Sober At CitiField

The night was alive with anticipation as we approached the grand entrance of CitiField, bathed in the warm glow of the setting sun. We clutched our VIP tickets, a generous gift from my wife’s employers, and my heart swelled with a mix of excitement and gratitude. This would be my first time stepping foot into a sporting arena as an adult, fully present and in control of my senses. With my daughter snugly cradled in my arms, we navigated through the bustling crowd, the hum of anticipation palpable in the air. In the past, I would have made a beeline for the overpriced alcohol, seeking solace in its numbing effects amidst the sea of faces and the overwhelming noise. But not tonight. Tonight was different. As we made our way through the gates, a delightful aroma of freshly popped popcorn greeted us, tickling our senses and tempting our taste buds. I indulged in a bucket of this simple pleasure, pairing it with a bottle of refreshing water. Taking our seats, I allowed myself a moment to soak in the atmosphere. The game had already entered the 2nd inning, the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd weaving a symphony of excitement. I glanced around the arena, my eyes tracing the contours of familiar seats, now transformed by the passage of time and my newfound clarity. Memories flooded my mind, like fragments of a distant dream. I remembered the countless times I had occupied those very seats, swaying to the rhythm of the game, clutching a tall can of ice-cold beer. It felt like a lifetime ago, a hazy era I had left behind. Yet, as my gaze swept across the crowd, I couldn’t help but notice others savoring their beverages, their faces radiant with carefree delight. In that moment, a sliver of envy pricked at my heart. How I yearned to be like them, to enjoy a drink without it morphing into a destructive force, tearing through the fabric of my life. But then, like a beacon cutting through the darkness, I reminded myself of the truth. I was better off without it. Drawing my attention back to my family beside me, a surge of gratitude washed over me. This night held a profound significance—it was no longer just a ballgame. It was a celebration of our resilience, a testament to the life we were crafting with unwavering determination. I marveled at the delicate features of my daughter, her innocence a stark contrast to the turbulent journey I had traveled. In her tiny frame, I saw hope, a reminder that I had overcome my demons for her and for us. This newfound clarity transformed the night into an ethereal experience, a gift that I had fought hard to receive.

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