fuck that up any more than I already have. The least I can do is try to stay alive. The anxiety, insomnia, depression, high blood pressure, high colesterol, stress, worry, family history, lack of exercise and divorce all add up to an early grave. I want to swim with my grandkids.
I think I've lost over 5kg in two months. I'm sleeping better, but it's colder in the tent now, and I'd really like to go home. The cold water swims clear my mind like nothing else, but it IS November. Long runs along the beach are beautiful, and feed my creativity, but on the other hand, who cares? No one cares about my thoughts, my poems, my ideas, my drinking or my sobriety. Except me. My art, my soul, my existence, is only mine. No one knows the ocean inside, the turning tides. No one knows. If they know they don't care. If they care, they don't show it. Those aware of my existence choose to ignore it. And they're usually better off. They walk past me on the street, on their way home from work, and won't spare a word, out of fear or fuck knows what. But, truly, Why should they care? What good could possibly come from a word of kindness? Seriously. Why risk it? Forget about compliments. That would be social emotional suicide. What difference does it make if someone notices your haircut, or says they like your new shirt? It makes no difference. And it makes no difference, in that context, whether I drink or not. No one fucking cares. Except me.
So, actions speak louder than words. Feelings get left behind. Indifference behind the eyes. We're all innocents on borrowed time. Significance between the lines. Innocence broken with lies. Horizons in disguise. There's no need to hide. The sorrow grows bigger when the sorrow's denied. You're safe at home tonight. Don't be afraid. You've got it made. You and yours. And I... I only own my mind. I am mine. And I am sober. (thanks e. v.)
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