Day 100

Today marks 100 days without alcohol.  I’m sure if I opened up more to friends and family about my past experience with alcohol abuse, they may say something like: “you should be proud of yourself.” I would have to disagree.  I refuse to be proud of myself for doing the right thing and choosing a life of clarity and sobriety, as opposed to living in an alcohol induced fog.  I try to stray from a sense of pride–but embrace the fact that I know I can turn 100 days into 200 days, and then a life-time…I am not proud, I am empowered.

I was told, when I started this journey that there was little faith I could change and live a life free from the constraints of alcohol.  My only comment to those in doubt was brief and to the point–“i’m on week one, i’ll call you at week 52.”  

I try my best not to look too far into the future–but by nature and profession, I am a planner–therefore setting goals and looking ahead is entrenched in my thought process.

I woke up on day 100 feeling fresh, excited and renewed.  It has been nine years since I left the Philadelphia area and I realized, despite negative feedback about me as a person, that I have a job, an apartment and a healthy five year old daughter.  I have everything that I need–and no one can take that away from Lila and I.  

Last night, I was reminded of the joy of the summer season.  I picked up my daughter and as we were pulling into the drive-way–Lila noticed that her friends were outside playing.  It was about 5:00pm.  We played outside (a four and two six year old girls live next door) until 9:30pm.  At about 9:00pm, as I was trying to get Lila into the apartment to prepare for bed, the neighbors came out with ice-cream cones and said “is it ok if Lila has one?”  Typically, even during my darkest days with the bottle, I am a very routine person–things have to happen on a schedule. Ice-cream at 9:00pm isn’t part of the plan.  Then, I looked at all of the kids playing and thought to myself: “remember how much fun you used to have playing on the street with your friends when you were a kid?  These are moments your daughter will remember forever.”  I gave in–and the kids all enjoyed a vanilla ice-cream cone as I bonded with the other parents in the neighborhood.  It felt so good to not get anxious about a schedule–or if something wasn’t “as planned.”  The laughter of the children, their smiles and general optimism about life filled me with a feeling of what I can only describe as goodness…pure happiness.  

As Lila and I were brushing our teeth–I stopped and gave her a high five.  It was a celebratory high-five as I was on the verge of crossing the 100 day mark–I knew, despite the lack of faith in me by others, that I could change my behavior for myself and Lila.

One of the parents looked at me and said “you are a good father.  How do you do it by yourself?”  I replied, “i’m just doing what any good parent does.”



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