16 Months Sober...Life Regains its Color
At 16 Months sober, I had my period. Not kidding. I had it. It was miserable. I had periods all through my drinking years, too. But, my PMS I experience in recovery is the absolute worst. The result of living a sober life is to feel everything...whelp PMS is one of those feelings. I get the worst migraines nowadays, too. So bear with me as I PMS my way through my post today.
At 16 months sober, I have completely changed my habit of drinking alcohol. I am in the Northwoods Wisconsin because the leaves are changing and I am the lady that cries when she sees yellow birch trees and red oaks. I used to squash the part of me that cries because I thought it was embarrassing, weak and a little silly. But, I let my sensitive, vulnerable flag fly nowadays. People laugh. But, hey. Whatever. Sober life is beautiful. Ego says WHAT? Self-esteem says SO WHAT?
For 30+ years alcohol would be at the forefront of everything at the lake. Boating=beer. Fires=beer. Swimming=beer. Everything lake=beer. With 16 months of sobriety behind me, I had only one thought about alcohol as we built our fire in the chilly night air. It wasn't a longing. It wasn't a desire. It was actually just a passing thought as my significant other ran into our cabin to grab some fireside drinks.
"What would you like?" He asked.
My mind thought...what is in there? Hmmmm. What would I like? Root beer, hot tea, sparkling water...The answer is always root beer, amiright? Then, the passing thought about alcohol was, WOW. I did not even think about grabbing a beer beside the lake, beside the fire, beside my future mother-in-law, in Wisconsin...All of these things that would have been triggers in the past are completely gone. I do not experience anxiety from these alcohol triggers anymore. The only anxiety I had this weekend was whether or not bears are attracted to menstruation.
I congratulated myself, sucked down a few smores and walked into the cabin where I was greeted by the smell of dead animal. I gagged like a man changing a diaper for the first time and sniffed out the smell. Something died in the heating ducts/attic. My ability to smell is one of the things that returned with sobriety. The world doesn't always smell like roses. Sometimes it is the smell of the dead animal and the cold Wisconsin air while you are PMSing.
Life regains it's color in sobriety. Sometimes it stinks, but that's the thing. Sometimes it smells soooooooo goood. The anxiety is there, as always. Anxiety woke me up at 1 am to remind me the dead animal was a bear after Aunt Flo. Has. To. Be.
Not today, bear. Not today.