I was out with my friend Coachella and she ordered a gin and tonic and I didn’t think much about it except:

I’m so glad she’s not being weird and not drinking because I am sober.  It didn’t look good to me, or bad to me, just neutral like, whatever, that’s her fancy drink.  I had a fizzy water with lime which is my fancy drink.  That’s me. 

The next day I was talking to a guy who had double-digits sobriety and he was saying how uncomfortable he’d been around the drinking at some dinner he’d been to, that he was so uncomfortable he’d decided to leave early.  That’s him.

So, on this one thing, the other people drinking around me thing, I feel like I’m a little luckier because I have more tolerance for exposure, which means I can be comfortable and not at risk in those situations.  

I could say maybe that guy will get there if he works a better program but I dunno, maybe not.  All we know is that for him, leaving was the best he could do at that time, and he did that.  So great.  

What we do is we do what it takes to stay sober one day at a time and he did that, I’m doing that, and if you’re interested in doing that I strongly encourage you to get on it.

There are plenty of other situations that push me in the direction of edginess versus ease — big crowds, late nights, hangriness, political chat — so I avoid those things.

I avoid those things not because one political mixer and I’m gonna drink, but because the cumulative effect of doing stuff that’s not really true to who I am or how I feel best will lead me to drink, I’ve been told.  And that story will not have a happy ending.

So I’m grateful to rely on the experience of others, and to go with that, rather than do more experimenting on my own.  I’m grateful to be holding on to my chair in the circle like platinum and diamonds and more than that, like life.  

That’s what I’ve been told to do and I’m doing it and it’s working.  So I’m lucky, which is agnostic for blessed.  And I’m grateful, which is a mantra worth repeating, again, and again, and again.  I’m gonna keep going.

Sascha Liebowitz