1-Year Sober Retrospective: “In Dreams”

On July 19, 2015, I attempted my first-ever, honest-to-goodness quit. I lasted through the beginning of September. Had I stuck with it, I’d have over  a year by now. But I still had some lessons to learn in the time between then and now.

The following is a blog post I wrote exactly one year ago today on a different sober blog that I abandoned after about a month or so. At the time of writing, I was 25 days sober.

“In Dreams”

I had my first drinking dream last night.

It wasn’t a dream where I got sloshed and fell over myself, a mumbling bumbling drunk.

It was a dream where I met with a friend and we shared two frosty glasses of beer. We weren’t talking. I only started feeling guilty the moment I started to wake up, and the feeling lasted a few minutes until I realized it was 5:45 in the morning and I was laying in bed next to Phoenix, who had been tossing lightly throughout the night.

I felt guilty even after I realized I’d been dreaming.

I felt guilty for feeling guilty.

And then I roused myself from my half-sleeping state, checked my phone, got up and started making coffee. I brushed the cat. I got in the shower.

Still guilty. Still sad.

And I didn’t even do anything wrong.

I like to think that my life is a continuous line forward. That maybe, finally, I’ve overcome what sadness haunted me this past winter. That I can finally feel at peace with the two relationships that began and ended between now and this time last year, knowing that I may have broken a few hearts (or maybe just chipped them a little) but that I did the right thing in leaving.

I keep going back and forth between wondering if sobriety is the right thing for me and knowing that it is. More often than not, these thoughts are riding on the heels of social interactions where alcohol consumption would definitely be considered acceptable – even necessary, at times. I have to keep reminding myself that yes – yes, sobriety is what you need right now. Don’t think about forever. Just think about right now.

So why do I feel guilty for my dreams? Are my insides telling me what I really desire? Is there reason to be scared?

I don’t know, and frankly, I don’t care. All I know is that the only person I’m fighting in this is myself, and if I’m not on my own side, who is?

I’ve been sober for 25 days, and for the most part, I don’t worry too much about it. As far as “quitting” goes, it’s actually be fairly easy. I write here when I feel the need and surround myself with helpful books, a sober lover and the silent, sweet support of my two cats. That dream, though, has set the wheels of strange remorse into motion. It’d be so easy – too easy, really – to sink back into a life of drinking, and that realization comes with a lot of conflicting emotions.

But I’m not going to drink today – even when my friend from out of town flies in and we meet with my parents for dinner, where they’ll most assuredly drink a few bottles of wine together. I won’t drink. It’s only been 25 days, but it’s already been 25 days. I’m not giving in yet.

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