So,it’s day 418 sober for me. More and more every day, it’s getting to the point where I hardly ever think about counting the days, or even the months, since I got sober. Every now and then I get curious and open up the counter app on my phone and get a nice surprise, but the habit of counting every day has worn off, and I’m refocusing my sobriety efforts on a deeper place of self-awareness and growth. Tonight I opened my little app and got the nice surprise that I’ve been sober for 418 days. That’s wild! It feels like only a couple weeks ago that I celebrated 365.
And holy wow… how different things are from 418 days ago. How different things are from 937 days ago when my divorce finalized, and even more different than 1,133 days ago, the last time I saw my ex-husband in person (yes, I have counters for that on my phone). I’ve transformed from a bottle-of-wine-a-night-plus-some drinker into a sober yoga enthusiast who is also a mental health counselor in-training at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. 418 days ago I was shaky and uncertain, today I can’t imagine going back to drinking, even when I get those small, infrequent cravings.
937 days ago, I was in despair. I drank because I didn’t feel like I had a choice. I drank because I felt like I had to celebrate being a single woman again. I drank because I couldn’t stop.
1,133 days ago, alcohol was the only thing I felt was keeping me sane, through a separation and a cross-country move. I learned how to drink alone really well around this time. I learned how to hide it.
But now… now, even with all my neurosis and my moments of self-doubt, I am here, wide awake and sober and grateful. I am entering my first year of internships working with people whose addictions have taken them down a much darker path than my own, whose traumas are deeper and whose pain may prevent them from seeing the good in the world… yet despite whatever differences we have, we will always share one thing in common: that crawling, gnawing, incessant creature in our heads that drives us to drink, or use drugs, or self-destruct. I’m no better than them because I’m sober – I simply found what I needed to get me where I am today. I may not be able to give them what they need in therapy, but I sure as hell will do everything I can to make sure their path to success is a little less weedy.
Anyway, I digress. I’m a bit mind-blown by my own personal transformation over the past several years and I wonder — I just wonder — what my ex-husband would think of where I am now. I wonder what my grandma and grandpa would think of my career choice. I wonder what my abusive college boyfriend would think if he knew that instead of breaking me, his presence in my life acted like a driving force to get me where I am today.
Yeah, I wonder. But there’s really no way to know the answers to those questions – and I don’t need or necessarily want to know them, either. Because despite whatever those people might/might not think, I’m finally in a place where I’m doing this for myself, and that’s all that really matters.
In other, more lighthearted news, last Friday I adopted a pet hedgehog. He’s a little 8-week-old baby who is going through the quilling process (similar to how babies go through teething) and so he’s a bit on the grumpy side. We’re working on building trust and acclimating to handling, but I’m hopeful – and I’ve only been poked maybe 20 times so far. He seems to really enjoy green beans, rearranging his furniture, and pooping all over his exercise wheel.
That’s enough for tonight. Hope all is well out there in the sober blogosphere.