By Ben Spielberg
I hate sobriety. Let me rephrase, I hate the idea of sobriety. I don’t like the Styrofoam coffee cups and powdered creamer they have at AA meetings. I don’t like talking about my feelings to older men and women, watching their faces contort with judgment as I tell my story as candidly as possible. I abhor the concept of “fellowshipping,” the idea of making friends with people with drug problems because they could, one day, drop a line of knowledge on me like Hiroshima, spurring me out of a potential relapse and into a recovery that only Superman could be proud of.
Meetings are just the tip of the cake and the icing on the iceberg. I don’t like working a 9-5 job, making sure that I do “sober” things that “real people” do, like waking up when my alarm clock pulls me away from my safe place known as sleep. I don’t like wearing collared shirts. I’d rather rock a torn t-shirt likely stained with blood and some kind of Alfredo sauce. Don’t even talk to me about dress shoes. That will just make me angry.
I go to school and I do my homework. Sometimes, I even get it done before the due date. I always opt to sit up front in the class, and try to raise my hand at least once per session. I form study groups that don’t revolve around Adderall and cocaine. I don’t take Xanax when I get tired--I simply fall asleep watching Netflix’s House of Cards while I think “God, this show is so poignant.”
I like the idea of drugs and alcohol! I like the idea of always having a small collection of the Drug Rainbow on hand, just in case I get a little too jittery or a bit too sad. I like that large sheets of acid have pictures on them, creating the trippiest puzzle ever, and I like that heroin comes in ridiculously tiny balloons in Los Angeles. I like playing pharmacist and I like spending my money on something that creates a feeling of immediate adequacy.
But I am sober, even though it seems stupid. And even though I seem like a sellout, I can still have fun. I’m the resident Unqualified Doctor at Beit T’Shuvah. I still like puzzles, even if I can’t absorb the pieces sublingually. It feels pretty damn good to spend enough time on a paper that I have enough knowledge to edit the Wikipedia page on the subject. I still opt for my trusty Vans instead of my dad’s dress shoes. But I’ll take a southern Kevin Spacey and half a tablespoon of NyQuil over Xanax any day of the week.
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