God Grant Me the Serenity

Today marks one year sober for me.

I never thought that would be a big deal. I never thought I had a drinking problem. I was more of a problem drinker. You know the type…drinks when they have problems…drinks when the problems are solved. Weekend warrior. Binge Drinker. Whatever you want to call it, it wasn’t healthy and it wasn’t a means to cope with my emotions. I was never an alcoholic, but that’s not an excuse for my behavior. Once I started, I couldn’t stop.

I never really made a conscious decision to stop drinking. Well, sort of, and I’ll get to that in a minute. It’s odd that the more my life started to crumble the less I wanted to drink. It just sorted faded out as a part of my former life. I have The Big Man Upstairs to thank for that. (By the way-I stopped drinking and the weight dripped off of me like water. Alcohol makes you fat folks.)

This weekend marks another pause in my life from a year ago as well. I closed on my house a year ago this weekend. I had tickets to see Kevin Hart and went out with someone I really cared about to celebrate. We had a great time. I no longer have contact with this person and that really, really hurts. That was the last time I had drinks. I was dreadfully hungover for an extended period of time after only a couple of drinks (and I was pretty buzzed after only a couple of drinks). My conclusion is that a medication I had started to take (and still do) must interact with the alcohol. I very rarely was drinking at that point anyway, and that was the last straw. It wasn’t worth it to be sick.

There’s several memories tied to this weekend in May. I lost my dream of home ownership, but I could be done with the house and move on. I had a fantastic time with someone I really cared about and now am not on speaking terms with. We were actually very close to a shooting in the parking lot of that Kevin Hart show and got blocked in by the crime scene investigation for a while before we could leave.

When I look at where I am today vs a year ago it just seemsĀ surreal. That was the point I thought my life was maybe going to settle some. So, so much has changed since that point. There have been moments in the last year, especially in last 6 months, when I didn’t know up from down or right from left. There was more than once when I didn’t get out of bed for multiple days except to walk the dog, and if I hadn’t had to that, I wouldn’t. But, I’m still here. I’m still figuring it out day by day. And never once in the last year did I try and wash my problems away with a bottle.

Life Without Qualifications

“8 months sober”
-today’s facebook status

I started to qualify that with something else. I started to say something like “8 months sober. I know that’s not much, but it’s a start” or “8 months sober. I know a lot of people will see this as condescending, but I really don’t care if you drink.” Then I realized something. I don’t have to qualify my life (or my facebook status updates) for anyone. If someone wants to judge me for today’s post, than that is their problem not mine. Sure, there are other people with worse problems. Sure, there are people who will think I am being holier-than-thou about alcohol. I don’t really care. Life is what it is, straight forward. There is nothing to read into that sentence, no inference to be made, no hidden agenda, no passive aggressive message, no code words. It means what it says. It has been 8 months since I had alcohol. Anyone who tries to read more into that than is there is the one with a problem, not me. This must be what it is like to stop denigrating myself. It’s my life and I don’t have to qualify it as anything else. What an interesting concept.