|Just a Thought — One day at a time|
|Saturday, October 05, 2013 12:50 AM|
One day at a time. That’s the key to staying sober. Oct. 8 is my two-year sobriety anniversary. I honestly can’t believe it. At times, it’s seems like every day just dragged on and on but now that it’s been two years, it feels as if it went so fast. I’m the proudest of myself that I’ve ever been.
Getting sober wasn’t easy. I should have done it long before I did. Like most people who’ve quit drinking, I had to really hit rock bottom to realize the only solution was to quit.
Every day is still a challenge, but it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. No one can really prepare you for what it’s like to live sober, though, after you’ve been used to a drinking lifestyle. I never understood what a focal point alcohol was in my life until I quit.
Fall is my favorite season. I used to strongly associate it with the seasonal beers that come out every year, the pumpkin ales and Oktoberfest brews. I looked forward to this. They were my favorite and I can’t say that my heart doesn’t ache a little when I pass them in the grocery store. But I also now associate fall with my getting sober. It was a glorious time. My “Sobriety Honeymoon,” as my therapist calls it. I completely changed my life. I started doing yoga every day. I woke up early. I began to teach myself how to play guitar. I became obsessed with tea — different varieties and flavors — drinking that instead of beer or wine or liquor.
I sat outside on our back porch and breathed in the crisp air, gazed at the changing colors of leaves and looked at the sun shining down through the tree in our yard, casting a soft glow of rays onto the ground. I sipped my tea. In that moment, I was content. I was sober and I was content. Happy, even. Sublimely happy.
I took walks around town. I started walking often. It invigorated me. I felt brand-new, like I was learning how to live again. I was discovering life again.
The biggest thing that came out of this life change was my writing. As soon as I got sober, I began writing furiously. I couldn’t stop. The words poured out of me. The ideas came faster than I could keep up with. I will forever remember my early days of sobriety as being magical. Full of fall leaves and my most prolific writing period to date.
Now, for today. Well, the honeymoon is over. It ended a long time ago. Real life began. I lost interest in yoga. And the guitar. I no longer started waking up early and looking forward to the new day. I do still drink tea, however.
The thing is, sobriety is hard. It’s an emotional roller coaster. It’s not even describable to another person unless he or she has experienced it. For me, it is a struggle every day. I believe it will be for the rest of my life. Sometimes it just feels surreal. Do I really not drink? Will I really not drink ever again? That’s when I feel myself on the verge of a panic attack.
And this is why they say to take it one day at a time.
That’s hard for me to do. Yet it’s the only way to do this and survive. The Serenity Prayer is my most valuable resource. I bought a necklace with the entire thing printed on it. I love it. I need the constant reminder.
Even though this is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, it’s also the most rewarding. Had I continued down the path I was on before I made this change, I would no longer be married. Who knows what else would have happened.
So now, two years later, I can say that it’s been a ride. Both good and bad. The good far outweighs the bad, and the bad is usually temptation to drink. Every time I resist it is a victory. And that’s what it’s about. The small victories.
Every day, one day at a time.