On September 4, I will be sober for three years.
For over 15 years we have gone up north to a cabin with several sets of friends, where we canoe, hike, and swim. It's beautiful up here with the lake, the woods, and huge rocks.
But this is also a hard weekend for me.
I have a difficult time with my social anxiety, because there are many people, and I struggle to hear.
It is also a big drinking weekend.In the last few years, before I stopped drinking, I would get very drunk. I would sneak wine, I would get very moody, trip over things, and isolate a lot. I tried to use drinking to deal with my social anxiety.
The first two times I came up here sober, seeing all the wine bottles, and other drinks, made me very anxious.
This year, at 3 years, was much better, and I had few worries around other people drinking.
I wish I had wisdom for everyone about how to stop drinking and be happy.
I was reminded in a post by Prim, who has been sober for about 4 years, about the decisions we need to make to get and stay sober.
I thought about that, and looked at the choices I had to make each day to be sober today.
After my last slip, I had to make that hard choice...do I continue this unhappiness, or do I stop.
Day after day, I had to make choices, or decisions about drinking or not drinking, about reaching out for support or keeping a secret.
Day after day, I had to make a choice about facing life with a poor me attitude, or one of gratitude.
I had to make the choice of staying sober, or driving drunk.
So many choices, so many decisions, but I kept choosing the one that brought me peace of mind.
Slowly and surely, time passed, and here I am.
I never want to go back to the pain I experienced when I was drinking.
I do not want to bring that pain back to my husband.
I do want to continue being happy that I stopped. I have more joy and life now.
Do I have problems? Of course, and I shutter to think about how I would handle them if I were still drinking.
This is a process, and it is on-going. The life-giving choices of not drinking are much easier today. But the thoughts of drinking are still with me. Recently I was driving by myself about an hour from my home, and I was going to be gone all day. I felt free driving by myself.
I passed several places that whispered to me to come and stop and have a drink. No one would know.
I made the choice to keep driving past, reminding myself that the addiction voice is strong.
It's why I choose to continue to write, to read, to go to meetings, to help other people in recovery.
Life is better sober.
It's really as simple as that.
Thank you to all of those who are on this path with me, because I truly can not do this alone.
With Love, On 3 Years, or 1,095 Days.