2 Years, Less a Day

Two years ago today, I took my last drink. Tomorrow marks 2 years of sobriety. I don’t know if I’d say my life is good or bad, but I can say that’s it’s remarkably different. I’m remarkably different.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a strong urge to drink. I wish there was a formula for that freedom, but I truly don’t know what combination of efforts took away the desire. I see newcomers struggling, saying “I’m not gettingĀ it, whatever it is that everyone else has; I’m missing something.” I want to give them the recipe that will give them relief.

Hardcore AA’ers would say that the formula is the 12 steps. But it’s more than that. You can’t just tell someone to read the big book, go to meetings, and follow the steps. Life is practical and the steps are abstract.

On this soberversary eve, I am overwhelmingly grateful to be sober. I truly did not think this was possible. I spent years sobering up for a month or a week, here and there. I somehow managed 7 months years ago. My father-in-law died and I don’t remember when I gave myself permission to drink, but on one of the days between the funeral and my returning to work, I plunged right back into the bottle. I showed up to my first day back to work drunk. I don’t remember how it happened.

I now know that I was doomed right at the start of those 7 months. Alcoholism isn’t something I was going to be able to beat alone. I’ve discovered over these past 2 years that I am someone who needs a regiment of AA, therapy, and continual self reflection, if I want a chance at staying sober. I don’t know what the rest of my life will look like, but I want it to be sober.

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Cracking the Safe

As a person in recovery who’s also diagnosed bipolar II and ADHD, finding the right balance in life often feels like I’m cracking a safe. One notch in the wrong direction can lock me into depression for days.

It sounds so simple, but I’ve only recently discovered how important sleep is to my sanity. I always believed I was functional with 6 hours a night or less. Oh how wrong I was! I easily require 8-9 hours, lest the dial slips in the wrong direction.

Over the weekend, my husband’s band played a gig, meaning I didn’t become one with my pillow until 3:30am. 3 days later and I’m still feeling the effects. My mood’s been stable for several months, but today was a steep nose-dive into depression and irritability.

I’ve learned so much these past 2 years about myself, yet I still do stupid things now and again. This old gal just can’t party until the wee hours of the morning anymore. How did I ever do that, plus alcohol? I can’t even remember anymore.

On a positive note, it’s easier to climb out of a depression pit when I understand what got me here and what I need to do to get out. So, whether my misfiring mind likes it or not, I will force myself to sleep early tonight, hit the gym early tomorrow, and remember to take shit one day at a time.