That doesn’t mean that I don’t feel angry, lost, overwhelmed. Bitter, resentful. Joyful, too; much joyful. And content. Though, I am realizing daily, almost on an hourly basis some days, that I have to cultivate contentment. I have to make sure I see that there is SO much to be grateful for; that my brain does not have my permission to hijack my mood, my peace, my sense of belonging in this strange sober world that I discovered/created for myself.
I was thinking about my slips here and there over the past 4+ years of continuous sobriety. I basically got sober in October 2012, drank once the following March (2013), then went over a year until the summer of 2014, when I think I had a beer one day in June, and then a few sips of wine and/or alcohol (maybe an accident, maybe to “test” my waters) at some point that summer; I had a horrendous drunk one night in October 2014, then…didn’t drink again until the following fall, of 2015, when I was away in my new location, working a big-girl job, and pining for “what was.” I think I drank a couple glasses a couple times, with the final, third attempt in January of 2016. That was really a dud–sandy and uneventful and sad. I had two small glasses (I think, something like that, very minor) and was TOTES hungover for the next day. LOL.
The point is, I haven’t looked back since January 2016. Not at all. I’ve realized that I have no interest to try, to test, to wonder. I think it’s because I did all those things–I tried, I tested, I wondered–and wine didn’t work. It never worked again. But, it’s not like I gave up trying, or, believing somehow someday wine would work again.
This time was different: I think (now that I’m actually taking some time to revisit how I felt in January of 2016 and the fact that I haven’t felt like that since) I just surrendered. Or, was taken up–like, lifted up. Like, my higher power–I actually like to think of my higher power as a higher me, a higher self, my best self, some evolved sense of myself as this great and good creature hovering over the pathetic, wimpering “real me” below, living out her day-to day–said, No. Let it go. There is no reason.
And, really, I haven’t thought about drinking since then. The past few months, even, I haven’t considered that drinking would help–and, the past few months have found me feeling quite angry. Like, all the bad feelings and habitual ego stuff is still right there, very much at the surface, as if I never did any work! Angry. So angry. So angry. At whom? It’s like, I don’t recognize myself some days. Except, I do; I see through the personality bugs and character flaws and negative thought loops to the real me, the me I liked best a few years ago, the one dancing on her self-styled pink cloud/bubble.
I’m not in a bubble anymore, and I admit, I do/can have a lot of negative thoughts and feelings these days. But, I’m working through them, and realizing that getting sober–close to five years ago–is just the beginning of this strange trip called sobriety. It doesn’t just keep getting better…without work and self reflection. However, the desire to drink, in all its entirety, does go away. No matter how angry or frustrated or trapped I feel these days–and, admittedly, I do a lot–I don’t even consider drinking as a solution. As something I would even want to do, regardless of its (in)ability to solve my problem or resolve my conflict.
And, holy eff, is that startling to realize. Like, I don’t think I’ll ever drink again. And, it’s not like this big revelation that I thought it would be. It’s more like, a foregone conclusion, one that I’ve been too busy and productive and angry and frustrated and in flux to notice!
Yet, sobriety, and all its work and progress and lessons and maddening ins and outs, continues. Is it just life? Um…I don’t know. I think those who have gotten sober have a newfound perspective on all this life stuff, I really do. Yes, this is life, and yes, I’m bitching about it here, on my long, but hopefully not lost blog. But…there’s so much nuance; life is reflected through the prism of sobriety and getting sober, such that we see all these different colors, maybe more colors than people who have never had to deal with all their shit (yet).
Random thoughts on a Tuesday night. Miss you all, and hope to start catching you up once I remember how to form this whirl of thoughts into words!