On January 4th of 2016, I was forced to break up with the bottle for my family. That was the first of many hard, hard days that lasted almost exactly eight months.
However, right before my birthday in early September of 2016, my husband and I went on a date, and the next thing I knew, I was ordering my old friend- Cabernet Sauvignon. Then I ordered another. And so began the final descent into my whirlwind of blackouts, irrational behavior, and self-loathing.
TODAY- September 25th- marks exactly eight months since I broke up with the bottle for ME. I’m incredibly proud of this mark because I have officially surpassed the longest I’ve ever stayed sober since I started drinking at the young age of 15!!! (Yes, I had no issues with throwing back the red wine during all three pregnancies).
In prior posts, you’ve heard me say that this time has been much easier, and I believe there’s a lot to be said as to why.
Last year, I learned a lot about sobriety. I learned what it truly entailed, the should and should-nots, my triggers, and where to find support. I learned it’s incredibly hard when you are just gripping your way through it rather than surrendering. I also felt like I had to hide. Yes, I’d share major marks- 60, 90, 120, 180 days, etc. I posted some quotes on Instagram. I attended AA for a few months. I read memoirs until my eyes fell out.
But the night I ordered that wine, my mind was nowhere near where it is now. My mind was still trapped! Alcohol had remained in my system even though it was not physically in my system.
These past eight months I’ve surrendered completely! I have dug deeper than ever to face myself; to face my entrapment. I have faced my anxiety head-on and challenged myself, over and over. I chose to not go the AA route, but rather seek support in other ways- ways that work for me. And although I still have TONS to grind through, I’m a far cry from the girl that thought eight months was enough to “cure” my relationship with alcohol.
One of the absolute best parts that’s come to be over these last eight months (besides never, ever waking up hungover) is that I don’t view alcohol the same. Some of the books I’ve read have aided tremendously in helping me to see that alcohol is straight-up a toxin. There are no physical benefits to it, so why do we want to poison ourselves as a “reward” for a long week, a stressful day, a celebration?
Additionally, I think about how the temporary “high” is just that- temporary, fleeting. Yet, the damage that can be done, the opportunities we’re missing out on for personal growth, can last a lifetime. Those “highs” have rocked many, many relationships, my marriage, my physical well-being, and for what?? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not have to do clean up duty on my life just to throw back a few glasses (cough, or bottles) of wine with friends, family, or solo.
It’s amazing what sobriety has done to my life, my heart and my soul. I feel like I’m more myself with every passing day- be it good, bad, or ugly. I appreciate life more! I’m more grateful than I’ve ever been for all things big and small. I seek people out and hold my head up high. My heart could explode with the love I have for those who have stayed by my side through it all, and I smile from within for those who are welcoming me back.
Man, what a difference eight months can make! And with great confidence I know, I’m not stopping here!