This was written 6 months ago…
Here I am…with 25 years of sobriety…and I am struggling.
I can tell you, with all honesty, that sobriety is a treasure. It is something to hold onto, tightly. It is something that can be lost at any moment. It means everything and nothing because it means a lot that I have strung together 1,925 days of sobriety. That means EVERYTHING to me! At the same time, it means nothing because it is NO MORE IMPORTANT than the very first day I walked in the door of my first meeting. In fact, I think the first day I walked in is more important than today. Without THAT DAY, I wouldn’t be here for THIS DAY. I also know that THIS DAY could be gone very easily. All I have to do is take a drink, or a drug…and those 25 years are gone. Poof. Gone.
My husband and I have been together for all 25 years of my sobriety. I know…relationships in the first year of sobriety are a bad idea. (That’s a story for another post.) Well, right now we are on the brink of breaking up and my sobriety is in jeopardy. I decided to start this website because I lost my job and changed my career. (Two more posts that will be following.) These huge changes, in addition to my husband’s and my VERY traumatic last five years (also more posts to follow) have taken a toll on our marriage. Let’s call it “a crisis of faith…in each other”. This “crisis” left me wandering the aisle in the grocery store looking for laxatives. Here’s where I mention one of the other addictions I am in recovery for…anorexia. (Also 25 years sober from that one.) Thanks to what I believe was an intervention by my Higher Power (which I choose to call Love) my friend Danielle called just as I was perusing the aisles for some pill to help me disappear once again.
Hmmm…no such thing as a coincidence?
While I didn’t answer her call, it jolted me out of my relapse daze and got me to realize what I was about to do.
REALLY?!?! THROW AWAY 25 YEARS OF SOBRIETY FROM ANOREXIA ON SHITTING PILLS!?!?!
This was 6 months ago. A little over a year ago I was let go from my job. (Seriously, a post for another day.) Immediately following that fuck-fest, I went to the gas station across the street to buy a pack of cigarettes and a Coke. Immediately upon entering I see Pepsi products. Fuck that. I turn to my left and see all kinds of booze and beer.
Again, I get lost in the trance of relapse…
THAT MOMENT WHEN CLEAN/SOBER TIME MEANT NOTHING.
I didn’t care that I had 25 YEARS, 25 MONTHS, or 25 MINUTES! I DID NOT WANT TO FEEL THE FEELINGS I WAS HAVING OR THINK THE THOUGHTS I WAS THINKING! I WANTED TO GET LOADED…NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I didn’t though. I used the “tools” I gained throughout my recovery I “thought the drink through”. I played the “What if?” game.
“What if I drink that whole bottle of Jagermeister? Then what? I will eventually wake up. Then what? Will I have my job back? No. Will I feel any better? No. In fact, I’ll feel worse. I will then have to deal with the fact that I blew my sobriety. I hurt people. I hurt myself. AND, I still don’t have a job…not to mention all the damage I may have done driving home drunk. How did I get home? Did I kill anyone? Did I get home? Am I alive? FUCK!!!!!!!”
Using and drinking doesn’t solve the problem. It never did. Going THROUGH the pain is the only way.
So does blowing up my life.
Suck it up buttercup. Put on your big girl/boy pants and do the work. It gets easier. It gets better. The pain gets less. The good stuff grows. The bad stuff hits the rear-view mirror.
I started to laugh again. Laugh until my abs hurt. And…I remember it. No regrets.
Okay. So, about 6 months later, I am wandering the fucking grocery aisle looking for laxatives with the same 25 years of sobriety. I should have sunshine shooting out my ass. I started a website about gratitude. This this is called “Sober DOESN’T Suck”. It sure sounds like it sucks! WHAT THE FUCK! Seems counter-intuitive, right? Fuck no!! Because, my sober friends, this is what long-term sobriety looks like.
Long-term sobriety is life. And life doesn’t give a shit about how much sobriety you have. Life still happens whether you put a needle in your arm; stop starving yourself; stop taking laxatives; stop snorting Oxy; stop barfing into bags and hiding them under your bed; stop cutting yourself; stop cheating on him/her/them; stop selling yourself for drugs; stop hiding in the dark; stop living on the streets; stop pretending you’re someone that you’re not; stop letting your mother abuse you; stop letting your siblings treat you like shit; stop drinking your chardonnay after you drop off the kids; stop volunteering for carpool; stop living for someone else; STOP LIVING FOR YOUR ADDICTION!!! Life still happens!! People get sick. People die. Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods happen. Politicians lie. Shit breaks.
And I still can’t make my husband happy…no matter what I do or don’t do.
So, I am going to change my career and start this website and focus on gratitude and put together a living and go to meetings and sponsor people and be sponsored and do the Steps and read the Big Book and start going to ANOTHER 12-Step program and pray and meditate and INVITE YOU TO JOIN ME HERE EVERY DAY SO THAT WE CAN DO THIS THING CALLED RECOVERY TOGETHER.
And I am going to remember something that has kept me here for 25 years…sober DOESN’T suck…I SWEAR…the alternative DOES.