I am three days from being five months sober—but my continued sobriety, as stated before, doesn’t come with a sense of pride or accomplishment. No, it comes with a small side of “why did it take you so long to make the right choices—to do the right thing? Why am I one of those people who must lose almost everything to have my eyes opened—and once lost, realize its true importance?”
The before-mentioned questions have been on repeat in my head for several weeks now. The guys at AA keep telling me that asking those questions are counter-productive, and in time, I will come to terms with my losses. They say that my continued sobriety will create health and happiness that far surpass the regret—enough so that sadness created through denial will dissipate, and “love of self” will begin to grow.
I guess my perspective is a bit different. I was in denial long enough as parts of my mind were continuously justifying why drinking heavily on a daily basis was the right choice…why it was ok. I got to the point where drinking eight beers per day, then guzzling a bottle of wine became common-place. I would wake up with a panic attack at 3am due to my respiratory system slowing down from all of the booze—just to uncork a bottle of wine to alleviate the pounding of my heart. Insanity at its best.
The choices I made—and the booze that saturated my mind blinded me from the components of my life that began to crumble down around me. The pieces were falling, and instead of catching them as they fell—I let them pile up around me…eventually making it undeniable that my alcohol addiction was destroying my life. The pieces that fell down around me were some of the most important components of my life—love, health and fatherhood. Instead of trying to pick up all of those pieces, through my addiction, I chose to let some of them turn to dust—they blew away with the wind and vanished right before my eyes. I could do nothing but accept the fact that I could no longer blame anyone but myself—I then made the decision to pick up the remaining pieces of my life, and begin repairing what had fallen apart.
I stood with arms extended,
You would forever be there,
Time you lent,
Years you spent,
Praying I would again care,
Stuck in denial,
For a long, long while,
No emotions, just a blank stare,
I can say I changed,
My life I can better arrange,
But that would get me nowhere,
Safe journey, my love, my once everything,
Happiness and joy I hope life will bring,
What we had, if even for a moment, was special, was rare.
On Day 148—I know that I can’t ignore the mornings that I wake up feeling empty—and the “what ifs” that will inevitably surge through my heart, mind and soul. I know I can’t ignore the tough questions and feelings—I did that for too long. In sobriety it is amazing to feel such powerful emotion once again—emotion that I drowned in beer and wine…emotion that has been resuscitated and now lives within every square inch of my body. Just like life—I can’t pick and choose how I will feel, and if I am dealt the hand of regret for today, I will learn from that feeling and remind myself that drinking is the worst way to deal with life and its problems.
I also must realize that when I am confronted with a more challenging day—that I also can’t forget the aspects of life that I should be grateful for.
My post today isn’t intended to be sad or over-emotional—it is intended to be a reflection of real life, and the fact that we have our good and bad days. I choose to not drink to deal with today—I choose a clear, rational mind with the understanding that tomorrow will be a brighter, more pleasant venture.
Remember—what you did yesterday not to drink—do today.