One half of a year without a drink.
I truly would never have thought this possible. And a little over six months ago, I wouldn’t have wanted it to be possible.
This milestone is a big one. It’s also been the most difficult to achieve. The drink has been on my mind, a lot. And, while I haven’t taken one, I have definitely considered it, and I’ve thought about what might happen if I did. When I play the whole tape out, I know nothing good can come of getting trashed again. But, as life goes on, outside of treatment, looking for work, relationships complicating themselves (in my head, and otherwise), I have certainly been tempted.
Even last night, while attending a metal show with my friend from treatment, the bar stood there looking so inviting. I have the mental capacity to know that drinking would not be wise, but, I also have an alcoholic trickster that lives in the coiled ropes of my brain that justifies every poorly thought out plan I concoct.
I woke this morning, next to Lars, and dragged myself to my 7AM meeting. Even with my milestone, all I wanted to do was stay in bed. Lars didn’t get up and I was both jealous and disappointed. But, I knew my sponsor would be there, waiting for me, with my coin. I knew the faces of my fellow home group members would light up at my achievement. And, despite my lack of enthusiasm, support, and encouragement upon rising, as I drove to the meeting I felt my soul begin to brighten.
When I step back, as I try to do often these days, I can see how in just six months so many things have changed. Mostly for the better. Though, I still struggle with many of the same mental gymnastics that I always have, and perhaps, always will. They told me when I joined AA, it won’t always get better, but, it will get different. And different it became. I have become willing to see so much more of myself. Willing to work for something better, not knowing exactly what the outcome may be. And, all these little perks that I’ve gained in sobriety may be as fleeting as the passage of time, but, having had the opportunity to enjoy so many things in the present has allowed me to worry less about how quickly life comes and goes.
I write with some reservation. It’s scary to look at the six months ahead that will bring me to my potential year of sobriety, should I make it. There is a lot that’s in flux right now. My work situation. My romantic relationship. My general morale. I want to feel super positive all the time, but, that’s just not possible. It’s hard to fill my time with sober activities. It’s hard to be social without booze. There are days that I feel like a lonely hermit or a lone fisherman, bobbing up and down, up and down in my little row boat.
But, the flip side of this milestone coin is shiny and bright. There is still this infinite universe that’s opened up that I simply cannot ignore, and while a drink is tempting, I can’t risk losing so many of the beautiful things that have become available to me. I dream bigger now. I have an optimism and faith that allow even the most troubling issues to seem surmountable. I have a family in Alcoholics Anonymous that has become invaluable to me. And, while they’d take me back after a relapse, I owe them more vigilance than that. I owe myself more than a relapse.
This milestone officially feels like more than just a beginning. I’m seeing the beginnings of an evolution.
Things got different, and I’ve no doubt that there’s more where that came from…