I’ve spent a lot of time time thinking about where, exactly, a year sober would leave me.
I’ve had a real shit-storm of a summer emotionally and, frankly, toward the middle of August, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to the year mark. I’d come up with a lot of good reasons that would make it acceptable for me to throw in the towel and down a fifth of Jim Beam like it was a cold glass of water on a hot, hot day.
Little by little, my head broke me down. It told me all kinds of stories about how uneventful having a year in sobriety would be. It told me that my sobriety birthday would be just another day, and, I’d wake up on Day 365 feeling the same, if not worse, as I had on Day 364.
The truth is, when I strip everything down, I had no idea what to expect.
So, I bucked up. I walked into my year just to say I’d done it. I gave up the expectation that some magical rainbow would explode forth from my head, showering me with stars and baby kittens. I decided that I just had to make it, and then, go from there.
Well, it’s true. My head did not explode, raining down glitter and moon beams. But, something changed in me. In that one day. That paradigm. Walking across that invisible threshold gave me something I’ve never had before, faith in myself.
No one else kept me sober this year. This entire year. Sure, when I ran into trouble, I had people to fall back on and prop me up, but, ultimately, if I had wanted to take a drink, honestly, I could have. Stepping into this new year has led me to believe that I can do things on my own. That my will, my spirit, my strength of heart, are actually far more powerful than I had originally surmised.
As I finish up my birthday week, I feel like I can take anything on, literally anything. Because, giving up drinking was the hardest thing, the most impossible thing, that I have ever done in my life. Giving it up, facing myself, gritting my teeth, being uncomfortable…I did it all. And, I did it all so that I wouldn’t drink. And, I didn’t. I have not had a drink in over a year. And, still, saying those words just sounds wrong. It sounds impossible. But, not only is it possible, it’s reality.
I have a new faith that I can change all these other things that seemed so hard: Running, writing a book, starting a small business. It all seems so attainable. And, what’s even better than knowing I can do these things, is that I know that they don’t have to happen immediately. I can work on all these things slowly: a year at a time, a month at a time, a week at a time, and yes, one day at a time. And, I know, deep down, somewhere in my gut, I can accomplish all these things and more.
The “Pink Cloud” has returned.
So, I’ll hop aboard now. I know that these magical clouds and happy thoughts can be short lived.
So, just for today, I’ll enjoy where I am, and be stoked for what’s to come.