Monday, August 12, 2013

Take me out to the ball game!

I have always enjoyed a good baseball game. For those of you not familiar with the sport, the game is broken down into 9 periods called "innings". At the end of the 6th inning, just before the 7th starts, there is a brief pause in the action for the "7th inning stretch", at which point the crowd literally gets up for a stretch and sings Take Me Out to the Ball Game. It is also the point at which vendors stop selling alcohol.

This "last call" used to vex me back in my days of active alcoholism. But like any good alcoholic, I knew where there is a will, there is a way; and I took it as a challenge to defeat this policy. I would stock-pile as many beers as I could under my seat, keeping me well-supplied during the draft drought of the last three innings. I wouldn't see much of the game, as the bulk of my time was spent eye-balling the beer vendors running up and down the stands. The game would end, and I'd typically have a surplus of ale that I'd gaggingly try to slug down before exiting the stadium - going home quite inebriated.

It is amazing how things have changed in my sobriety. When I go to ball games now, I actually enjoy watching the game and cheering on my team. 

Last night, I went with my family to see the Nationals play {defeat!} the Phillies. 

The weather was beautiful and the game was brilliantly played by the home team. At some point mid-game, my brother left his seat to purchase food, and he came back with a gift for me - a hand puppet of Teddy Roosevelt!  

This was the most entertaining gift ever! Suddenly, I was 46 going on 7! Teddy and I cheered on the Nats with wild abandon...

...we even made friends with a very gracious sports news celebrity!

Johnny Holliday / MASN

It was an amazingly fun night which never would have been possible if booze were in the picture for me. In fact, it never would have been possible a year ago when my every move was dictated by my anxiety's constant monitoring of the social mirror. 

Once again, I am grateful for sobriety and I am grateful to be on the road to mental health!

Look out world - here come me and my Teddy!

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