Friday, December 17, 2010

Now I'm 64

Today at lunch, my Writing Friday pals sang the Beatles tune to me--well, the first few lines. That's all any of us could remember. It was enough to provoke hilarity and the laughter was just what I needed. It matched the lovely sunshine that seemed a gift just for me.

I got up early to take my older body to the gym. My buddy and I have a pact to go no fewer than three times a week to work out and to get that in this week it meant going at the crack of dawn. But we went and I had a good workout. One of my friends remarked at lunch that regular exercise is a key to healthy aging. I hope so. I've been a regular exerciser since 1980, never going more than two weeks without a good workout, and most often not more than 3 days. I'm not buff by any means but I want to be ambulatory at 80 and 90, if I should live that long.

But while 60 may be the new 50, I've still lived a long time already. Not only 64 years but 21 years of sobriety. When I was at the end of my drinking, I was pretty close to death. I wasn't dying yet physically of the disease but my psyche was weeks away from the end. I couldn't do it anymore: I couldn't stay drunk enough and I couldn't get sober, and I was so tired of pretending to be okay. The depression was deepening, the nausea was unrelenting, and my brain was full of an inky sludge that thickened with each glass of bourbon. Suicide was looking like a real possibility.

Then I got honest with my doctor and I went to treatment and my whole life changed.

This is not only my 65th Christmas (although I was only a few days old for the first one), it is also my 22nd Christmas sober. I'm so grateful for these sober decades, for this sober life, for being awake in it.

1 comment:

LC said...

Birthday blessings to you! My 64 is coming up in a couple of months. Thanks for the clarity of your word pictures--a brain full of inky sludge, for your articulating goals for workouts, for celebrating the strengths of a lived consciously.