Three weeks out of rehab, and TJ is colossally bored. He’s going to so many 12-Step meetings he has perpetual heartburn from the lousy coffee, he’s seeing a talk therapist twice a week, and he’s spending way too much time on the couch with his laptop refreshing his Facebook feed. Today, someone’s posted a picture of a vivid sunset emblazoned with the words: Someone who has never made a mistake has never tried something new.
TJ thinks about that for a moment. The problems in his life aren’t because he hasn’t tried anything new—that’s the trouble: He’s tried it all. Booze, more booze, drugs, designer drugs, parties that would do the Romans proud—he’s been chasing the newest thrill for years and made so many mistakes in the process he’s lost count.
For years, he’s shrugged it off as necessary—he needs novel experiences and new sensations to thrive, to broaden his horizons, to break out of the fishbowl he grew up in. The trouble is, after years of excess, TJ doesn’t feel broadened, he feels more confined than ever. The parties have ceased to be more than mildly entertaining at best, the fleeting sexual encounters bring no joy in their wake and the drugs are less a recreational activity than something else in his life that bullies him.
TJ sighs, staring at something that isn’t on the screen. He’s sober again, for now, going to those dull meetings like a good boy because his therapist says to, but it feels too much like his previous dry-outs—nice while it lasts, but always overshadowed by the feeling that he’s missing out. The chamomile tea and melatonin at bedtime helps him sleep, but he never feels really awake any more…he misses the buzz a fat line used to give him. While he’s sitting home writing affirmations, there are awesome parties going on and beating off is definitely not in the same ballpark as having some hot stud giving him the business—even though none of those things has made him happy in a long time.
Maybe…a thought struggles to come into focus…maybe the “new thing” he needs to pursue this time is nothing. Maybe instead of chasing after the next thing, he ought to sit tight and embrace the current thing. Sobriety may not be exciting, but it’s definitely a new thing for TJ—and it’s a lot less likely to be a mistake than any of his other choices. And maybe, just maybe, if he keeps doing that and doesn’t fuck it up, eventually his life will start to make sense. (It sure would be nice if he knew when "eventually" would kick in, though....)
He shares the sunset-affirmation picture with the header, Don’t believe everything you read on Facebook.