Today is the last day in the 5th month since I stopped drinking Alcohol. These last few hours of the 31st day of March have my mind wandering. Just 5 months ago alcohol was my go-to companion every single day, every evening (and even some mornings) I spent drinking some form of the intoxicating liquid. For several years before it was even legal for me to drink, I drank. I loved it. Beer, wine, booze, all the different flavors, colors and stages of inebriation. For the last 10 years before these 5 months my life and my perspective of alcohol was very different.
I knew there was always the potential for it to be a problem. I was clinically diagnosed as an alcoholic at the age of 13 after getting caught a few too many times with booze on my breath. As Ani DiFranco sings in her song Fuel- “They say that alcoholics are always alcoholics even when they’re dry…” and I was far from dry but figured I had a handle on it. I was fully functional, healthy & successful in very obvious ways. I was spending over $300 a month just on alcohol and still had enough to money to pay the bills, buy organic foods, have nice clothes, cars and toys. From the outside it appeared I had it all- life was good and it was one hell of a party. I could drink almost anyone under the table and still drive home. (Thank God I didn’t get caught or worse, hurt someone in those moments of poor decision to take the wheel.) I even liked to drink at home- I didn’t need to go out to get hammered, I didn’t even need a drinking buddy. And sometimes I’d wake up in the middle of the night after passing out drunk only to look at myself in the bathroom mirror after emptying my bladder wondering… Why the hell was I doing this?
Was it really all fun and games? Sometimes it was really fun but then sometimes the hangovers were really horrible too. Hair of the dog only works so well after a few hours of restless sleep after torturing ones liver. I tried to cut back after the bad days, limiting myself to one cocktail for an evening, only to find myself doing it all over again a week later. I craved it, some days I couldn’t wait until 5 O’clock to get my drink on. I’d go to the grocery store and tell myself I wasn’t going to buy any more alcohol only to find myself with 4 bottles of red wine in the shopping cart. It was especially bad when Washington changed the liquor laws and booze moved into the grocery stores. A bottle of bourbon was just too easy to grab while picking up a few items for dinner. Now I don’t even look twice at that section of the store.
These 5 months have gone by really fast actually and some days have been harder than others to stay on track. I’ve come a long way for being sober only this long and it’s amazing how different my whole world appears. The future looks bright and I’m ready for April 1st tomorrow. One day at a time, one foot in front of the other, I’m finding better ways to cope with the twists and turns of life. I know I have the power to control my destiny and it all begins with each choice in each moment. I hope to continue to choose not to drink that intoxicating liquid that was distracting me from becoming who I really want to be. Life is so beautiful and I’m extremely Thankful to be where I am today- happy, healthy and sober. 🙂