"I am 5 today! Woot woot! So grateful for all the people in my life that made this possible!" - this was my Facebook post this morning. As soon as I hit post, tears started flowing. I am grateful beyond words!
I have been thinking of my last days of drinking... So crazy... I remember the weekend vividly! It was Friday. I just got off work. The sun was shining; spring was in the air! There was noting wrong. I have been sober for a few months again... And seemingly happy. What could possibly go wrong? I walked into a store to get some dinner. I just had the thought - one bottle couldn't hurt now, could it?! I walked out with a box of wine...
I woke up face down on my kitchen floor. There was a box of wine next me - What day is it? What time is it? Why am I on the floor? Is there any wine left? OMG! What happened? - I reached over to check if there was any wine in the box... There was. There was also another box of wine on the other side of me. I tried to get up. My body hurt. My head felt heavy. I crawled out into the living room to get my phone. There was 20 missed calls. The clock displayed: Monday, April 15, 2008, 7:00 AM.
I still remember exactly how I felt that morning and I don't ever want to feel that way again! This was the day it had finally beat me down. I have come to face the fact that I had no control over what happened to me once I started drinking, no matter the day, good or bad. I was not safe. The fight was over for me. I was done. I was finally willing to do anything to stop this madness. Ugh.
So, here I am 5 years sober. It is totally amazing. There was a time in my life that I couldn't image being sober for a week, let alone five years. There was a time when I truly believed that I was going to die drunk and alone. The fact that I am sober still sometimes doesn't quite fit in my head. I can't believe all those 24 hours have added up to five years!
But I didn't do it alone. The people in the rooms of AA have carried me along my way. They became my friends and my family. They became the security that I always wanted and needed. They showed me the way that countless others have traveled to sobriety. And although my journey was quite treacherous in the beginning, the kept welcoming me back with open arms. They loved me until I could love myself!
So what does five years sober look like? Well the biggest thing that has changed for me this past year is that I was finally able to drop the shame that I felt about being an alcoholic. I used to live this double life; one smilingly normal, and the other totally sober. I worked really hard on making sure that they were separate and that people from one never knew about the other! But recently, I realized that I no longer am concerned with who might know and what they might think of me. I have truly accepted that the world outside may not understand what it is like to be an alcoholic. But for me I know that this is not a morality issue - I have an addiction. I cannot drink safely. I didn't choose to be an alcoholic. AND, I know where I have been and how hard it has been to get here. AND, I am sober now and there is nothing to be ashamed of in that!
SO, if you are new, just hang in. Sobriety is with in reach. It does get easier and the rewards are amazing! One Day At a Time.
p.s. I have realized that I guess it is not a NEW sober life anymore, so I am changing the blog title to just Sober Life - same web address though :)