In July of this year I achieved four years of sobriety.
Honestly, once I got past the first year it wasn’t that difficult. I had one instance where a server gave me an alcoholic drink in 2019. I took a few sips and it just didn’t taste right. It was nasty. Once I realized the mistake there was no temptation for the alcohol at all.
I didn’t freak out on the staff or wonder if I needed to start all over with the sober clock. It was an honest mistake. It didn’t lead me to drinking so I wasn’t going to punish myself emotionally.
The occasion slipped quietly by, but when I realized it, I really did enjoy a quiet smile to myself. It felt good inside.
One of the contributing factors to my drinking was fear of irrelevance.
Everyone at some point deals with concerns for irrelevance.
The irrelevance of being left behind in an ever changing work environment that faces down sizing regularly. The thought of irrelevance that comes with being in a contentious divorce or a bad custody challenge. The thought of becoming irrelevant to your off spring due to age and the differences in generational culture. The thought of taking on more than you planned and becoming overwhelmed and unable to make a positive impact in anything. The concern that of all the relationships you’ve had reached an expiration date and by that very nature you can become concerned that you may become irrelevant to your current relationship. The concern that you become irrelevant with all the non-constructive time you spend drinking, planning around drinking and recovering from drinking.
The thought of being irrelevant can be pervasive and stressful. The further reality is that drinking can amplify these very real feelings.
So, how did I finally cope with it? Sobriety helped immensely. Let’s face it, when drinking our minds can go to places that our sober selves just don’t waste time on. The drinking mind can dwell on the darker elements of our lives and lament without end. The sober mind can focus on the here and now, the what needs to be done and the doing of things. The sober mind is much more capable of dismissing feelings that come from very small places.
I’m not without those small moments where these same things can come to the forefront. But the limited amount of time that happens is so much smaller than when the drinking mind is in control.
I feel grateful for where I am and this is one of many reasons I say, I will not drink with you today [IWNDWYT].
This is personally a hard post. I’ve started this numerous times. In 1979 I signed up for the U.S. Navy. That’s how, as a scrawny 6 foot tall awkward fairly athletic young man, I found myself deployed off the coast of Beirut on board the USS Virginia in 1983 with 550 other guys. As I understood it the Russians, Iranians and Cubans were working together to incite civil war in Lebanon. Our ship and others were intended to provide necessary support if called upon. Little did we know what was to come. Continue reading “Guilt from 1983”
I’ve been a runner since the early seventies. I joined Cross Country duand loved it. Being able to jog the trails in the cool early morning hours was a freeing experience even when I was competing with others. Continue reading “I Can Run Again And Thank Sobriety”
July 6th was day 186 of 2016. That was my first full day on this sober journey.
The weekend leading up to that day, was around the pool, munchies, hanging with family and inactivity (other than yardwork) and a number of beers.
The wife had declared that she was quitting alcohol a few weeks before the fourth of July. I’d been curbing my intake for a while and experienced some minor improvements, mostly corrections to some self inflicted issues (more on that later), so I said I would join her after the holiday weekend. Continue reading “Sleep”