I forget what was the first sobriety anniversary I marked on this blog, but I’ve been doing it at least two or three years now. This time it passed almost without me noticing it. I didn’t even have the alcohol dreams that commonly manifest themselves around this time (dreams where I drink alcohol–it’s a sober person thing).
Yay for me! I am very very happy to not be drinking (or using drugs). I don’t feel any particular difficulty maintaining my sobriety nowadays, but I know it’s the kind of thing that can fall away pretty easily. I ordered a soda water and lime at a party recently and the bartender was like, “Why aren’t you drinking?” I immediately knew he was asking whether or not I was sober, so I was like, “Sober seven years.” He told me that he was trying to get back on the wagon. He’d been sober for years, but then he got drunk one time and it all fell away.
That’s how it happens. You get drunk once, and you say it’s just that once (or maybe you lie to yourself and say you can control it now). Then it slowly slips out of control, and you know it’s out of control, but because you’ve been sober before, you now have this illusory feeling of mastery. When you tell yourself “I can quit whenever I want” you actually believe it, because you’ve done it. But “whenever” always turns out to be next week or next month or right after this deadline or that trip. It’s a shitshow, and I want none of it!
It’s amazing that it’s only been seven years. I mean, that’s actually kind of a long time, but I also feel like I was reborn when I stopped drinking. Everything good in my life has its roots in that decision, and I think the last seven years (24 to 31) have been far richer and more full of growth than were the seven years (17 to 24) that preceded them.
Here’s to another seven years, I hope!