3 Years!

Dear Readers, 

On September 4, I will be sober for three years.

For over 15 years we have gone up north to a cabin with several sets of friends, where we canoe, hike, and swim. It’s beautiful up here with the lake, the woods, and huge rocks. 

But this is also a hard weekend for me.

I have a difficult time with my social anxiety, because there are many people, and I struggle to hear. 

It is also a big drinking weekend. 

In the last few years, before I stopped drinking, I would get very drunk. I would sneak wine, I would get very moody, trip over things, and isolate a lot. I tried to use drinking to deal with my social anxiety.

The first two times I came up here sober, seeing all the wine bottles, and other drinks, made me very anxious.
This year, at 3 years, was much better, and I had few worries around other people drinking. 

I wish I had wisdom for everyone about how to stop drinking and be happy.
I was reminded in a post by Primwho has been sober for about 4 years, about the decisions we need to make to get and stay sober.

I thought about that, and looked at the choices I had to make each day to be sober today.
After my last slip, I had to make that hard choice…do I continue this unhappiness, or do I stop.
Day after day, I had to make choices, or decisions about drinking or not drinking, about reaching out for support or keeping a secret. 
Day after day, I had to make a choice about facing life with a poor me attitude, or one of gratitude. 
I had to make the choice of staying sober, or driving drunk. 
So many choices, so many decisions, but I kept choosing the one that brought me peace of mind.

Slowly and surely, time passed, and here I am.
I never want to go back to the pain I experienced when I was drinking.
I do not want to bring that pain back to my husband.

I do want to continue being happy that I stopped. I have more joy and life now.
Do I have problems? Of course, and I shutter to think about how I would handle them if I were still drinking.

This is a process, and it is on-going. The life-giving choices of not drinking are much easier today. But the thoughts of drinking are still with me. Recently I was driving by myself about an hour from my home, and I was going to be gone all day. I felt free driving by myself.
I passed several places that whispered to me to come and stop and have a drink. No one would know.
I made the choice to keep driving past, reminding myself that the addiction voice is strong.
It’s why I choose to continue to write, to read, to go to meetings, to help other people in recovery.

Life is better sober. 
It’s really as simple as that.

Thank you to all of those who are on this path with me, because I truly can not do this alone.

With Love, On 3 Years, or 1,095 Days.
Wendy

32 thoughts on “3 Years!

  1. Social anxiety is huge for me as well- drinking or not. Your blog is your advice and wisdom, Wendy. Every post overflows with it by showing us how you live your sobriety out with amazing gratitude! Thank you! Congratulations on #3! ❤

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  2. Yay you! You are truly an inspiration to hundreds of people. I notice that you often comment first on new blogger posts and are so supportive of those of us who need it. You are a Godsend in the blog world, Wendy. I'm so grateful you're here. ; )Shawna

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  3. Dear Wendy,Congratulations with your 3 wonderful sober years! 🙂 And yes to those decissions. I once (3 years and some days ago) thought quitting drinking was a one time thing. 🙂 Decide to quit….and done! It works out that it is a decission together with the maintenance of that decission. Not the one without the other. :-)Hoping to hear from you what soberversary present you got. :-)Happy hugs from Holland!xx, Feeling

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  4. Wendy, congratulations on the three years! I forgot to read this yesterday as I was catching up on my timeline. We had the exact same weekend!! People who have been sober for a long time talk a lot about the need for us to do whatever WE need to do. When I was sober before (8'years as I think you know) I tried often to be a \”hero.\” Willing to stay up late, etc. Now I do what I need to do. A triggering event for me every year on this trip is the \”group hike.\” 30 people doing a hike, the logistics thereof, which trail, the weather, etc etc. Sunday we reached our destination and I sat on the rocks about 30 feet from the rest of the group. (Look at the picture I posted on twitter). My wife came over and told me I was being antisocial and without hesitation I said, \”no; I need to be by myself.\” She immediately understood and that was the end of it. Progress! Anyway, so glad you are here! HD

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  5. Thank you, HD!I just had to laugh, as that is EXACTLY what hubs said to me, as I was in the cabin, while all the other people were on the deck. Too many people, I couldn't hear, overload. We really do need to take care of ourselves. xo

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  6. Congrats on this, Wendy! I am so very happy for you! I too have heard that voice – hey, no one would know. Well, *I* would know. And that's enough for me. Usually when that voice hits me, it's either because I truly am thirsty (hot day – and all I need it water to quench that), or something is not sitting right with me. As an alcoholic, my default was always to drown out the voices and ill at ease I felt. These days I know better, but it does creep up now and then. I push those thoughts away like swatting flies from my face. Anyways, thank you for this, and thank you for being the wonderful spirit you are! You touch many lives.Blessings!paul

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  7. Congratulations on THREE years! Love your picture and your message. I'm only on Day 51 and realize this will be a lifelong journey but fortunately a positive journey. Love the inspiration you and others impart. So happy to connect with you.

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  8. Congratulations Wendy, I'm so happy for you! I have stopped blogging but still wonder how you are and how you are doing. I'm glad your voice put you in the right path. PDTG

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  9. To my happy, smiling, beautiful, and sober friend: I agree, sobriety is life and just happens; it's a process that may start blindly, but slowly begins to make sense. Then, all the sudden, it turns into the most magnificent journey. I know you get it because I can see it in you. Happy three years, my friend! So thankful to have you on this path! xoxo, Tate

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  10. Dear Wendy – Congratulations on your three years. So good to have you on the sober path – or do I mean at the sober party?! Lots and lots of love, Prim xxx

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