Tonight, I opened my blog for the first time in a very long time and decided to read an old post. I was drawn to ‘100 Days Sober‘, my first big milestone, and my jaw almost hit the floor.
Lately, sobriety has seemed so easy. A drink would never cross my mind. So easy, in fact, I’ve forgotten the monumental struggle that this time three years ago was consuming me from the inside out. I literally could not stop. It was the biggest battle I had ever faced and yet today, it seems so distant. A whisper inside me enquires ‘Are you just making a big fuss? Are you really an alcoholic?
But when I look at my life today, I see the signs of alcoholism everywhere. I should preface this section of this post by saying if you are trying to get sober, do not be disheartened by what I’m about to say. Being sober is fecking wonderful and it means you can weather every storm that comes your way. I’m just in some rather choppy waters at present…
I think the best way of describing what has happened is that I have a case of ‘ItGotTooGood-Itis.’ Since I stopped drinking nearly 3 years ago, my life has grown at an amazing pace. I spent a little time this afternoon looking through all my recent photos and I have done and achieved ALOT. ALOT ALOT. People who don’t know I’m an alcoholic look at what I do and say ‘I don’t know how you do it!’ Those who know I’m an alcoholic say, with a wry smile and a caring spirit: ‘watch yourself.’ Don’t get too carried away. And at first, I resented this sentiment a little. Why shouldn’t I fly? But the higher I fly, the more I know I need to heed their words.
Here are the words that best describe my current experience of life, which from the outside looks ‘Have It All’:
I’m brimming with tears frequently, like my emotion cannot be contained any longer. My instinct is to reinvent my life once again so I find simpler pleasures, simpler pressures, simpler personalities. To move away from the pressure of achievement.
But just as when I couldn’t trust myself when I was drinking, I can’t trust my feelings when I’m not doing my sobriety work. And that’s very much the case here. When I first stopped drinking, AA was a cornerstone of my life, and now, it’s not. I go to 2 meetings a month if I’m lucky and that my friends, is frankly not enough.
One of the things that made AA click for me is when I realised that the programme is about treating all the things in the list above. So why am I surprised that when I stop taking the medicine, the illness comes back? If I ever needed proof my alcoholism is real, writing this post has given me it. When I do the work, it helps me feel better. Simple as that. And yet the brain and heart forgets so easily…
Writing does me good. It helps me clarify my thoughts. I hope it will help me stay on the right track, if I make efforts to return to this keyboard that has given me such precious sanctuary. I need to get myself back on an even keel, so I can enjoy the bounty of the gift that is sobriety.
Happy Saturday, FFFx