So I’m celebrating 8 months of sobriety today and I can’t help but think to myself, why is it that I only write about my accomplishment of staying sober every couple of months or so? Why don’t I write about it more often? Why do I feel the need to share that another 2 months has gone by and I didn’t have a drink. Are people reading this going, “didn’t she just write about her 6 month anniversary?” [sidenote: I hae no idea if I did indeed write about my 6-month mark; I really don’t remember and I’m not looking it up at the moment]
On one hand, I can see why I would want to write about it on the 8th of every month. It’s my date. My sobriety date. It’s kind of a big deal, right? I should celebrate it, shouldn’t I? It’s also the birthdate of my daughter, which I only realized on August 8th as I made it to 1 month of sobriety last year. The number 8 has some significance to me, and when I am actually paying attention, I don’t miss it. Last month, I was busy celebrating my daughter turning 9 and that was way more important to me than being 7 months sober.
On the other hand, I can also see why it’s kind of stupid. I mean, what are people going to say, “yay, Brooke! You made it another month without a drink!” I know friends are happy for me, and I am happy for me, but in reality how many times do people need to tell me “good job.” Sometimes I wonder if people think I’m being selfish or attention-seeking. I can see where they would be coming from, I mean, I really do tend to write around my monthly anniversaries. What’s the big deal about another 2 months? What about everything in between?
So yeah, okay, let’s talk about all that in-between stuff. The day in and the day out. How many times do I think about having a drink? At least once a day. No lie. The thought may be as fleeting as, “the restaurant I’m meeting my friend for lunch has wine.” Maybe during the drive home after practice knowing we have to study for a science test later, I say to myself “I need a glass of wine to get me through this.” They may only be thoughts, but I have to fight them every day.
It makes me think of the cartoon with the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other. You know, good cop vs bad cop. Making you choose every time. When it comes to the wine cops, I’ve got the bad cop beat these days. But he still seems to chime in every damn day thinking he can change my mind. So it’s almost like the bad cop is a parrot. Who won’t shut the F up.
From what my other sober friends have told me, this seems to go away over time. So that’s good to know. In the meantime, I’ll just keep plugging away every day, ignoring the repetitive parrot on my shoulder reminding me how fun it used to be when I drank a glass of wine at lunch. Or the laughs I would have (at my own expense) when out with friends at parties. How a glass of wine isn’t a big deal.
And it’s not a big deal to most people. But to someone like me, it’s the beginning of an avalanche. Because I can’t have just one glass of wine. I want two. Then three. Four. Even five. All on a weeknight. We’re not even talking weekends.
[Insert big eye emoji here]
I am an alcohol abuser. There. I said it.
And in the present tense. It is still very much a part of who I am. It is the reason why I cannot have even a sip of alcohol for fear of heading down that destructive path again.
So yeah, my 8 month anniversary may not be that big of a deal to most people. Maybe I should start writing about my stupid drunken episodes more often or write about how lame I feel sometimes about being sober – being “unable to handle my liquor.” But mostly that’s too painful to think about most days, which is why I just get by with fleeting thoughts and that damn parrot giving me grief in between the sober anniversary dates.
It’s been another 2 months, yes. Another 2 hard months. Another 2 long months. Another 2 months without a crutch. Another 2 months without an escape. Another 2 months with no way to numb my feelings. Another 2 months of wishing I were different. Another 2 months of convincing myself I did the right thing. Another 2 months.