I marked 180 days sober on Friday. Six months! That’s the longest I’ve gone without a drink in 32 years. Has it been worth it?
Unequivocally, absolutely, unflinchingly, yes.
I finally feel like my outside matches my insides. What you see is absolutely what you get. Has it been easy? At first, not so much. But as the days became weeks and months, milestones have been racked up and filed away – yes. It has gotten easier, but not without challenges.
And let me tell you, in the past week or so, I’ve been put through the meat grinder at work. I’ve had the same job for 22 years; love Love LOVE what I do. And can count on three fingers the number of times I’ve cried at work. Two of those times occurred last week. Not ONCE did drinking to cope enter my mind. Not. Once. Yay, sobriety! You. Kick. Ass.
In 183 days, this is what I’ve closed the door on:
The constant mental diatribe of worry, shame, regret and self-recrimination. Waking up in the morning, taking stock of the day before and generally being disappointed in myself for drinking when I promised myself I wouldn’t. The mentally exhausting, never-ending stream of thought that was in the background of nearly every waking moment. My first thoughts were typically in this order: Did I drink last night? How much? Do I remember going to bed? Did I do or say anything my husband will be mad at me for? Do I remember everything we talked about last night?
That sad little morning ritual included assessing how I felt physically. Are my hands a little shaky? That ‘ping’ I felt in my right side – is that my liver barking at me? Are the whites of my eyes a little yellow this morning? How much longer before there are health consequences I’ll have to face up to?
And on and on and on……
And this is what I’ve opened the door to:
Peace of mind. Knowing that I am honest with myself and no longer in denial about something that was becoming a real problem. Authenticity. Secure in the knowledge that who I am, right here and now, is truly me. No shadows or secrets, no more feeling like I’m living a double life. Serenity. A calm self-assured awareness that, no matter what life throws my way, I can handle it. I’ve been through so much – and used booze to help soften the edges – now I have enough sober time to be secure in the fact that being clear-headed makes handling stress so, SO much easier. True happiness. I have peace of mind and can really focus on and appreciate the incredible blessings there are in my life. An even better, closer relationship with my husband. In the course of this six months we’ve done a ton of talking about my decision to quit drinking. He really gets why I needed to quit. He’s almost as proud of me as I am! Wonderful, refreshing sleep. Man, I’m out like a light soon after my head hits the pillow. And I generally sleep deeply and well, waking completely refreshed in the morning.
Let’s see…… do I regret quitting drinking?
Not for one frigging second.