So, of course what happens after you get sober is that you have to stay sober. No easy task there. Unless it is easy, which some days it really just is. And then there are those other days. The hard ones. Ugh.
Here’s the thing: you will never know how good sober feels until you do it. You can head to the fridge for just one more for one more day or five more years. You can wait until you are ready, or you can know that by thinking you might be ready, you just might really be ready.
Getting sober is hard. Really hard. (Like you didn’t already know that. Duh.) Booze is not for you. You can’t have it. If you read my blog I’m guessing you have a problem with alcohol. The only way to get rid of that problem is to stop drinking. And the only way to stop is to….stop. There are a thousand ways I adjust every day to stay sober. 988 of them I don’t even notice.
You thought you were ready. But then a few weeks or months later it turns out you weren’t ready. And you drink. And it isn’t different. It’s the same mother effer that it ever was. And so are you. You are that same person who couldn’t drink. On your report card it says, “_____ is a delight in class. Eager to learn. Cannot moderate.” Whoops. The dog ate my homework. But do you have to start the whole grade over again? Hell no. You just study a little harder. Lock up the dog when you’re trying to finish your homework. Stop trying to moderate and maybe jump rope instead.
I guess moderation works for some people- and many people I read still hope to be able to drink again.This is not me. I get such comfort from knowing I don’t even have to worry about that anymore. I don’t drink. I can’t. It’s just not allowed. And that doesn’t make me sad, or miserable. It doesn’t make me long for the days of yore. It doesn’t make me feel left out, or lacking. It makes me feel sober. And kind of like a bad-ass.
You don’t know me personally, but you know me from reading what I write. Some days I cry a little after I write this blog thinking about me, who I used to be. How grateful I am that I gave myself a chance. How just one hundred days (less really.) changed my entire life. How I wish I could take everyone who is still struggling with quitting and bring them home with me for a while to feed them soup and care and seltzer. Thinking about maybe you, reading this, and you wishing you were talking about your hundred days. Or your one week. How I wish I knew, when I was stopping and starting over and over again how good it would feel to just stop. How I wish you knew I was there in my heart, holding your hand, telling you to be brave. Telling you it is uncomfortable. Totally. And we would laugh about it. How at the beginning you are all loose ends and feelings. How you are kind of a beautiful mess, but a sober one.
Here’s another thing. Staying sober is hard too. I can’t say how hard it is past the day I’m on. But I think that’s the way to do it- stay on the day you’re on. Whether you want to count it or not. And also think about the future. What if I were brave enough to say “I will never drink again” and it stayed true for the rest of my life? What if we all just were that brave? To say a big word like never. To follow it with again.
How to be sober: never drink again.
How to stay sober: keep saying never. Again, and again, and again.