Early on in my recovery, I celebrated days. I started off with a 30-day 'break'. (Typically people who drink a lot give themselves breaks to 'detox' after binging, after New Year's Eve or when they suffer some sort of negative consequence.)
I used the 30 days as a countdown, just like I'd always had.
THIRTY DAYS UNTIL I CAN DRINK AGAIN!!!
Except this time, I knew it was going to be different. I knew in my heart that this was it. I told everyone around me that I was taking a break so people wouldn't ask the dreaded question, "You mean you're NEVER going to drink again????!!!????!?!?!?!?"
This time needed to be different if I was ever going to live the life I knew I was meant to live.
My first 30 days sober included lots of yoga, reading books, and distracting myself. Staying busy.
Then I moved into celebrating months. Two months, three months. Eventually to six months, and celebrating each month until my first year of sobriety.
Now I celebrate every six months. Two years, two and a half years. Three years...
And today, THREE AND A HALF YEARS!!!
The first 6 months was pretty fucking tough.
Weekly, if not daily, meltdowns. Crying. Actually, sobbing. Like, my cat died and I crashed my car, sobbing.
"Why can't I just drink like normal people?"
Normal people don't black out in public. Normal people don't pass out at bus stops. Normal people don't have hangovers that last a week and leave a path of destruction behind them.
I don't drink like a normal person. I drink like an alcoholic.
I was white knuckling it so hard some days, telling myself over and over and over again, you're worth it. You're worth it.
YOU. ARE. FUCKING. WORTH. IT.
I was reading, writing, journaling, working out, going to yoga, staring at the walls at home just so I wouldn't go out and drink.
I picked up extra work shifts. Watched movies. Made vision boards. Wrote out my goals. Talked to friends. I even went to a few meetings.
This year, I kicked on 2017 with a booze cruise boat party. I was finally ready to socialize again. I will always be a house head and EDM junkie, and I live in the Caribbean where they take party boats out to sail around and swim with stingrays.
This year I was ready to start living again.
Sure, I can go to boat parties and boozy brunches now, but for the last three and a half years it felt like too much. Not necessarily that I was tempted to drink, per se, but the thought of being out to sea with a bunch of drunk people sounded fucking awful.
My friends have helped me get out more, and are not only supportive but back me up and make sure shots aren't sent my way. I can spot my 6' tall English Goddess Soul Sister from across the boat as she pops her head up to make sure I'm good.
Thumbs up!! Yep, all good!! Thanks, Aims!
I've been on two boat parties during my four years here, both times sober. Even when I was drinking I knew I would be a disaster, so I never put myself in that situation.
But I did it!!
Three and a half years, (1275 days) later and here I am!!!
I'm really fucking proud of myself today.