Hallelujah, today I feel like writing! I just couldn’t do it yesterday, I felt so weird and lethargic. The spirit has returned this morning, however, as I gratefully celebrate the start of my 5th day sober.
This morning I awakened just after 6. After 7 hours sleep. 7 full hours. 7 non-stop hours of sleep. I can’t remember the last time I slept non-stop right through the night. And I awakened feeling like a baby bird in its nest. Feeling warm, cozy, drowsy, peaceful. Contrast that with so many years awakening feeling un-rested and anxious, like I have just been through the wringer, wrestling with dreams and demons and sweating and tossing and turning and gnashing of teeth. What a contrast! Words can barely describe (but I’m doing my best).
I can honestly, unabashedly say that this morning I feel, “Finally Free”. Free from alcohols demonic grasp. Free from the anxiety, the insanity, the torture, the torment, the craziness, the fear, the gross physical maladies. It seems like I can actually feel my brain, like, inside my skull. I can feel it changing, adjusting to being free of the alcohol soak, like its actually drying out, or something. As I said, words can hardly describe how I feel exactly. Bottom line is, I feel very, very good; well, healthy, anxiety free, refreshed, alive.
A few years ago—no, more like 6 or 7 years ago, I went 4 days without drinking. I remember feeling great then too, but I didn’t make it to the 5th day. How I wish that I had! I may not have resumed drinking had I experienced this 5th day. Well, maybe, maybe not. Most likely I would have picked up the bottle again. I was still struggling with so many serious life issues. I needed the alcohol to cope, plain and simple. At least, it was the easiest thing for me to do, to cope, to survive. Since then, I’ve had the benefit of hundreds of hours of additional counselling and therapy, plus getting through those issues that crippled me, plus the benefit of getting older, letting go of things, moving on, being ok with the necessary losses. I don’t need the alcohol like I did before. The last few years of drinking have been more out of habit and inertia and about drowning my past sorrows, although I still have lots of sorrows—and who doesn’t?
Today, I don’t even want to look at, let alone touch or drink a drop of that horrific poison, ever again. Not that I couldn’t. I could if I did, but I won’t, because the way I feel right now, I know it wouldn’t be worth it. I know, I know, I’m in the “honeymoon” phase of being free. Next week or next month feeling great will become the norm and like everything else in life will just be the “same-o”. I’ll be looking for something fresh and new to stimulate me. Statistics predict I’ll very likely pick up, or be tempted to pick up, the bottle again, you know, just for a wee boost. Well, as unlikely as that seems to me now, I know from all that I have learned about alcoholism that I could very easily get myself back down into the old groove, the old rut. And that’s why they call this whole experience, “Recovery”.
Recovery isn’t just about prying our lips off the bottle and getting sober. No, recovery is all about that PLUS doing whatever it takes to stay away from the damn stuff. Whatever it takes. Recovery is a process. We are never “fully recovered” from our alcoholism because it’s our nature, it’s in our genes even, to LOVE the effect that alcohol gives us! When we love something, we love to repeat it, over and over again, even if it can KILL US. And for those of us who cannot “moderate” our drinking, if we resume the habit, it most likely will kill us, or at the very least will seriously degrade the quality of our lives, and then some.
As for me, I’m going to enjoy this moment, and God-willing, this day, being alcohol free. This is a positive experience that needs to be revelled in, celebrated, lived in, soaked up, acknowledged and remembered, for today we live and tomorrow we could die…