8 months. Phew. I simultaneously wonder where the time has gone and how can it only have been 8 months. Sometimes it feels like a lifetime.
I’ve been building resentment over particular aspects of my journey. I am jealous of people who have been able to take time off work to focus on changing their lives. There must be a level of stress and worry that accompanies time off work that I haven’t had to deal with, but a short break could do wonders, even now.
Almost 6 years ago, I made it 7 months sober before relapsing for 5 solid years. For the first 3 months of that sobriety attempt, I was unemployed. My sobriety was kick-started by an event that lead to my unemployment, and my husband and I agreed that I didn’t need to jump into another job. It was ok for me to take a little time to sort my head out.
It was a good 3 months. Although it took us many months to recover financially after I started a new job, I am so grateful to have had that time to myself. I lost weight and was very healthy, being able to dedicate time to the gym and healthy cooking. 5 years (and 50 lbs.) later, I use every excuse to eat terribly and skip physical activity.
On the flip-side, I feel like an absolute failure for wanting another break. Successful people do not take breaks; healthy people do not need to. From the outside looking in, my life is incredibly easy: I work an easy 9-5 desk job and I don’t have children to chase after. What the hell could I possibly need a break from?
I need a break from me.
How absolutely nauseating to someone with a truly difficult life.
On a positive note, I am not obsessing about alcohol, the way I thought I would be at 8 months. I began with my therapist on day 3 of sobriety and she reminded me recently that I’d anticipated things to be easy for the first 6 months, but then the craving would come back (it always does). But it hasn’t this time. I have enough experience to not say that it’s “gone for good,” but I can say that it’s not been there for a long time. I don’t romanticize alcohol. When I do have fleeting thoughts of drinking, they’re not “fun” fantasies. I don’t picture myself taking a drink and enjoying myself. I’ve done too much work to ever enjoy alcohol again. If I go back to it, it will be purely for the self-destructive properties; I won’t fool myself into believing it’s anything other than that.
I am grateful, on day 246, to not worry about relapse. Today, it’s not on the horizon.