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  • John Staley

A is for Auld Lang Syne

Roughly translated Auld Lang Syne means 'Old Times Sake' which seem apropos being that a lot of my drinking career was spent talking about all the good times I had while drinking. As the alcohol would hit my brain and numb my senses it was natural for my mind to seek out the ease and comfort of vague distant memories where things were better, happier and often drunker rather than live in the present moment of mundane melancholy. The good times were so often skewed by booze and my own perception of the past . It is easy to dismiss the hurt I caused or forget the disappointment of the people around me my actions brought. To be clear there were certainly good times and fun that was had but I can't help but think about how much of that was born out of running from my feelings and casting away realities I was unwilling and unprepared to deal with and resolve. Plenty, I am sure.

I recall one time sitting at a bar around 5a.m. with a friend, arm in arm, drunk out of our minds singing Kermit's 'Rainbow Connection'. At the time it was only through hours of imbibing quarts of liquor in a darkened bar just before sunrise that we were able to squeeze out a tiny bit of emotion as I cried through horrible harmonizing of those final froggy vocalizations that muppet morning.

Now in recovery I tend toward less painful moments. I find myself crying during a run as I release some of that emotional poison. And with no subsequent hangovers or overdrafts to contend with the next day . I spend a lot more time preparing for the future and how I can make THIS moment better. My days are less things to struggle through and more building blocks for a better life and finding healthier expressions of my feelings . I look back on the past for lessons to better serve me today rather than somewhere better to dwell .

With the New Year here again it is easy to say that it doesn't matter and time is just a human construct. If that is the case then this human is going to be constructive with what time he has left, to be grateful for the past that has led me here, focus on this present moment and find some promise in the future where before I only saw threat

Happy New Year!

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