Let's Celebrate my Three Year Soberversary
I've Learned So Much in Three Years
On December 9th, 2019, I took my last sip of alcohol. My drinking had progressed significantly in a very short period of time. I don't know exactly when I crossed that line, but once it is crossed it can't be reversed - at least not for me. I became a 24/7 drinker. Before you think it can't happen to you, trust me it can. My drinking progressed to the point that if woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I would open a beer. It progressed to the point that the obsession started before I even woke up. I would have a beer waiting for me on my bedside table when I woke up. My liver was swollen. I was having seizures. I was in a rotation of psych wards, court appointments, and emergency room visits. If I can offer any advice, it is not to wait until it gets to this point. Don't be an "at-leaster." Don't say, "well at least I'm not a felon," "at least I don't have five OVI's." Before you know it, it can happen to you.
Let me take a minute of your time to illustrate how my life has changed in three years:
1. The amount of money I have saved is ridiculous. Besides not spending money at the bar, I'm not spending money on bar food, lawyers, court dates, prescriptions, ankle bracelets, hospital stays, rehabs, etc.
2. I've developed hobbies I never knew I had. I started hiking, writing, and quilting. The quilting has become a mindfulness activity.
3. I've reconnected with friends and family. At rock bottom, no one wants to talk to you. A lot of people have come around.
4. I've started taking classes to improve my technology skills. All of my skills were horribly out of date when I was spending every waking minute at the bar.
5. I've started listening to podcasts. I'm learning something new every day.
6. I've read about fifty books. Non-fiction, fiction, self-help, memoirs, autobiographies. You name it I've read it.
7. I started exercising. Objects in motion, stay in motion.
8. I look twenty years younger. I gave myself a facelift. My skin looks healthier. I smile again. My teeth are whiter.
9. I'm learning to love myself again or for the first time - I'm not sure which.
10. I'm learning how to relax without drugs. I'm finding my off switch.
11. I'm learning how to manage my emotions and sit with my feelings which is where the real work is. I hadn't felt many emotions in many years. I delayed the five stages of grief for years on many occurences and events in my life.
12. I'm learning how to right-size my ego. I was either scum on the bottom of the shoe or the greatest thing since sliced bread. I need to be in the middle.
13. I acquired a book contract with a publisher in Austin, Texas.
14. I can finally sleep again. I'm no longer lying to people, running scams, robbing Peter to pay Paul. I'm not up in the middle of night looking for pills under my bed, texting people to borrow money. I no longer have to worry about the jails, institutions, and death - the inevitably of the disease.
15. I've learned that acceptance is the key to all of my problems. I've also learned that anticipation anxiety is almost always worse than the main event. The anticipation of an event, whether it is sobriety, divorce, or job loss, is typically worse than what it shakes out to be.
It took three years for all of this to happen, so don't expect your life to change overnight. Rome wasn't built in a day as they say, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
About the Creator
I am an aspiring writer currently writing a book on the Sober Revolution we are in the midst of, a book about essays that will change the way you think, and a novel about a serial killer. I am also working on a book of poetry.
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Very well written , courageous, and brutally honest . Addiction is so hard to overcome , I know it’s one day at a time , and I find it very impressive how you’ve moved forward and are doing so well . Im sorry to hear how you struggled , but I’m also glad to know you are in a better place now.