It’s easy to miss when you’re living the cumulative transformation, but when I really look at it, my life is monumentally different today compared to 1 year ago. Yes, there are physical changes that are noticeable to the outside world, but the most significant changes are on the inside.
One year ago I was desperate to quit drinking, but I was as equally desperate to do it without anyone knowing what I was going through. I was scared, embarrassed and sick.
Fast forward to 3 o’clock this morning. I was driving myself and a friend home from an out-of-town bar. Wait, it’s not that kind of story; our hubbies are in a band that played lastnight. The 2 of us left early while the band packed up their gear.
During our 30 minute drive, my friend (whom I’ve known for only 8 months) told me a little about her previous 10-year relationship with an alcoholic that broke her heart. She also shared that she recently started thinking that she was drinking too much and quickly changed her habits to curtail the drinking. This friend (like most people in my life) had no previous knowledge of my alcoholism. She didn’t know me as a drinker.
“I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m an alcoholic,” I told her. I confirmed for her that no one can “fix” an alcoholic like her ex, no matter how much you love them. We then had an amazing, albeit brief, conversation about addiction and how devastating it can be.
After I dropped her off at home, I took note of how calm I felt. I had no anxiety prior to, during or after telling her I’m an alcoholic. This was the first time I’ve used that big scary word with a friend and I am completely at peace. This is not a conversation I would have considered having one year ago.
Secrets make us sick. Having more and more people know my secret makes it harder to relapse. I’m slowly building an army of people who would instantly know I’m in trouble if I started drinking. In growing my army, I’m reducing the space that I can hide in.
And that’s how I’ll confidently get through day 333.