New old memories

53 days. I’ve made it through my first sober 4th of July, first sober full moon, and first sober birthday – all in one weekend. Whew!

I’ll be honest though; it wasn’t that difficult to do…at all. I think I may still be riding “the pink cloud” – either way, focusing on the activities that bring me joy has helped to distract me from longing for a drink.

One thing I’ve noticed a lot lately as my mind reaches new levels of clarity, is the recalling of memories that haven’t passed through my mind in years – more than a decade, in fact. I’m remembering names and faces from what seems like a previous life; memories that feel like new, some good and some very painful; songs that I used to love in junior high that I’d completely forgotten about, etc. Not all of this recollection has been happy, but the truth is that I am grateful that it seems I am uncovering levels of recollection that I didn’t even know I had.

Throughout this sobriety journey, I recognize that my drinking had truly done damage to my physical and mental well-being. I still sometimes struggle to think clearly or respond as quickly to things, as I feel a normal (“normie”) human might.

This journey is about many things but healing is definitely a primary, and it’s working. I am healing. The gift of “new” memories from long ago is proof.

I hope your week is off to a good start, stay well friends.

The Final Straw

I would not say that my drinking was at its worst when I decided to quit once and for all. While I was drinking more in frequency and quantity than a “normal” adult human should, I was nowhere near the point I was about ten years ago (we’ll get to that later).

The final straw for me was purely because I felt like shit. I stopped liking the taste of alcohol, which is what I chased in the first place rather than the intoxicating effects of it. Over time, as I decreased my physical activity and increased my alcohol consumption, I gained weight – a LOT of it – some days I physically felt (and still do) like I could not get out of my own way, I’m just so uncomfortable. I became permanently tired and at any given time was a varying shade of irritated for no good reason; from “somewhat annoyed” to “Jesus fucking Christ if you don’t get at least 1,000 feet away from me and shut the fuck up, I am going to spontaneously combust and burn everything down.” Severe depression and anxiety are the double deal you get with a drinking habit, and my experience was no exception – it’s like ‘buy one (night/day of drinking) get two (mental illnesses) free!’ Needless to say, I was over the grey cloud, the feeling of asphyxiation by razor wire, the inability to take a deep breath and think clearly, a constant force that made me feel like I was going to crawl out of my skin, and so on and so forth. Just done with it all. I’ve had enough.  

Alcohol was working against me, and doing nothing good for me. Nothing.

I’ve quit drinking for short periods, but for reasons such as I started a new medication and couldn’t drink on it without the risk of liver failure or that I needed to lose weight for my wedding. Also there were the two years that I was earning my Master’s Degree, and promised myself I would not drink (as much) and that I just had to get through school so I could get a good job and get out of the hellhole of a life that I’d been stuck in for the last, roughly, 10 years (I ceased all dating at this time as well, so could focus on school). I was pretty good at staying away from alcohol during that time, but there were other things that filled that void (we’ll get to that later too). I never “quit” simply because it was good for me or that I wanted to just not drink alcohol anymore.

My last sip of alcohol was on a Tuesday, my first day of sobriety on a Wednesday – a random, freakin’ Wednesday. It wasn’t after a weekend of hard partying, or a bad night of drinking alone. It was just a one-off random day that I felt especially like shit, I hadn’t had a good night’s sleep in months (alcohol makes you sweat in your sleep, a LOT, amongst other things like disrupting REM cycle, etc.).

I texted my best friend, who has heard me a million times declare that I was “done drinking” – and said, “I’m done this time.” She didn’t laugh at me, virtually roll her eyes, or say “yea right, you’re always the last man standing!” She said “You can do this. You have my support” (or something to that effect).

And off I went on my journey…

Well, here I am..

It would figure that this effort has been building for weeks now, with millions of thoughts and ideas flowing in and out of my mind just waiting to be put down on (digital) paper – and now, here I am totally drawing a blank on what to say…

I am 42 days sober today. It’s a random number, this I know. But it is 17 days away from the longest I’ve been without a drop of alcohol. I wanted to start this blog to make my 90-day milestone, so maybe that’s why I was savoring my “millions of thoughts and ideas” but fuck it.

Why am I here?

In the last 42 days, I have ravenously consumed all the quit lit and sober podcasts I could get my hands on – and I simply cannot get enough. Everyone’s stories about their sobriety are different…but also the same. What I mean is that we are all here on the same journey, but our ticket to entry was procured in different ways. We have unique horror stories and experiences, varying tastes for certain poisons and rituals. Individual times and distinct relapses. And it’s all freaking interesting. I figured that if I am finding so much value in reading/learning about others’ experiences, then maybe someone will feel the same about mine. So I’m here to toss my hat in the ring, strap up my boots and hit the trails on this journey. Happy to have you with me!