Saturday, November 23, 2013

A glimpse...

A few people have asked about my previous post, so I'll explain in more detail. Tomorrow is an anniversary that I honestly wish I didn't have to celebrate. While it's a great accomplishment, and sure as hell not an easy one, it's not one that I thought would be relevant to me when I was younger. I will be 11 years sober tomorrow. It's not been easy, or fun, but I've made it. And considering the path that I was on before I quit, I'm happy to be alive. Quite frankly, it was going to kill me pretty quickly, which means I wouldn't have married the love of my life, had my kids, seen my sisters have their kids, etc. I know now how much I would have missed, but it really doesn't make it any easier. I've had people tell me that they are sure that it gets easier as time goes on. And maybe it does for some people. But, not for me. I can still taste the whiskey, still feel the warmth in my body as it spreads. There is not a day that goes by I don't think about wanting a drink. Not necessarily to get hammered, but just to have what "normal" people can do pretty much whenever they want. When I first quit, I used to, for lack of a better term, torture myself by continuing to go to the bar and parties, etc. I'd watch people get lit up like Christmas trees, not having a care in the world, and likely not really remember how much of a fool they made of themselves. I'd use that as motivation to stay sober, telling myself that I was better off and that at least I would have to deal with the "day after". Somewhere along the way I realized that what I thought was helping me to stay sober was really doing nothing more than making me miserable. Instead of creating motivation, it was creating jealousy, frustration and anger. Why could so many people be able to control themselves when I couldn't? Why didn't they realize how difficult it was for me to even be around them, let alone try to keep a smile on my face? So, I stopped going to the bar. I stopped going to parties. I did just about everything I could to keep myself away from alcohol. To do this day I still am that way. But, it's a trade-off. I tend to miss out on things because of the environment in which they take place. Even events put on by my employer I tend to avoid because they are held at places where alcohol is allowed to be consumed. I miss out on parties, I miss out on bachelor parties, I miss out on a lot of the "fun" things that most people wouldn't think twice about doing. Hell, I've said no so many times to some people that I don't even get invited any more. Not that it's a bad thing - at least I don't have to feel like an ass for saying no. But, it does tend to seriously limit the amount and depth of friendships that I have "in real life". I also know a few people that don't know how to "deal" with the fact I don't drink, so then things just get weird. Don't get me wrong, I know that the decision to quit drinking was one of the most important and smartest decisions that I've ever made. As I said, there is a lot in my life that I would have missed out on, and for those I am very happy that I quit drinking. But, it doesn't really make it "better", or "easier", and certainly not easier. I've developed a fairly thick skin when it comes to people. While I may be bothered by things, I rarely let it show. I am able to talk to a few people that understand me, where I'm coming from and how I feel, so I'm able to fairly quickly resolve my feelings. But in the end, it still sucks on some level. So now you have a glimpse of life through my eyes. The next time you pour a beer, a glass of wine or a shot of tequila, raise your glass for me. Smile and be happy, because if I was there, I'd likely finish off the bottle before you had a chance to get your buzz on, and then where would you be? ;)

1 comment:

  1. I love you honey and I'm so proud of you. Few people understand how you have to work at it every. single. day.

    But I do and I love you all the more for it. <3 Jo