18%

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18%.

18 days into my 100 day challenge.

18 days is the longest I’ve gone without alcohol since I can remember – probably 6 or 7 years, to be honest.

This time I feel I understand, really “get it”, why alcohol can no longer be a part of my life. It does nothing to enhance the world. It is not glamorous. There is utterly nothing of value coming from a bottle of booze.

As I learn from so many here on this site, I know that 18 days is a mere toe in the water, and that challenges will arise – even years into sobriety. And that’s ok with me. We all have to start with Day 1 and we all have to decide how many Day 1s we want to have. When a challenge arises, we also have to choose whether or not to use the support that is available. I know that the best support I’ve EVER had is this site and the people here who truly want to support and help others.

At this point, I’m experiencing something that feels like it could be part of a dream (or a sci-fi movie…)

I’m standing on a plane (not quite a floor, but a firm level of a structure). I know that I’ve been standing on this before – maybe even always; it’s familiar to me in some aspect. It’s almost like it’s been here all the time and I’ve never known it or just never paid attention to it. But now, I’m so much more aware of it.

As I look down to see what I’m standing on, the surface transforms from a cloudy, milky appearance, to crystal clear and I can see through to many depths. It looks amazing!

Things sparkle and the colors are brilliant! I want to investigate, to find out what else is there beyond this place I’ve always stood. But it’s also a bit daunting. How do I get there? How will I be able to see it all and really experience it in time?

And as I stand there, I realize that I’m looking into my mind and soul. I’ve been existing without even realizing what lies beneath the surface and all that I can experience and offer the world! I’m simultaneously joyous and terrified! I’ve finally allowed myself to wipe away the thing that was clouding my true life – alcohol. I can see & think more creatively! Relate and empathize more authentically! Live more richly! But now do I have enough time to really really live!?! To realize my true potential?

That’s what I’m feeling in this new journey in sobriety. This time I’m going to LIVE, not just stop drinking. This time I understand what I’m GAINING (rather than feeling like I’m “losing” alcohol).

I hope those of you who are also starting out on your journey to a sober life will experience a similar epiphany. Today I feel incredibly blessed to be Sober and part of HSM.