Today as I watched the Sunday news and reviews, I was remembering an epiphany I had a couple of years ago. I was out walking my dog and enjoying the sunrise and the wildflowers. It was spring and the natural world was full of early morning promise. But there was some troubling news that had been drawing the world’s attention and I was pondering… wondering…if the world were coming to an end would I drink? And I was surprised to find that if I put myself in that situation in my imagination I would not. If it were the last day of planet earth I would not drown my sorrows in liquid oblivion. I would not say
What’s the point in sobriety? Tomorrow isn’t coming …
This was quite a surprise to me because just a couple of years earlier I had felt like sobriety was a sort of death. The death of my favorite part of me. The death of my spark and creative core. I had felt like stopping drinking was a curse that I had no choice but to accept, as the only thing worse than no longer drinking, was continuing to be a closet drunk.
When I was about three weeks sober I read the book Unwasted-My Lush Sobriety by Sacha Scoblic. I found the book terribly funny which was something that I needed at three weeks alcohol-free. I was feeling empty and raw and a little bit unhinged and I needed someone to help me laugh out loud at myself. I was not feeling funny.
Sacha intersperses her auto-biography with a series of hysterically funny drinking dreams. In each dream, she spins a tale more fantastic than the last. In each dream the world is coming to an end and she is FORCED to drink to save humanity.
BILLIANT! What could be better I thought. A situation where you had absolutely no other choice than to drink for altruistic reasons!
At three weeks sober I was facing the specter of Never Again? REALLY?… I’ll Never Drink Again…and I could totally relate to the need for these drinking fantasies. I wanted the world to be coming to an end so that I could save it by drinking too!
And even now at almost five years sober, there is a quiet unobtrusive part of me that would love to get drunk again….I’d love it
If I could control it.
I would love it if I could control HOW drunk I got.
And how often.
But the problem is that once I reintroduce the drink I have no control over how drunk, how often or when I do it.
But what if it were the end of the world?
What if it WAS my last night on earth.
… If the World were coming to an end would I spend my last night floating away on a river of numb???????…. one last time??????
The first reason is that I’ve learned in these last four and a bit years that I actually prefer to feel rather than not to feel because you numb the good when you numb the bad.
The second reason is that I am the eternal optimist. If I thought the world was coming to an end, if I really believed it, really, I would still hold out hope for tomorrow. And if I drank…
I’D BE A DRUNK AGAIN…
NOT going there 🙂
If you’re on day one or 4 or 6 or 2,000 please don’t let go. That sober momentum is precious
It took me almost two years sober to get to the point where I knew that NOTHING would make me feel the NEED to drink ever again. But I got there and so will you. If you keep moving forward.
If you need a little more inspiration here is a post that really helped me keep going during that first alcohol-free year. Sobriety is Like a Little Car
Sometimes it seems like the world has gone insane and everything is falling apart but there is always hope. And there is always beauty. And there is always a good reason to fight through one more obstacle to see what is on the other side .
If you’re drinking too much too often and want to stop or slow down, come talk to us.
Alcohol is the only drug that people question you for NOT using but you don’t HAVE to drink. Don’t stay trapped because the stigma of not drinking seems worse than the cost of drinking too much.
ReThink the Drink
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“It happened this way: I fell in love and then, because the love was ruining everything I cared about, I had to fall out.”
― Caroline Knapp, Drinking: A Love Story