Today I am two years sober.
many many hours, depending on how you are currently counting your sober time.
Either way, that represents a lot of wine I have not consumed: at my last pace it would be at least 500 bottles of wine and that's only allowing for five per week, with no extra at the weekend or other occasions deemed 'special' in some way or other.
500 bottles of wine! Picture that in your recycling bin for a moment, it seems much more significant than two years!
I haven't mentioned the date at home. My OH would not realise, ask, wonder, nor find it in any way relevant, so I quietly congratulate myself on my achievement, remembering how hard it was to stop drinking and how much harder it was even to decide to do so.
Did I celebrate? Yes and no. There has been no widespread marking of the occasion but I have gifted myself two identical, new beads for my charm bracelet. They're fairly plain: white, with little metallic shiny details. Simple yet elegant, with no resemblance to a drink, a glass, a bottle of wine, or memories of those things. I love them: they are totally my style, my choosing and I know exactly what they represent.
I'm surprised at how two years with no alcohol seems to be both a massive deal and a non event at the same time. Not drinking alcohol is a big part of my life because... it does not feature in any aspect of it. Further, as time passes it no longer features in my thoughts and does not often make it onto my day to day radar.
The 'challenges' are no longer challenging. The organising and planning no longer required. Things, stuff, life, just happens and do so without booze by default. That's just the way things are now. I firmly believe there is no option (for me) and I'm pleased by that. I don't actually want any option: any choices to make or consequences to consider. I honestly would not now have a glass of wine even if you told me I could and that I would stop at that one. I don't see the point any more. It would not enhance my life. I can see through the smokescreen to the hype and the myths that having a drink or getting drunk is fun. A quick flick around my facebook friends any day of the week confirms I am right. Tales of woe, regret, embarrassment, shame. Apologies for being vodka fuelled monsters and offers of amends that will be made, while knowing deep down, that whatever has happened cannot be changed.
I feel lucky to have learned this lesson and the one that follows: that the future can be changed and none of us are helpless to make the changes we truly want badly enough.
In my life, alcohol is almost like a massive storm, a tornado even, whipping up chaos and destruction in its pathway with me tightly sucked into its vortex. The devastation so significant my life cleaved into two parts; before and after.
For many years I stayed there, within its boundaries and control, feeling unable to escape its complex distortion until I saw the solution was not to try to control the uncontrollable, but to remove it completely from my life. Remove any role it had, remove the fuel from the fire and wait for the storm to die down.
I can see it so clearly now, and believe me when I say, there is no-one more surprised by this than me.
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