Well, four years ago was just a day…I woke up, I was miserable, I got drunk.
Today is the fourth anniversary of my last drink.
Last year I told my story over at Harpyness, (t/w for discussion of drinking and *ahem* general frank and uncensored soul-baring – fair warning) and all I have to add this year is that I’ve rediscovered how much I want to stay sober.
It’s really easy when I spend a lot of time checking in with sober folks to start feeling like it’s a chore, someplace I have to be, a time commitment that could be better spent doing something else “since I’m doing fine, after all.”
But if I don’t check in, if I don’t meet with people who help me sort through the golf cart’s occupants and their various derailing campaigns, I get stir crazy and I get to the point where I think “Hey, what’s the difference. I’d probably be fine.”
Last week I went to my usual bodega to grab lunch and decided, in addition to my diet coke, to try a “victorian lemonade” in a fancy glass bottle. I assumed it’d be carbonated, like the fizzy English lemonades at Chip Shop. I got back to my desk and was about to pop it open when a coworker asked what it was, so I handed it to him and suggested he try it.
“You know this has alcohol in it, right?” he said, and I felt my blood rush to my face. The soda company Fentimans, specializes in fermented old fashioned soda pops that have .05% alcohol – as much as in nonalcoholic beer, which is totally fine for some people, maybe even most people. But I have a physical allergy and a mental obsession – accidentally eating beer-battered fish gives me an upset stomach that I remember vividly from many a hangover. That much alcohol would have set off my internal clock that wants to count me down to a drink. And I was so freaking close it scares me.
Instead I checked in with sober friends, made sure it didn’t become something I Don’t Want To Talk About, and continued on the timeline that leads me away from a drink toward all the other things I want to accomplish with my life. I’m 4 years along on that timeline today.
Thank you to everyone and anyone who helped me get started, and especially to those of you who helped me stay here. The fam, my counselors at WTF College, my awesome sober friends and my civilian allies – you guys are the best.