In honour of ten years sober I am reposting my story that I wrote a few years ago. It may need some updating now but it is all still applicable.
In ten minutes I will be 10 years sober. I am feeling oddly weird about it. I am not happy, I am not sad, I am some kind of odd mixture of them both.
You see, this is perhaps the biggest achievement of my life and yet there is no one in my life anymore who saw what it was really like for me at my worst. I have changed all my friends from my drinking days, and of the two people who were there to confront me with my drinking, one died two years ago and the other is no longer in contact. All my other friends met me after sobriety. My family members were kept in the dark about my drinking so they either don’t believe it happened or simply have no frame of reference.
This is bigger for me than any graduation, birthday or Christmas. It is bigger than getting published. It is bigger than being asked to speak at conferences. And yet no one else really understands how big it really is for me, and so I feel oddly alone. Where I would get “happy birthday” texts, I am not expecting any for this day. Where I would get graduation gifts, I know there will be none for this. The biggest achievement of my life will pass by largely unnoticed by most people in my life.
Part of me is glad lad that I am so well adjusted now that no one even considers me an addict. No one realises that I have to actively stay sober. They don’t see me when I want to drink, when I can smell alcohol in restaurants or when I have drinking dreams. This year has been particularly hard for me in staying sober, but it is an internal struggle that goes unnoticed by everyone except my husband. And for that I am glad. It means I am dealing with it well. It means it doesn’t rule my life. But it also means that this celebration is one that men’s very little to most. And so I feel alone.
I don’t want this anniversary to pass by without saying something. I don’t want to be silent bout something so huge for me. I am ten years sober!!! I have overcome the drive to drink on so many days. I have faced illness and death of loved ones and stresses without drinking. I have learnt to have fun without being drunk. I have a solid marriage that isn’t ruined by addiction and alcohol. I have survived. And I am so damn proud of myself.
TodayI toot my own horn, blow my own trumpet and celebrate me. I made it!
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