I always have a small note book with me so that I can doodle, or jot down my ramblings when the mood strikes. If I don’t do it while I’m thinking about it I’ll get sidetracked by a butterfly and just like that, the thought will be gone.
Flipping through the book that I currently have with me I ran across one of my journal entries: “Yesterday was the first time ever I admitted to someone about my drinking. I hope I can come to terms with how it is I need to live my life and that’s basically alcohol free. A bad thing… I don’t think so”.
The precipice for the entry was the end of a marriage three years earlier and a military posting after 12 years on the west coast of Canada. There’s more to the story but you get the idea. What’s surprising is that I wrote that on 18 November 2003. So how is it that it took me 13 more years of drinking to finally see the light. During those 13 years there had been small periods of self imposed moderation and abstinence as I was always attempting to be a “normal” drinker, understandably, one drink and another one were never enough. I remember clearly the disappointment, and self loathing yet there was always one more bottle of wine to be had. Fast forward to today and being honest about it, I don’t wonder if I was hoping that someone would do the work for me, insofar as to confront me about my dirty little secret, then I could feel relieved, shame and a host of other emotions I probably wasn’t ready to confront and get on with it. All neatly cut and dried, however, that was not the case and it wasn’t until my drinking reality was nowhere near matching my retirement reality in July of 2016 that I finally figured out what I’d written 13 years earlier; living alcohol free would indeed not be a bad thing.
Regardless of the road I’ve traveled and endured to get to this point, I wouldn’t have it any other way. My path to healing began when I could look back and be able to make peace and let go of that which no longer served me. Although there are times when I think about all of that wasted time and energy hoping for a different outcome, and I shake my head. I don’t need to be right all the time or win every battle, I just need to remain true to myself and the path I’ve chosen.
On this 577th day of sobriety, my hubster and I are scratching a big one off our bucket list as we take possession of our home in Mexico and happily say adiós to Canadian winters. I’m not entirely certain this would have all come to fruition as it has if I was still journaling about wishing to be free of the burden of alcohol as opposed to living that reality.
Until next month and one more sober day, be well!