It’s day 200 of not drinking, but I no longer count the days except every now and then.
I don’t do it because it no longer matters. That agonizing, counting path of playing hide and seek with alcohol is behind me. I don’t know that person anymore. I feel for her, but even the memories of her 30 plus years of drinking are fading.
I have forgiven her.
Most of the time, I see her with eyes of love and understanding. When humiliating ghosts of her past arise, I watch them silently and then let them go. I don’t invest them with useless guilt and remorse. I don’t give them power. I am through punishing her.
I understand why she drank.
She drank because drinking is addictive. She started when she was just an adolescent, shy and self-conscious. Not overly so, probably just like most people. But still, it could be excruciating for her. She wanted to be someone who was louder, drew more attention, was comfortable with the stage. She wanted to be someone she was not, and that’s OK. We all go through it.
It’s passed away now, for the most part — that need to be “on.” It was so much more about what other people thought … that fear of not measuring up, of not being enough. That need to be, above all else, entertaining for other people. Of quelling fears and calming anxieties, of curbing anger and softening disappointment. No wonder I drank.
Today, after 200 days of not drinking, I have been overtaken by a glorious feeling of stillness and peace. I long for nothing, really, except to pass it on to someone else. I want you to feel like this. I would give anything to stop the heartache of the world — of my past self and everyone else still in the prison of drink. I want everyone to revel in the gift of healing. Words fall so short of describing the ways I’ve changed in just 200 short days. I didn’t know what assaulting my brain for decades took from me. I couldn’t remember what I’d lost. This feeling of wellbeing … maybe this is how a lot of non-drinking people feel. I barely recognize it because it has been so long since I’ve loved myself enough to allow healing.
I pray that you feel this peace as well. I’ve spent hours reading about the joy that is possible from people who are sober, not really believing it could be real for me. But it is. I’m a witness to what can happen if you give yourself a chance.
I hardly know the calm, loving, listening person I am becoming, but she’s pretty cool. I heard she almost drown once, but she’s finally coming up for air.
Wish you were here.