Tomorrow is nine months for me and I must say I am so damn proud of that – humility or not, I am damn proud. But its not just about counting the days for me that brings me this profound feeling of accomplishment, it is the quality of my sobriety this time around. Man, I have kicked the tires of the sober life for so many years (15 or so to be exact) and took it for a variety of test drives. Sometimes for a couple of days. If I was feeling stronger I might have lasted a couple of weeks. One time, with the help of a recovery group, I made it for eight months. But the thing is, I was effing MISERABLE. White-knuckling. Obsessing over those who could drink. You know the ones: the cool, sophisticated folks enjoying a glass of merlot with a selection of lovely cheeses. Bitter about the fact that in my heart of hearts, I knew I couldn’t join them because of where it would take me. Waiting for evenings to “be over” so I could go to bed and end the day. Who wants that? If that was all sobriety could offer me, then pass the wine please and let me live a life in darkness and despair. At least I could numb it. Who could stay sober like that? Certainly not moi.
This time is so very different and I wish I could articulate an exact formula as to why it is different. But as with so many things in life: its a bit of a mystery to me. All I know is that I never gave up trying. I would get so mad at myself when I would blow a bit of sober time by picking up the glass again, but that anger never really got me anywhere except for hating myself. And I was already so good at that.
Somehow this time I have reframed my thinking so that I am the cool kid for NOT drinking. I flipped it around in my befuddled mind day after day. I grabbed onto a vision of myself, the best version of myself that I could dream up – a healthy, fit, active, creative yoga teacher who CHOOSES not to drink thanks – cause she’s too cool to waste time on being a mess. And when I would falter, I would listen to the Bubble Hour – more cool women who CHOOSE not to drink. Too busy leading their amazing lives to have any time for that. Or I would get to a recovery meeting. More cool kids there. I would settle in and read my sober bloggers. So cool. And all of these folks would give me courage to carry on. To know that I was not alone in this. To know that there are others, lots of us actually, really cool people walking the earth doing amazing things each day sans alcohol… Connection with others doing battle and winning greatly. The reward: a thriving life worth staying sober for. The best part is that vision of myself is manifesting day by day. The power of intention…
My God, life is good. Happy nine months to me and if you are on day one *again* here is what I say to you: GOOD FOR YOU – KEEP ON TRYING BECAUSE YOU ARE SO WORTH ALL OF THIS EFFORT AND WORK. THE BEST VERSION OF YOU IS DESPERATE TO MANIFEST AND S/HE WILL AS LONG AS YOU KEEP SEEKING SOBRIETY. We cannot have the life we want or become the best versions of ourselves AND drink. The choice is our own. Trust me when I say that if you keep on keeping on you will not regret it. And we learn the most from our mistakes and our pain. Drinking caused me a great deal of pain. Relapse caused me more pain. Each day one was a lot of work. BUT ultimately that pain and hard work led me to this new life where I am the COOL KID and living a thriving life worth staying sober for… And now I am off to my Yoga Therapy training – can you believe it??? I am now a certified yoga teacher working on my 500 Hour Yoga Therapy certification!!! Be careful what you wish for because sobriety will deliver. Namaste!