(A gi-normous shout out to my Soba Sistah – ‘
Rags2Riches’ wasadoll! Congratulations! So glad we ‘met’ through the blogosphere … and the virtual support has been amazing. To you, today, I say what a seriously great achievement …. and what a whopper of a day today is. Your BIRTH day AND an accumulation of 365 SOBER days. You go girl!)
Happy Birthday To Me!
Last year June 7th 2018 was my 50th birthday and my last drinking day.
I’ve been a serious drinker all my life. At the age of two my Nana would give me a little Dixie cup with a few sips of beer in it. I’d help her clean her apartment and when we were done I’d say “now let’s have a couple a beers” haha, it was cute and I really don’t remember that but I did love talking about it with her all my life, she was a great woman and I miss her dearly. I don’t think those little sips with Nana led to my problem with alcohol. I do think, at least in my case, it is hereditary and habit-forming. Both of my parents are alcoholics. I don’t blame them for my addictive ways, but we’ll save those stories for another day. Consistent drinking began around the age of 15. 35 years later I decided it was time to be in control of my body and mind. We get one body and one life and I was throwing both away.
Like many other stories I’ve seen, I did not have a “rock bottom” moment. I have never been arrested, homeless, fired, etc. My life is chock full of blessings. My life is also riddled with crazy stories — some you wouldn’t believe, but we’ll save all that for another day too.
I tried moderation more times than I care to admit. One is too many and a hundred ain’t enough. None is far easier than some. How many times does it take being drunk in the wee hours of the morning convincing myself and my party buddies that we should have “just one more”? How many wasted days did I need to spend sick, massively hungover, filled with shame, anxiety, and regret?
I have quit in the past. Thirteen months from 2001-2002. A few little stretches here and there. And more recently, 8 months in 2017. The 2017 stretch was pretty serious, soul-searching, contemplating “forever”, knowing deep down that ending the booze relationship for good was the right thing to do, but not truly being able to let go. I had a few significant social events on the horizon. Damn those super-hard social events! BTW…they do get easier!
So I bellied up to the bar after eight months and thought I’d moderate. Aren’t I clever? Also immediately I was back to daily drinking, what a surprise. Looking back, subconsciously I was not ready for “forever”. “Forever” was daunting, uncool, not fun, boring. “Forever” was stark. And those big social events? No way was I going to do those sober. Oh the subconscious mind, such a double edged sword. Without even realizing it, I set my sights on my 50th birthday and merrily swigged along.
What did I want my life to be? Healthy, alert, engaged, fruitful, nourishing? Or, suppressed, wasted, lagging, sluggish, regretful, numbed?
Here’s an idea: What if you were your own best friend? Really close your eyes for a minute and imagine you are sitting next to yourself. Put your own hand inside of your other hand, hold your own hand and think about what you’d tell yourself. What advice would you give your very best friend? That it’s okay to make yourself a priority? That it’s okay to change a few habits? That it’s okay to skip a few social outings or slip out earlier than last call? That if people don’t understand and support you that perhaps they really aren’t worthy of your time? That it will be hard at times but that you can do it? That you’re not at the top of your game if you’re constantly held back by booze? That you can love yourself?
I found the image online. (I don’t have credit info available.) It spoke to me the moment I saw it. To me it represents letting go of alcohol. How much growth and goodness you gain from ditching that one little (okay BIG
) thing. There is so much space in my being for goodness that alcohol has been robbing from me. Not just physically, but emotionally too, maybe even more so.
My choice of song represents to me that we have one life and one body and whatever we’ve done up until this very minute does not need to define us until the end. Nothing bad is going to happen from quitting drinking. And who doesn’t love The Talking Heads? BTW, there is a Talking Heads cover band called Start Making Sense
, if you get the chance, check them out, they are fantastic!
Today is my birthday. Today is my one year Soberversary.
My sacred sobriety is the best gift of all! I don’t know why, but I like being able to say “I haven’t had a drink since my 50th birthday”. Maybe I’m finally ready for “Forever”. “Forever” doesn’t seem so stark. I am worth it, forever!
Today is the first day of the rest of your life, how are you going to spend it?