I Did Not Fall Into Sobriety
It wasn't a beautiful transition that happened for me. I did not wake up and think, "not drinking" is going to be my new thang. I call sobriety, "riding my tiger." It is hardcore. It has and will continue to be a wild ride. People call sobriety being "on the wagon." I 100% full-heartedly disagree with this. Sobriety is not easy. It is not like riding a wagon. It's a fucking tiger.
I started my battle with sobriety in about 2009. This is when my tiger started showing up. My partner at the time drank one-for-one glasses of wine on our patio of our small townhome in podunk Illinois. That was the happiest we ever were. Young and drunk. He was an airline pilot and we were traveling the world, always with a drink in hand. One day he came home from work and said, "let's not do this anymore." He stopped. We no longer sat for hours outside amongst my flowers and talked. I drank and he didn't. He drank with his friends. But, with me, he wouldn't. He knew I was drinking too much. I knew I was drinking too much. He made me watch "When a Man Loves a Woman" way too many times to not understand that I was Meg Ryan.
I gradually started to change. I gave up smoking. I started cooking healthy meals. I stopped traveling the world with him-responsibilty free. There was no more getting plastered and going skinny dipping in Aruba. I became something else. I was someone who prided herself on her health. I saw a tiger and I jumped on. This was my sobriety tiger. I tried holding onto my tiger while drinking 1-2 glasses of wine. I'd sometimes get too drunk and fall off. What is harder than riding a tiger? Getting back on the tiger when you fall off. Some people would call falling off your tiger a relapse. I would ride my tiger for a while, then I'd fall (or jump off) and have a drunken few years. Then, I'd spot my tiger through a drunken haze and jump back on. I did this for almost a decade. Back and forth. Off and on my tiger.
Then, one day I woke up in full blown addiction. I was too messed up to ride my tiger anymore-even a little bit. I couldn't get back on. I had to have someone help me. Maybe I'd gotten older. Maybe the decade of back and forth had caught up with me. But, there I was, laying on the floor, drunk. Getting trampled by my tiger.
I had been doing it all wrong with moderation. I needed both hands to ride my tiger. Rehab helped me tame my tiger. I ride my tiger consistently now. He's my teetotalling tiger and no one messes with my tiger or me. Grrrrr.