Sober Birthday Number 4
Today marks my 4 year anniversary of getting sober. It is a hugely important date to me. It is no overstatement to say that absolutely nothing I have created or have today would it exist were it not for my decision to quit drinking. If I try to pinpoint the reason I quit I think it would be because I was in pain and finally tired. Life had become unmanageable. I was tired of the hangovers. I was in pain physically, mentally and emotionally all the time. I was the source of pain for myself and others. I was tired of always feeling out of sorts and not myself. And tired of waking up in panic, fear and insecurity and the constant dread that it was never going to end. My life was a perpetual hell. I was finally too broken to go on anymore. The corny cliche of "One day at a time" was all I had in the beginning. And honestly that is all the time I thought I was going to quit drinking.
"A day or maybe two.", I'd think to myself, "Just long enough to clear my head." Thank God I have friends that had gotten sober before me in this life changing endeavor that I could reach out to in my time of need. I have not forgotten how hard and scary it was or how much I would self-medicate with sugar and sleep and cigarettes and TV and internet. In retrospect I needed all those things for protection as my body and mind slowly sorted themselves out and tried to make sense of a new way of living. Little by little I knocked the dust off and the rebuilding and restructuring could begin. It was hard and it hurt. Some days it still does and I imagine this will be true for the rest of my life. The difference is today I don't have to drink over the bad things in life.
It is only in the last few months of my four years of sobriety that I have taken my physical health seriously.
I look back thinking, "Why did I take so long?!!!" and the only answer I can come up with is that it took what it took for things to become unmanageable and for me to make real changes. The pithy platitude is true. Easy does it. I wasn't ready. So today I won't judge or worry about my progress but rather enjoy how far I've come and be grateful for a life that very easily could not have been.