As I progress farther and farther along this sober road, new little revelations pop up like the sweetest flowers of spring….
Today marks seven months since my last drink/last drunk. As muddy and bleary as the memories were of that evening, the next morning is etched with crystal clarity in my memory forever. The terrifying conclusion was unavoidable: I had to stop drinking.
Over the course of many years, alcohol had gone from being an occasional treat – to be enjoyed rarely – to an almost daily habit. And an unhealthy obsession. It was my ‘go to’ for every occasion: for celebrations and consolations. The remedy for monthly cramps. The perfect accompaniment to any and every special meal. My weekend necessity. The solution for everything.
Until it became the problem.
And the revelation that occurred to me is that as I used wine or beer or vodka to help soften the edges of a bad day or bad feeling or bad anything, one of the trades I would make is that it would also prevent me from feeling the intensity of the good stuff: burying my nose in the sweet-smelling hair of one of my granddaughters. The shared giggles over silly word play. The long summer walks, punctuated by trips to the library or the corner bagel shop. Teaching one of them how to play “Old Maid.” Snuggling and reading books to them before a nap. Sharing a cuddle or a sweet, sleepy smile as the youngest one drifts off to sleep in my arms. They make me laugh so hard….. sometimes I think my heart will just burst with joy.
It’s been challenging to learn how to sit with uncomfortable feelings without numbing out. But – the unexpected rewards of true happiness and lightness of heart and spirit have been so, so worth the work.