Sober Love: Dashing Dreams of Bougie Drinks with Bae

16 Apr

Finding love is difficult. Finding love while being a sober strong ass Indigenous woman is that difficulty multiplied by a lightyear travelling through a galaxy of heartaches. I’ve never been one to be candid about my quest for love because that love has taken many shapes and forms, including searching for my love for myself.

I want a sober partner because I know that my own sobriety still requires that, and it is because of this my that my dating pool instantly shrinks the ocean down to a puddle. Sarah Kay the poet once said that finding love is like discovering the ocean after years of puddle jumping. I will have the ocean one day.

I’ve had good men placed on my path that I’ve had to pass by and let go of. I’ve met men that I truly wanted to get to know and experience the innocence and beauty of that old school crushin’ feeling that I had to cut loose. I’m a woman, but god damn it I love the feeling of being a giddy girl. Sometimes I have bypassed my sobriety rule, and sometimes that has ended with 3 am drunken phone calls and me laying in wake of knowing I cannot go any further. I have allowed my heart to venture down paths in spite of my mind telling me that it will be hard to find the way back. I have been Hansel and Gretel lost in the fucking forest with the fire ready to roast my heart.

My mind likes to quip back in these moments where I realized I have went too far and gone too deep… “Giiiirl I told you so. We don’t need no water. Let that mutha…..”

I’m grown enough to say that I have straight out pouted about having to cut someone loose. I am humble enough to say that I have cried about this too. There are days that I feel like the kid in the candy shop who is told that they can look but never have it. I am stomping my foot and ready to throw a tantrum.

I have learned to follow a script early on… “I like you but I know that you drink a fair amount and I’m sober. I don’t think drinking is bad nor do I hold any judgements about it but I know I can’t vibe with someone who loves the juice. It is what it is. It’s not good nor bad but just ….is.”

Very early on in my sobriety when men would counter this with statements of they didn’t drink much or would stop drinking because they rarely drank anyways, I would naively step forward with some kind of hope. That ended after a string of drunken phone calls from various suitors and after I dated a man who had hid a hard drug addiction from me. At times being healed up and whole makes you some kind of beacon of hope and men want to curl around you like a question mark thinking you got the answer…and you’ll never have the answers they need my love.  (I know this goes both ways for both sexes but I ain’t hitting the male experience)

I now know and believe that sobriety has to be somebody’s choice, not my choice placed on top of their own. Ain’t nobody want that kind of power or hand in someone else’s life. If a man wants a cold beer or two after a hard day’s work, I never want to be the reason to deprive them of that. I never want that control. We also know that choices people make for their lives need to be made for themselves otherwise it isn’t going to stick.

I was once told, “Look Helen, it’s not about stopping drinking for you. It’s like this, you say addiction is a disease right?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“Well if you were diabetic I wouldn’t keep tons of sweets in the house. If I had a dog and you were mad allergic and we really were going to move forward, then I would have to let go of that dog to build a life with you. If I wanted to cut out drinking because you are allergic to it, then that’s my choice and I will do it if I want too”.

Million dollar answer…but that came to an end for other reasons.

I have fucking hurt myself going down this road and letting go of people in light of all this sometimes makes me wish I was less complicated and more “normal”. I could do some kind of bougie drink on nights out with bae and have fancy wine in stock for dinner parties. I could laugh it off when someone called me a little buzzed and said cute things. If I could even be the level of sober person who could date someone who drank that would be cool too. Yet I know with the work I do and will do, which includes talking about sobriety and healing in communities,  I want a partner that could walk that walk with me. It’s a lonely road and I am still holding space for that second set of moccasins that will break trail with me. But I think.. If only I was a woman of a different nature…I could not be sitting my ass on this couch alone feeling like coyote howling after a moon that he just can’t touch.

Yet as I sat in my bubble bath earlier with the lights off and candles lit, with the lit new Kendrick Lamar album playing, crying tears for all the times that couldn’t take place. I knew that under all the let gos and let downs and under this idea….this idea… of elusive love. Is love… and it is love for myself.

That shit made me smile.

That’s what it comes down to, it’s not being lonely and pining after what can’t be, but it’s resting in the fact that you love yourself and that is what makes you make those hard choices even when they hurt. I find solace in that love because I worked so god damn hard to get it and that love is there holding me up in late night bubble baths.

I fucking love you, you. Hahah

(another reason why I’m single. My humour is nerd level one hundred and remember…. I am allowed to laugh at myself because it’s my blog. I do what I want)

Peace out lovelies

Helen K

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