I have noticed that I have developed a habit of bringing and keeping a sparkling or mineral water by my bedside when I go to sleep. It started happening not too long after moving into the sober house while dealing with the arthritic flare that kept me in pain most of the day. I would bring it with me so that I would have something to drink when I awoke throughout the day (I work night shift).
Now that I have moved to a new home and my pain is under control I have noticed that I still do this. Every day when I go to sleep I keep a sparkling water by my bed. I didn’t think anything of it until my roommate called it out. “Taking your *Brand Name* with you?” He said as it was a continuous ritual. Then I thought about it. “Why do I do this?” Not a water, not even a soda. I take a mineral water with me to bed and so much that it’s noticed.
At first I thought it was a habit that I had developed back at the sober house but I realize that it started a lot earlier than this.
THE OLD ROUTINE
Every night, when I was heavily drinking I would, like clockwork, have a routine. Pretty much starting when I got off of work from my second job. I would make my way to the liquor store, grab my 6-10 vodka shooters and 2 tall beers and make my way home.
Once there, I would make sure the house duties are complete. I would feed the cats, scoop out the litter box, remove hair off of the furniture and vacuum. Once these tasks were completed, I would fill up the same cup with cold water and head to the bedroom with my shooters and beer in tow. I would turn on the Apple TV, switch on the same show/s and started the drinking part of the ritual
I would take a shooter and either chase it with the beer that I bought or the water. I would usually wait until the first one hit me before taking the second. The process would continue until I eventually pass out. This would happen throughout the night: waking up, turn the show that I was watching back on and take another shooter, maybe two then pass out again.
THE NEXT MORNING
When morning came I would wake up either still drunk or horribly hungover. I would maybe have a shooter or two left on my bedside table. I would take the remaining drinks and get ready ready for the day. Luckily I worked from home so I didn’t have anyone around who could smell my breath. I would usually drink the remaining beer or two and when my day was done, I was free to start the process over again.
I thought this was freedom from my past but it was just a prison of the present. This was no life.
I realize that the mineral water I would take to my bed was a replacement for what I use to do. A new, healthier habit built from the foundation of the old.
Same motion, different potion.– Gus Glaros (Maybe not just me but too lazy to look)
I wonder if people would argue whether this was healthy or not? Living out the same habit but changing what tool I used. I am pretty sure some experts would approve, others would not. Regardless, I am still sober. So something is working.
Looking back on it now, I am so grateful to be free from the shooter shackles and the beer bars that held me captive for so long. Now reaching new levels of sobriety, I can’t help but wonder how I got by for so long just coasting on fumes. I was a dead man walking. A rotting corpse chained by the fear of reality.
Now that I am sober I have a new hope and a new sense of purpose. I changed my life and as a result, my new life changed me. The sparkling water by the bed is a symbol of rebirth. I still have this same life, the same breath in my lungs, the same body. I am still the same person I was before, I just have a new lease on life. I replaced bad habits with good. I have made myself a better person.
So, I am happy now. I will keep that drink by my bed so long as I need to and that’s ok. It keeps me hydrated and keeps me sober. No expert can tell me different.