I told myself that I will be sober for a year. It was tough, sure, but I got there. It’s done. First Sunday of August. An entire year. Great, now what? I’m not too sure what the point of writing this blog post is. I don’t want to gloat, I don’t want any recognition, I don’t want to be reminded of this “achievement” as its been nothing but counter-productive. When this weight comes off it wont be freeing, it will be a burden.
I’ve come to a realization that my expectations for this journey were incredibly naive. I thought that everything would be different at the end; that some great big change would wash over me and that I would be a better, stronger, person. That removing a substance from my life that had at times, caused me great pain would do the opposite if I simply erased it from my life. But that’s not how it works, you have to address the underlying issues and that’s not something I’ve done. The correct route would have been to see why I was a magnet for addiction; why did I seek the high, or, at times, the low that alcohol gave to me? Why do I continue to put myself in unwinnable positions with other forms of addiction such as gambling?
Despite how crushing it is to admit, going any longer than a year sober isn’t sustainable for me. I used alcohol as a coping mechanism, a way to relax and as an escape. For 12 months I have felt as though I haven’t experienced any of this. I struggle to cope, I cannot relax and I have no escape. Despite what I know sounds like a myriad of excuses, I did try my absolute hardest to find alternate means of managing but I forever came up empty. I feel now that at the end of the day, it’s less about drinking, and more about being able to give myself a time out. I don’t crave a drink, I crave a chance to close my eyes and relax my shoulders. What I want more than anything is to just de-stress with the people I care about. After 12 months of being constantly on, I just want to be off.