relapse

I’m 88 days sober today, which is BY FAR the longest I’ve ever been sober since the first time I tried to quit drinking a whopping three years ago.

Three. Freaking. Years. Three years of messing up and repeating the same cycles over and over. That’s how long it’s taken me to get to this point. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times I told myself that I was never going to drink again, didn’t drink for 2-3 weeks, and then somehow convinced myself that a problem never existed in the first place.

During every short-lived sober stint, I undoubtedly felt a million times better. There was no denying it. I would feel so good that I would forget how terrible it feels to wake up violently hungover and extremely embarrassed about the previous night’s shenanigans. I would think to myself, “Real alcoholics can’t give up alcohol for two weeks, right? They can’t even give it up for a day. I got this. I’m cured!”

So I would decide that I was a-okay to drink again but that this time, it would be different…even though absolutely nothing would change. I always blacked out and had no recollection of how I got home. I would wake up with a pounding headache and reluctantly ask my boyfriend if I did anything bad. He would usually tell me that I didn’t get let into the bar for being too drunk, I got kicked out of the bar, or I got cut off by the bartender for being obviously wasted.

Every time I relapsed, it was because I tricked myself into thinking that I could handle it. I promised myself that I would have more self-control, I would adhere to a strict two-drink limit, I wouldn’t drink liquor, I wouldn’t sneak alcohol or hide how much I was drinking, etc. But it NEVER worked. The second alcohol would flood my brain, it was game over. There were no rules.

After years of expecting something to magically be different one day, I realized it was just time to surrender. I threw in the towel. I accepted that alcohol was no longer in the cards for me and I listened to what God was trying to get through my head all these years…“Just give it up.”

I’ve been feeling a bit of resentment towards my sobriety lately due to all of the alcohol-related events popping up. Birthday celebrations, Christmas parties, office happy hours, reunions, just the weekend in general…EVERYTHING seems to revolve around alcohol. I have caught myself wishing that I could just have a glass of wine on Thanksgiving or that I could let loose with my friends on our girls’ trip to Savannah. But I have to think about how many times I’ve tried this before. That “one glass of wine” will turn into a bottle or two. That seemingly innocent night of fun with friends will turn into blacking out, pissing everybody off, and having to be taken care of. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

88 days ago, I finally accepted that I won’t ever live up to my true potential if I keep drinking. I’m okay with the fact that I’m no longer a drinker, a partier, or a social butterfly. I thought that adopting those identities would make me “normal” and like everybody else, but they were ruining me. Even though being sober is not always easy, it’s a hell of a lot easier than the life I used to live.

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