Today is day #732 in this particular journey. It’s a good one, too. June 1st. My sober birthday!
It’s been two years since I’ve had a drink. I can now measure my sobriety in years! Plural!
I don’t think I gave myself any real chance at 90 days. I didn’t think I could live without alcohol for any real amount of time. I looked at people in the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous as a bunch of weirdos sitting in the rooms reminiscing about the good times. I understood that they were there and it helped them, but I didn’t see the appeal. I certainly didn’t see or even guess what kind of impact those rooms would have on my life. I couldn’t have dreamed how much good the program would do for me. How much compassion, love, acceptance understanding and help I’d get from these people who are just like me.
Well, I think I’ve mentioned the amount of things that have changed in my life in previous blog entries. I won’t make a list or even highlight reel. But I could. But the thing that has changed the most is who I am. The very essence of who I am. The exterior hasn’t changed a hell of a lot in two years (though I’ve found a few gray hairs!). But the inside is a very different place.
The best thing I could compare it to would be a dilapidated home with a strong foundation. See, the house itself was perfectly intact. It wasn’t crumbling and wouldn’t for a long time, probably. But it wasn’t a pretty house. It was a shit hole that wasn’t comfortable for anyone or anything. It wasn’t fun to be around and it wasn’t a viable option to live in. But now? It’s been spruced up. It’s been gutted and rebuilt. It’s a great place to be. Comfortable and in good shape. It’s under new management, so to speak.
The program has done things for me that I never thought I would be capable of doing for myself. Ever. Sober or not. It has, sorry to use poor grammar, ‘grown me up’. It’s put me in a place where I growing up isn’t something that I have to do, but is something that is the result of learning how to manage life on life’s terms. It’s about learning that being selfish isn’t going to be the right choice 99% of the time. It’s about understanding that I am flawed, not in the spiritual sense, but in the sense that some of my base instincts are harmful. But that I am capable to seeing this, staring it in the face and overcoming it. It’s about things like learning to live my life without something to use as a crutch!
As much as I’m aided from all sides by an army of people in my life, I am able to do it ‘on my own’ in a sense. I’m not relying on a substance to numb myself. I’m not smoking a joint, I’m not drinking a beer and I’m not doing anything else to make things ‘easier’. And it’s going SO well!
I have so many people to thank. I genuinely couldn’t have gotten sober on my own. Don’t think for a second that I’m not thankful every single day for my sobriety and that includes being thankful for all the words of support, love and wisdom. Every single person who has given me words of support is owed unending gratitude. Friends, my partner Elli, family, people from my past, acquaintances, people I’ve just met, people I’ve always known, everyone: Thank you. I love you. You’ve given me my life back. I can never repay what you’ve done.
My name is David and I can not drink today (and I’m pretty happy about that!). That’s about as far as I’m willing to go.
Thanks for reading. I wish you another 24.
A friend of Bill