730 days ago I took my last drink. Gin poured into a sobe bottle. I took the bottles into the living room, away from the lights of the kitchen and poured at least an inch worth of gin into the bottle. I don't like gin. It tastes like Christmas trees. But it was all I had and I drank it anyway.
I drank it, knowing full well it would be my last drink for awhile. Possibly forever. I drank enough that night to have a buzz, but not get drunk.
I haven't had a buzz since. I've wanted one. I have desired the escape of a few glasses of wine. The softening of my shoulders, the slowing of my breath, the fogging up of my brain. I have fantasized about it even.
But I haven't experienced it.
A few weeks ago the topic of my meeting was Relapse. I almost didn't go, flippantly thought, Oh, I'm all past that now. Wrong. As I listened to the speaker I became a little angry. I became a little wistful. I again wanted that imagined freedom of a buzz. I left my meeting and went to a friend's house. She is a new friend, we have become close this fall. But sometimes things just click and you know when folks are legit. She is that friend.
I sat on her couch and slowly my feelings came to the surface, came bubbling out. I was feeling sorry for myself. Feeling like life was unfair, that I had the 'right' to drink. Now T doesn't know my whole story, or the instances of the very worst drinking. But she knows enough to know that I go to meetings and I collect chips and I can say with certainty "I am an alcoholic."
She asked my why would I want to go back there? Why would I want to go back to the pit I had been rescued from? Why would I want to lay awake at night in a panic, wondering what I had said and to whom? Wondering if I had flirted too heavily, laughed too loud, shown too much? Trying to remember how I had gotten home, if anyone from work had seen me, or if I had kissed my kids good night.
Yeah, NO, I don't want to go back there. I do not miss those types of feelings. Of inadequacy and shame and fear and sadness. Such sadness.
So here I sit, 2 years sober. My shame is gone. My smile is genuine. As are my tears. I still struggle and I still seek out help. I'm not even going to tell you how many text messages I send and receive in a given month. I have surrounded myself with strong friends, some of whom have walked this road ahead of me, many who walk alongside of me and a few that I hope to lead into the light. Things are easier with my extended family and my friend that has been praying for ripple effects might be seeing some fruit from her labors.
I told my sponsor this morning- my recovery doesn't define me anymore. It is a part of who I am, not all that I am. There are even days I forget what I have been through.
But today is not one of those days. Today is December 16, 2010 and I have been alcohol free for 2 years. 24 months. 104 weeks. 730 days.
My friend T sent me a note of encouragement this morning. Part of it reads:
My prayer for you today is that you hold steadfast in your journey to serve God through your family, friends, work and church. I pray that you remember only enough of your PAST to keep you focused on your PRESENT ministry, knowing full well that your FUTURE is secure in the grace and love of your Lord, Jesus Christ!Two down...a lifetime to go. Continue on, taking one step at a time, allowing Him to carry you on the days your weakness seems too great.
Here we go..................