One Year

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I have one year sober today. Fucking A. I would have liked to wake up this morning in a state of bliss, with scenes from the last year flashing through my brain in a touching slide show, but that’s not exactly what happened. I am actually feeling quite grumpy about several things, which are not really worth recording here, because if there’s anything I’ve learned this past year, it’s that my sources of grumpiness will soon pass. I will share one, though, since it’s kind of funny:

I have the day off and took the opportunity to sleep past 9am. Not even a great sleep-in in my book, but it felt fairly deserved, considering how efficiently and responsibly I’ve been working (and NOT DRINKING for A WHOLE YEAR).

For some reason, the fire department was not made aware of my plans for the day or all that I have accomplished in the past year and decided to choose today to inspect the sprinklers in my apartment. Their knocking on the front door awoke me, naked in bed, and before I had time to react, they were inside the apartment knocking on the bedroom door. (We live in a very small apartment.) I told them to wait a minute and threw on some clothes and came out of the bedroom looking very grumpy, which made them laugh.

I didn’t laugh then (oh, how I glowered) but I’m able to now, a few hours later, which is progress. (A year ago, I may have been genuinely pissed off and embarrassed all day). But there are still some other things provoking me, which I’m unable to laugh at yet, although hopefully I soon will. I’m learning not to take myself or my problems too seriously. While some great things have happened in the past year — a  blossoming relationship; many new friendships; healed family relationships; a rewarding professional life — I’ve also gotten through some unpleasant shit — social and professional rejections; a couple failed sponsorships; people being assholes — without drinking. When I first got sober, I felt very fragile. I felt life needed to treat me very gently if I were going to continue on this path. But now, after seeing what happens if I just don’t drink, I’ve become a bit tougher. I know now, no matter what setbacks I encounter, I will be okay.

And despite not being in the greatest of great moods, I have to acknowledge that I feel so much better than I did after any drinking binge that the feelings are almost incomparable. I am not physically ill. I was able to get out of bed. I’m not petrified with fear over what I did last night. Instead, I’ve been receiving loving texts of congratulations throughout the day from an amazing contingent of beautiful sober women. Tonight, I will go out with them to eat gourmet hamburgers. While I was drinking, I had all these restrictions for myself, including not eating red meat, since my life felt so out of control that limiting my intake of various things seemed like the only way to control it. Hamburgers have always been one of my favorite foods, though, and I missed them. Now that I’ve quit drinking, i enjoy a good hamburger regularly and have no restrictions except not drinking. And most of the time (increasingly often), that doesn’t feel like a restriction at all but the portal to a happier world.

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22 thoughts on “One Year

  1. Congratulations! I hope you have fun tonight! Cool insight about how you used to restrict yourself when you were drinking. I used to do this too, when I was drinking, and I hadn’t thought about it in the sense of the lack of control I was experiencing with my drinking led to controlling other aspects. I was obsessed with my diet and always implementing rules and controls. I still think about it now but not nearly to the same degree. Thanks for sharing that.

    • Thanks! And I actually hadn’t really thought about it either until writing this. I definitely think alcoholism is very much about control for me, so I guess it makes sense. I still have some weird control issues around other things, but at least burgers are fair game again!

  2. Congratulations on your one year anniversary. Very exciting. Perhaps it is good that unpleasant things happen on our days of celebration too – to remind us of from where we come. I recollect well on my first sobriety anniversary, going out for pizza and getting food poisoning. It felt so undeserved to be puking my guts out on my anniversary when I was sober no less!

    • Oh no, that’s the worst! Last night, I made pork chops and realized as we were eating that some of the meat was still a little pink. I thought to myself how terrible and unfair it would be to get food poisoning on my first anniversary. So sorry it actually happened to you! But comforting to know you survived it!

  3. Awwww…I am so happy for you! Congrats! It’s amazing how much our lives transform like that eh? We see things in a new light and we get the insight that we need to do what we need to do. Like when you said that the source of that grumpiness dissipates. You know that now from experience. The world isn’t out to get us, like we used to think. It’s all out there for us to grab!

    Wonderful post…and congrats again 🙂

    Paul

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