If I were to relapse, I think it’d be from pure nostalgia; a feeling that blindsides me from time to time. It fills my head with happy recollections of the past that make me painfully resentful of the present.
I can’t justify banishing these bittersweet memories. I lose myself musing in the life I’ll never recapture…. even though I know that the memories I relish in jeopardize my sobriety.
I rationalize indulging in nostalgia because it doesn’t make me behave irrationally the way other emotions do–like say, anger.
When I’m enraged in sobriety I have many outlets and opportunities to express my frustrations. Typically I blame pedestrians who have the right of way by laying on the horn and yelling “cocksuckers,” at them, while waving my middle finger out the window. Such maniac behavior is unreasonable, irrational, and generally pretty embarrassing.
But nostalgia doesn’t make me react on the outside; it breaks my insides.
A song came on a Pandora station today and transported me straight back to the pot farm, to the point that I could almost feel the weight of a condensation covered PBR, and smell stickiness from a harvest.
The Avett Brother’s ballad took me through 3 minutes of self-inflicted torture; I could have turned the song off the second it came on, but the emotional levy broke and I did nothing for it to be blocked.
It was like a slide projector of moments in time. I saw the bonfires in the middle of our illegal Redwood’s playground, I saw the green Jeep Wrangler with no doors, me learning how to drive stick shift with a beer in the cup holder and a huge smile on my face.
I saw the orange sunset over the mountains and felt the feeling of freedom. I felt bumpy trips down the rocky mountain in the grey pickup, and never worrying about the mud smeared on our legs or our boots covered resin. I could smell the pour of gasoline into a generator and the sound of it coming to life. I saw my friends and me sitting on the tailgates of trucks, nowhere in particular, just to drink because no one was telling us not to and no one ever would.
The track switched and I was jolted back to reality, as I always am when nostalgia strikes and ends. I force myself to remember the shell of a human being I became, that a relationship I kept holding onto almost robbed me of all dignity, and remind my heart and mind that the fire red sunsets turned into grey coked out mornings; that the Wrangler was destroyed, and real laughs died out well before the end.
Still, sometimes I try to convince myself that the old life is obtainable some 3,000 miles away on a mountain full of freedom. Maybe it was for that time. These notions are what could take me out. I’ve heard that “time takes time,” and illustrations of the past do eventually fade; I’m just not entirely sure I want them to.