So, now I don't drink.
It has been 75 days since my last drink. My last drink was a beer. I think. It was after 2 bottles of wine, one that I drank in the early part of the day before I even got to where I was going, at which point I drank another bottle of wine, and then when that was gone, the beer. Or some beers, I'm not really sure. I know that I wasn't done when the wine was gone, but I don't know how many beers I had.
What I am sure of, is that I woke up the next morning and proceeded to spend the early part of the day debating if I should go to the ER or not, or at least alert someone to the fact that I was pretty sure I might be having a stroke. My arm was numb and tingly, my heart was thumping so hard I was sure the rattle of my ribcage could rate on the richter scale, and I was terrified. It wasn't just a hangover. I wasn't sick. I was having a full blown panic attack that was lasting for hours. If you've never had a panic attack, the only way I can describe it is to say that, I felt like I really might just die. So while I laid there, praying to not die, I also made a decision that if God or the Universe or Sweet Baby Jesus would just please help me through that moment, those hours, that I would never do that to myself again. And that meant that I wouldn't drink again.
(This is not the first time I have made myself that promise.)
However, this is the first time that I have kept that promise for 75 days. For that matter, this is the first time I have made it longer than 30 days. I have spent the past year in moments like that.
I don't know what is different now. I can't say exactly what has kept my head on straight, other than the fact that I was sick of my own bullshit. I was and am sick of letting myself down. Sick of waking up in the morning hating myself and promising not to drink that day and then finding myself stopping for wine on the way home from work that very same day. Lather rinse repeat.
What I know, is that already at just shy of 11 weeks of sobriety, my life is better. Each day, is better. I do something right every single day. I am not ashamed. I have new routines. I am making progress on a lot of shit that has needed to progress. There is not one part of me that thinks any of this would be possible if I was still stuck in the never ending cycle of my drinking.
So what this means for me, is that now- I don't drink. A non-drinker. A teetotaler. Forever? I guess you aren't supposed to day that, but yeah, that's the plan. I'm bright enough and have seen enough to know that my kind of drinking is never a moderate kind of drinking, so if I ever drink again, it would be a violent shove in the direction of ruining my life, oh, and also dying. And that just isn't what I want you guys.
Today, I am a morning person. I am happier, calmer, more patient and responsible. I have an abundance of toilet paper on hand (cause, I had never enough of anything on hand before guys- like, I was always out of everything) and I don't have 37 empty water bottles next to my bed as evidence of my 3 am wake ups from massive dehydration and pumping adrenal glands. Today I am someone who looks better, feels better, and is present for my life.
I wasn't sure I could get here, but I also always knew that I would, if that makes sense. I spent a lot of time over the last year and half prepping to get here, but I just couldn't string the days together long enough. I couldn't make it click. Then, it did, and now it does. I don't think about drinking like I used to. My days aren't miserable because I am not allowing myself that one thing anymore. After some time, things shifted and the thing that is different about this time, the reason I have 75 days now, is because I wanted it. I wanted to get better more than I wanted to drink that wine. And I wanted day 75 more than I ever want to see a day 1 again.
When you want to quit drinking, tomorrow is always the day you want to do it and the shitty thing about tomorrows is that when it actually comes, it just becomes today. So until you are ready to just deal with it being fucking today already you will continue to be stuck. There is never a better day than today. And my focus each today is just that. Today I don't drink. And the thing about todays is that you wake up each day and it's today. When you go to sleep it's today, and when you live your life, it's always today. Stop living in tomorrows friends. Today is where it's at and today is where the work gets done.
That is how I have reached 75 days sober relatively unscathed when I couldn't even put together a week before without banging my white knuckles on a wine bottle and cracking it open.
I have done it 75 todays at a time knowing that drinking one more time was off the table and that done means done. Too often I have left a sliver of "you can always drink again and start over" in the back of my mind. I kept giving myself escape hatches. In everything I have been learning, I finally see that drinking is escaping nothing. It is creating more havoc that I want to escape from. The true escape hatch? Building a life you don't want to hide from. I'm working on that.