Happy Birthday to me.
I turned six…
Years of sobriety, that is. Yep, six years have passed without my ingestion of alcohol or drugs.
Although I rarely think about booze or drugs, and have absolutely no craving anymore, it’s kinda a big deal…
Well over a decade ago, a shrink I was seeing for depression suggested I go a year without drinking. His theory was that if I’m not an alcoholic, this shouldn’t be a problem (this is actually a pretty standard metric in the recovery field; and this guy knew damn well I was alcoholic, he was just trying to get ME to admit it).
I made it 13 days before I decided he was an idiot and I had no problem with alcohol. That I was a miserable wreck those thirteen days seemed to escape my grasp at the time…
I first drank at age 17 and it was immediately and magically the elixir I had been looking for my entire life…it changed everything for the better…until it didn’t.
I suffer from a disease that causes me to deny that I have a disease and I am eternally grateful that I eventually screwed my life up to the point that I had run out of solutions and was willing to surrender.
And that’s the key…surrender. My mom used to be puzzled about my drinking because, as she said “you have such strong willpower in all the other areas of your life”…
It’s like that for all of us drinkers. We MUST drink…it’s the norm, not the exception. And willpower is often a liability.
Anyway, Happy Birthday to me! I’m quite blown away that I’ve gone this long without the substance that literally ruled my life for so many years and equally stunned that I rarely think about it. Don’t get me wrong, I participate in standard treatment for this disease on a regular basis, but I rarely actually think about alcohol.
I’m pretty open about this part of my life with family, friends, and co-workers. Some disagree with this position but I firmly believe that, for me, if I hide it, it controls me and by putting myself out there, I’ve become a resource for others.
And that’s what keeps me sober.
So thank you to those individuals with whom I’ve had the honor of helping the last 6 years.
Here’s to another day!