….. Began with a decision. A decision that was born from a moment of the purest intuition. I just knew – in the very deepest core of my being – that I could no longer continue drinking. It was absolutely going to kill me.
One thousand mornings ago, I woke up – yet again – unable to remember going to bed the night before. Or the details of the television show I’d watched. Or much of anything after the big fat martini I’d consumed, come to think of it. (Which was after the drink in the afternoon and the glasses of wine I’d had with dinner, of course.)
I woke up to my morning ritual – silent self-interrogation:
How much did I drink?
Do I remember going to bed?
Did I say or do anything I need to apologize to my husband for?
Along with the resolve to STOP drinking so often, so recklessly, so unpredictably….
I’ll never forget that moment: when a thought – no, more like a voice – unbidden and unwanted, said, “You need to stop drinking.” I couldn’t un-hear it. Couldn’t un-know what I knew. I felt my blood turn to ice as I realized what I needed to do. I had to save my own life. There was no turning back.
And the first year was alternately exhilarating, and terrifying, and sad, and frustrating, and exquisitely strange, and unbelievably wondrous.
Year two was when I could start to take my eye off the ball. Being a non-drinker became much more comfortable and natural. I felt like my old self, only a little more socially subversive and with just a touch of bad-assery.
I thought I’d be done getting used to this new way of life by now. But I’m still growing and learning how to navigate tricky situations and uncomfortable moments. Mostly by reminding myself that “I am the sky, and my feelings are just the weather.”
And when I start to feel guilty about treats or self-care, I need to remind myself that:
Sobriety is HARD work.
Taking care of myself benefits not only me – it allows me to be the very best person I can, which in turn creates a positive ripple effect that touches everyone in my life.
There was always money for booze – why not for self-care?
And the thing that I’ve realized that surprises me the most, is that my growth as a sober person will continue for the rest of my life. At least, I certainly hope so. Because I’m ready – both hands and my heart are wide open.