200 days sober. My Best Christmas Gift to Myself
I feel like I need business cards that declare me as "April:sober extraordinaire." I get very tired of being offered alcohol and telling the same stories over and over when people say they would've never thought I was that bad. Whelp. I was. At first, I was afraid to be honest with people about the reason I was sober. I was incredibly embarrassed to be an addict. I felt the need to make excuses to avoid the admission of addiction. I was judging myself by a stigma that needs to change. Many responsible women are dying from addiction. I was not being proud of my new choice to be sober. Instead, I was defeated and embarrassed that sobriety was a choice I HAD to make. I could not just drink one glass of wine. Honestly, I could not just drink one BOTTLE of wine. I had a reliance on alcohol that was not good for me and it was steadily becoming detrimental with blackouts and brushes with death. But, my mind didn't blame alcohol, it blamed me for not having control. It was Stockholm syndrome.
I am nearing the end of my sixth month and my mind has changed. I do not identify with any good feelings from alcohol use like I used to. Today, I remember the horrible mornings, the lack of energy, the dehydration. I remember that it was my normal equilibrium and I truly felt fine while I was drinking. The horrible feelings came when I would pause my drinking for 10-15 hours. Being sober felt horrible back then. That is what kept me drinking. Sobriety was too painful to stop. Alcohol relieved the pain it caused and the pain it didn't cause.
Fast forward to 200 days sober. Sobriety feels amazing. I have energy. I can do an international trip and make the 14 hr trip home and never feel the need to vomit. I smile because I actually feel like smiling. I do not shake and have heart palpitations. I do not smell like alcohol. I wake up with the energy to bathe. Sobriety feels good. I can go to the gym and not just yoga. I can sweat. My body feels good. I associate sobriety with feeling good in my 6 month. This is my truth now.
Of course, if I was the girl who could have just one glass of wine, I'd be singing a different tune. I am grateful for my 20 year drinking history because it showed me what good feels like. As with all things, without the dark, you cannot see the stars.