Happy New Year!
I hit day 365 on January 1. One year with NO alcohol! To be honest, while I’m glad that I’ve done it, I don’t feel particularly ecstatic. I’ve been trying to think of all the fantastic things that have happened since I quit the booze. Of course there’s the obvious-no hangovers, no mental bullshit all night long, no deals with myself not to drink. I’ve also saved a ton of money-both at home and when going out. Actually, last week was my S/O”s birthday and we went out to eat at an upscale seafood/steak place. He likes it because in his mind, it’s “very Americana”(he’s a Brit). So I made the reservations and requested the section we wanted to be seated in. We were and had the same great server we’ve had in the past. One of those times I was so drunk, I actually blacked out for a bit during the meal and had to be propped up to leave. Charming vision isn’t it? Anyway, when he came to take the drink orders I said I wanted a mocktail in a good glass-kind of fruity and fizzy. He came back with I don’t know what-but it was in a martini glass and I loved it. Got another. When he asked if I wanted a third, I said no! I had to cut myself off! He laughed and I said how times have changed! Being the great server that he is, he just lauged with me. And you know what? I had a really good time. Yes with my S/O but with the servers and just all the way around. (Yes, I interact with waitstaff-it kinda freaks out some of my British friends, especially in London at a toney kind of restaurant, but, that’s me. They are people too and we all have a story!) I felt good about myself, about how I looked and that I could prance in and out with head held high and not boozy.
So, that is another good thing. I haven’t been sleeping great and I’ve not yet experienced the “miracle weight loss”. But, I do have a kind of clarity that I don’t think I had while I was drinking. This is a very subtle difference. I still blow my top off at things and cry at greeting card commercials. Of course I also remind myself that one year of sobriety is not a whole hell of a lot compared to the 40 years of drinking that I did. Not to diminish going one year without booze.
Is my life better overall? Yes, I would say it is. Have I had any huge breakthroughs or specific “Aha” moments? Not really. Maybe not yet. I do have a sense that I am living the way I’m supposed to be living. How we are all supposed to be living. With awareness. Not medicated. Not dulled out by a substance. To have the realization that this how people live without alcohol or whatever it is. I don’t really do anything differently than I did while drinking. Except that everything is done differently because it’s not done in the shadow of booze-wanting it, regretting it, loving it, hating it. It’s become kind of a non-entity.
This past year, I’ve had a few trips-all booze free. Although to be honest again, I think going to a place like Hong Kong with only 3 months of sobriety under my belt was a little too much-way too much sensory overload. But, I did it-I went to Mexico twice and several other places-all places that I have boozed my way through previously. I’m not sure if I had more or less fun sober. I certainly remember everything and don’t have any drunk regrets. I’v never once wished that I’d gotten drunk the night before. That counts for a lot!
So, I guess what I’m trying to say in a very bumbling way is that for me at this point, life is life. It’s steady. It’s ongoing. The choice is whether you want to be in a leaky boat that you have to keep bailing out the water constantly or if you want one that can make it through a squall safe, sound and secure and upright at the end of it.