I mean, you know that commercial with the staples button that says "that was easy.” Getting sober is the hardest-best thing ever, but is there ever a time when you can hit cruise control and sit back and enjoy it? I know I'll never get to push that staples button, but can I at least get one that says, "It's getting easier?”
This is basically the reason I started to drink in the first place, and I’m pretty sure it’s the reason people have drank since the beginning of time: to feel more comfortable in their skin. Now, they probably didn’t quite use that language while sitting around the fire or dinner table or watering hole (I’m sorry, I have to pause here: imagine Jesus saying to Luke, I don’t know, I just feel so…uncomfortable in my own skin sometimes, man.) but that’s why. Alcohol lowers our inhibitions and smooths the chatter of our minds and some of our minds are really, really loud and mean.
I’m sitting on the edge of my bed looking out at the bay, still in my work clothes. It’s Friday afternoon, Memorial Day weekend, and the sun is bouncing off all the roofs of the houses, the water, the docked boats bobbing in the bay. Even after living here for two years, the view still stuns me. The house sits on top of a steep row of houses, the highest on the street, and from this perch in my bedroom, the beauty is always so shocking I believe it washes away all that is wrong. How can a marriage break in the face of that view? How can there be any pain at all?
I’d hear the words tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth like a drumbeat in my heart—a prayer, an encouragement, a promise—that if I could find a way to do it, I would be forgiven and free. But I couldn’t find any version of the truth that didn’t make me a monster. I searched, even prayed for “good enough” reasons to leave: lies, a big betrayal, hidden addictions, a mortal flaw in him or our relationship, but never found anything but my solid, kind, just-as-promised man.