Last night my soccer team fell to 2-1—we got beat pretty bad. However, it was a lot of fun anyway, as the team chalked it up to a learning experience. In the end the league is all about having fun. I am doing things that I never would’ve done while I was an active alcoholic. I am going out on a regular basis—whether it be BBQ’s, dinner with friends or joining a recreational sports league to expand my social horizon. It feels good to be more social—I lost that aspect of my personality for a while, and I’m determined to get it back.
After the game a few of us went to a local establishment to hang-out. It was an interesting evening—nobody told us it would be karaoke night. We walked in and heard 80’s songs accompanied by really bad singing voices—slightly slurring voices due to the liquid courage. I was surprised how drunk the karaoke crowd was for a Sunday evening—but who am I to judge? I sat down with my teammates, and of course I hear the inevitable “Leif you are totally going to sing a song, right?” For as long as I can remember, I was always the guy in the crowd that would usually not feel awkward doing awkward things, like: karaoke or approaching a pretty girl to ask her out. The only difference now is that I don’t have the luxury of downing three or four beers to muster up the courage.
I thought to myself: “why not?” My friends would get a kick out of me singing horribly—and I can continue to prove to myself that fun things are more fun when not drunk. So, I filled out the karaoke card and chose one of my favorite songs: “Friday I’m in Love” by The Cure. Robert Smith, lead singer and vocals for The Cure has always been someone I admire—he is, in my opinion, one of the greatest poets to have ever lived. I was called to the stage, grabbed the microphone and sang my heart out. I didn’t feel awkward for a moment, not even one second. It felt great to get up there sober—what didn’t feel great was the fact that I completely destroyed The Cure’s, Friday I’m in Love.
Me singing encouraged a few of my teammates to sing—and I was completely outdone by Jamie, our Striker (soccer), who sang Adele’s, Chasing Pavement. He sang the shit out of that song—and did it with style. We were all laughing our asses off—it was a moment of what I can only describe as meditation…my mind was focused on one thing—laughing. I haven’t genuinely laughed that hard in months.
Last night reinforced what I already knew deep inside. Specific to my sobriety, I can sit in my apartment and wallow in self-pity during the days I don’t have Lila. Or, I can get up off the couch and re-introduce myself to all of the quirkily entertaining things that life has to offer. I choose a life of motion and new experiences—and thus far it has been quite enjoyable.
My sponsor Lila will be over this week. I pick her up tomorrow from school—and can’t wait to give her a thousand hugs and kisses. She too had a soccer game this weekend—and did so well. Her confidence is blossoming, and I couldn’t be more proud. I am so lucky and blessed to have such a wonderful daughter—she ensured that I hung in there even when the consumption of alcohol was negatively consuming my life. I buried myself neck deep in negativity and self-loathing—Lila was the one who dug deep enough to grab my hand and slowly pull me out of the hole I found myself in—which in turn emotionally inspired me to dig deep enough to want to find my real self once again. She has no idea, yet, that she saved my life—because without her in it, alcohol would still be my best, worst friend on this planet. In due time, when she reaches the appropriate age, I will explain to her that she is and always has been the saving grace in my life.
On Day 154—I realize that I have to take every opportunity to put myself out there in the world. Meet new friends, seek new experiences, prove that I am more confident without booze and strive to be the best person and father I can be on a daily basis.