4 Years of Sobriety
the last day I drank alcohol was 4/25/2016; 2 glasses of wine on an airplane. I want to assure you that the many months, even years, coming to that date matter. it did not happen overnight for me. It was a long, slow ripping off the band-aid. this phase was at times excruciating. it was also super fun and exciting; waking up new and shiny. and with it I'd exercise and feel absolutely fantastic, and think omg this is way better than any alcohol high,I'll do this all day instead. I looked forward to going to bed early and waking up for I, for life. and there was also grief, and some realizations I'd have rather not known, and a lot of fear. but I couldn't bypass all that to get free. So if you are there now, still dabbling but hating it, or trying to quit but going back on occasion, or thinking about giving it up for a while or just wanting to, I want to tell you: THAT is a place to be, first, maybe before you get to the last date and the following alcohol-free years. it is all experience and practice and with a ton.
the sober nights at home or out socializing, and morning hours not drunk or hungover, were special, and full of a presence I never know before. the times where I stayed sober and could be thankful to myself to have survived an uncomfortable interaction built confidence within me. like this, I saw a little light, exposed myself a bit more, and became hooked on that energy instead. there was a collection of information gained during this time, about why I was drinking, why I didn't want to do it, what was triggering me to do it, what I needed to heal in myself, how it was possible to learn to feel ok in my own skin, and how I could all on my own through doing even just one sober day, debunk the myth that alcohol was the answer to all my social anxiety fears.
I learned then to give myself permission to be honest about how this was not working FOR me, not in my favor, and began to make changes in my mind, long before that last date. since then, I think the main change I see is becoming a participant in life, dropping my representative self and stepping into a truer version of me; one who respects and values herself. I learned how to just be really here, in my body, as I am, wherever I as and feeling whatever I was feeling. giving up alcohol gave me tenacity of spirit and today I don't ever want to go back.