I see a lot of bloggers debate the idea of one day at a time vs forever. I think both work.
When I started this journey I had ABOSLUTELY no plans to quit drinking forever. I felt my drinking was getting out of control, and my inability to reign it is frustrated and scared me. After my many secret plans to cut back on my own, I took the chance and declared out loud that I needed to quit drinking completely and was going to do it as a gift to myself for my 42nd birthday. I even made myself a certificate indicating this, which I would post here if I was more technically able.
Once I started down this road I went through all the usual stages. I felt relief waking up the next Saturday morning hangover free. I debated seriously giving up – telling myself I was making a big deal out of nothing. That a few drinks would be ok. That I was being silly. That insane inner voice alternated between pink cloud relief and addictive compulsion. I am not sure how I made it through those days sober. It was mainly fear and determination.
Eventually things settled down. And I began to notice the beauty of life around me. I started to realize I had created a shell of self pity and resentment around me. I felt hard done by, unloved, un noticed. And I was. But only by ME.
So I worked on finding a way to break down that wall. What I had thought was self preservations was really a self imposed isolation, where I could wallow with my wine. Without it I felt a huge freedom and relief.
Days went by. I didn’t count them. Somehow it scared me to do that. But I knew on the 1st of the month that another month had gone by.
Tomorrow will be 16 months. Time is adding up, but all that really matters is what I do with today. So far today I have gone to my son’s school to hear him do a poetry reading. The kids were all insightful and amazing. My son has a flair for the dramatic and speaks well in public. I was awed and humbled by the 11 year olds. They still see that potential in life I had forgotten about, but now remember.
I don’t need to say I will be sober forever. That sounds like I have resigned myself to a life sentence.
All I need to do is remember that life is all about the present moment. Those small, unanticipated opportunities to see a glimpse of the beauty within us all. And, for me, appreciating the present moment requires me to be clear headed. I don’t plan on doing anything to change that. It is too glorious.
Stillness and peace