I was thinking about what keeps me sober today, as we are in the big drinking holiday season. Mr. UT and I have been to two holiday parties, and one big date night out. We have Christmas weekend coming up with his family. I was thinking about what keeps me sober today.
My husband is one of the most important reasons I stay sober today. He has been with me since 11th grade of high school. He could have left when my drinking got bad, but he hung in with me. He stopped drinking to support me, so he should be getting chips as well. He is my number one supporter, and our marriage is so much better. I love him so much. I never want him to have to go through that pain again.
Freedom keeps me sober today. I love the freedom I have to drive. I love knowing I don’t have to worry about finding bottles I hid, or the chain of dragging the thoughts of drinking around me all day. I love knowing I won’t be locked up for a DUI.
Helping and supporting other people in recovery keeps me sober. Meetings, volunteering, on-line recovery, are a big part of why I stay sober today. I know how hard it is to get and stay sober. I understand loneliness. I understand depression and anxiety. With support we can stay sober and be happy.
Remembering the past, not to shame myself, but so I don’t romanticize drinking keeps me sober today. Thoughts rarely enter my head, but when they do, I go right through what would happen if I took that first drink, and it will not end well.
I think though, as I am writing this, the most important reason I stay sober today is because I want to. Drinking made me angry and resentful. I don’t want to go back to bad drinking times. My body has healed, my mind is stronger, I have less depression. I can express my feelings in healthier ways, I am less likely to over-react. I am more loving, less angry, and calmer. I am more content with what I have. I am more accepting of who I am.
I have my self-respect back. I am living my values.
(Here is a wonderful article from The Odyssey on what self-respect means.)
Not that everything is perfect, but now I am able to accept my imperfections.
At the parties there were people drinking more. I saw their faces flush, they got sillier, more talkative. No wonder so many people use drinking for anxiety. That’s what I did. But I have learned, after 3 years of practice, that I can talk, enjoy company, enjoy dressing up, and I know I will be free of hangovers, and will have the peace of mind the next day.
With Christmas Spirit,
On Day 1200,