Sunday, February 16, 2014

Phoning it in: 18 days sober

This isn't a real post - I'm just checking in to confirm that I am, indeed, still dry as a bone.

18 days may not seem very long to those of you who are "normal" drinkers, but I can assure you it's a really big fucking deal to an alcoholic who is brand new to sobriety.

When I started this process, I couldn't imagine a life without alcohol: parties, sports (the games I'm dragged to), concerts, dinners, girls' nights, bachelorette parties, Fourth of July, my birthday, Christmas...hell, even COMING HOME FROM WORK was an occasion when I regularly drank. Towards the end there, waking UP for work was, too.

All of those events seemed to overwhelm me and fueled some pretty self-defeating, doubtful thoughts about whether I could do this Thing.

I couldn't imagine a day when I wouldn't think about alcohol and sobriety. Not just think about them, but be consumed by those thoughts.

I started A.A. on January 18th, and I started it without a Higher Power and without a sponsor. I failed.

I started over again on January 29th with a vague idea of my Higher Power and I got my sponsor on February 1st.

I don't know why, and I don't know how...but having those two forces as an active part of my sobriety have CHANGED MY LIFE.

I just realized today that I haven't really had a thought about drinking alcohol in over a week, if not longer. I see commercials for Heineken and I'm indifferent. I go into 7-11s to buy Coke or cigarettes and completely ignore the booze in the cooler.

Every single day that I've woken up and prayed for a reprieve - for freedom from my obsession - I've been granted that reprieve. Every day that I read the Big Book or study the steps, I feel peace. Every night when I call Madame Helene, I'm uplifted, encouraged and given direction for tomorrow. Every time I lay down to sleep, I thank my Higher Power for stopping me from picking up that lethal first drink.

So not a day goes by that I don't do these things. I've found they're far too important to my survival.

And I've found that, despite the years of denying their existence, miracles are happening every day.