Coffee, antiques, and deja vu all over again

You know how the early weeks and probably even years of sobriety include a steady stream of firsts, of revisits to old haunts, be they homes or bars or cities or campgrounds, that were sites of drinking or new relapses and now you’re overlaying a new experience/memory on the place. And sometimes it feels so freeing and other times it makes you sad and other times it’s just weird and you want to get it over with and go back to being warm and comfortable in your sober life? I’m sitting at that intersection at this very moment, and god damn it this time I’m going to land in the warm coffee shop and not the pre-game deafening bistro chatting over too much wine with the pre-game woman sitting next to me at the bar.

It goes like this. I come to this nearby city for some reason (little conference/symposium thing this time). It contains an architectural salvage store that is amazing. Four floors of stuff, old windows, old light fixtures, old millions of things, as well as refurbished stuff. The people who run it are awesome. There is a coffee shop on the ground floor. I sit here and work at a big natural-edged slab table and drink coffee then peppermint tea.

And they close at 5. I’m not done working at 5, so I try to head to another coffee shop in downtown. Okay. Last time (about a year ago) I get in the car and head toward that coffee shop and it’s cold and lots of traffic (pre-game) and I get frustrated and pissy. I park and look for the coffee shop. It isn’t there. Piss piss piss. I go into a bistro, sit down at the bar, get an IPA, and all is well. Pissiness dissolved (along with some small number of sober days). That sort of thing played out more times that I want to remember.

Deja vu now, I need to pack up, take a spin through the millions of old things, and go get my new coffee at new coffee shop. I’m feeling a bit haunted. Though not in a bad way. I’m much better at overlaying than I used to be. But I don’t like this. I want all the overlaying to be over 🙂

Off to ogle cracked stained glass!


Update 1: I veered from the path to destination coffee shop, because … hunger pang. Early dinner now accomplished.

Update 2: Coffee accomplished, at a bookstore with too bright of lights and smelling of hops. The way they smell when you open a packet to shake them into a pot of boiling wort. Not helpful for this sober girl. I also received two emails this afternoon from old drinking places — which could not be more random. One is from a sports bar in a nearby town which is actually the place I drank the night after the day I related in this post. They suddenly started sending me alerts about game day specials. The other was from a cool small craft brewery in Colorado where I went most recently a year ago. What the hell? I honestly think the universe is playing paintball with me today. Mostly giving me crap but also just having a good time, as in, while she’s driving to get dinner out of newfound appreciation of low blood sugar, let’s have the Belle audio she’s listening to about “prelapse” specifically mention skipping meals.


4 thoughts on “Coffee, antiques, and deja vu all over again

  1. For at least 1 year, I was overlaying (cool way to put it!!), and at the same time resentful I had to, just like you.
    Now I am happy I am making new memories at my old places, or at least not resentful anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

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