I had a conversation with my universe sent friend Amy about being sober. About how long is OK. About if it’s a day by day thing, one day at a time, or what about forever?
For me, forever works. I’ll tell you why: there is never ever any choice about whether I drink again or not. I don’t. Ever again. Not in two years, or on my tenth wedding anniversary, or when my eight year old son gets married one day. Never.
And maybe forever might work for you, too.
It’s kind of like this: I don’t ever ever have to decide if I’m going to drink again. When I woke up that morning nine months ago I decided, “If I ever drink again it will wreck my life. Welp, thank god we’re done with that.” And then it’s hard some, and easy some. But there is never that chance to waffle around and second guess myself. There is never the maybe just one or two conversation, the I can handle it back and forth with myself, with my alcoholic self. That person has to be gone forever. Or I will shrivel up and die a slow sad death while hurting the people I love the most. No thanks.
I can’t follow the one day at a time philosophy because that gives me too much leeway with something I don’t need any freedom about. Obviously I can’t be trusted to make good decisions when it comes to booze, so I have to never have a choice. Since, knowing me, there’s a good chance I would make the wrong one. Over, and over, and over again. So forever is a relief for me. In that phew, it’s out of my hands way that faith makes people feel. The pressure is off.
I’ve talked with people who can’t say forever. That saying forever makes it too hard to quit. Saying to myself, “Well, I won’t drink today, but I can tomorrow” makes me feel all wobbly and like I’m already headed to the wine store. Even if every day I say “Just today” it makes me feel like I’m not sure about tomorrow, which makes me nervous. Real nervous.
Forever makes me safe.
Forever is big. I’ve been sober for nine months now. Forever is much bigger than that. But these last nine months have been the best of my life. When I say “best” I don’t mean easiest, or happiest, or I’ve been floating on a cloud of joyous rapture. I mean whoa dude, look. I have lived. I have been a real person in the world. I have cried hard and desperately, wrung my insides out. I have learned so much about myself: most surprisingly that I really do like me. A lot. I have loved with my learning to open heart, and smiled so big that I have to stretch out my arms and shake my butt a little, pump my fist in the air a little.
I will definitely take all of that forever. With a side of always for good measure.
So maybe forever might be OK for you, too. You could walk up and introduce yourself. You might have a lot in common with forever and you didn’t even know it. Forever could be the back up you needed to make sobriety work. It could be totally OK to wrap yourself in the security blanket of never again. Forever makes me not doubt myself, which makes me trust myself. And that makes me stronger. And sober. Forever.