Day 200: Postcard

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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.

25 thoughts on “Day 200: Postcard

      1. It would be so good to meet up with someone who really knows what this is all about. I play it down, or say nothing to all but a close few, but I’m so bloody proud of myself too! Roll on the next 100 !

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I needed to read this today. Have had a real struggle last two days and tonight I nearly threw the towel in to drink in day 150 due to a devastating fight with my 18 year old daughter. I stayed with the feelings butt as really stuck in “what’s the point I don’t feel great about life right now anyway” I have gone to bed still feeling the bloody feelings. Then I read this and assume if this is available to you then it must be available to me too. So I’ll hang in there. Glad you feel so good (not meant to sound sarcastic) and have calm and peace.

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    1. Thank you Ginger! I have a wonderful daughter who’s 26 years old. She HATED me at 18, and we had terrible fights. Everyone said it would pass, and it did. Slowly but surely. You will get there too.
      And I needed to read your post tonight as well. I am not feeling well myself, basically because I have not gotten my sugar intake under control. After reading this, I felt good all over again, like when I wrote the post. Thanks for sending that good vibe back to me. ; )

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  2. I am so happy for you and thrilled that there is one more voice joining the chorus of,”Believe!” You know, I doubt that people who never had a drinking problem can fully appreciate the peace that normal life provides, maybe that is our reward for fighting the fight and maybe it is our incentive to not go back to the battlefield.

    Relish it, you deserve it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! As someone who is starting to appreciate just how abnormal a drinking mind feels, I am determined not to do further damage. On another note — do you have a link or page that I can post to promote your wonderful book? ; )

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    1. Thank you! For me, it removes blame from the person to the substance, which is where it belongs. Self-compassion has been the key to my recovery, and letting go of guilt is essential. Guilt makes me want to drink. Sobriety makes me want to drink more coffee. ; )

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      1. I read your lovely “postcard” and it filled me with nostalgia. You know the phrase, “You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be” as you count off the days you’ve been sober? Well, your words brought back the feelings I had at day 200 and up to 365. I remember all the stages I went through, the looking back at who I was, the realizing what feelings made me want to drink, the forgiveness I finally allowed myself. It’s an interesting time: 200 days.
        I remember that it kind of felt like a game up to the first year. I got to pick up chips for 30 day, 60 days, 90 days, etc. Then, right after my first “birthday,” it was no longer a game. It was my life—and I was doing it sober.
        I’ve been sober now for 28 yrs. It’s been quite a ride. I’ve lost people I loved dearly–including my mother, who died at age 97 just two weeks ago. There were times I thought it wasn’t possible NOT to drink over some tough feelings. But they passed. Oh yeah. They DO pass.
        I’ve also experienced incredible joy, joy that I would never have been able to feel without going through the sorrow.
        Good on you and on the others here who are on a similar path. I wish you life!
        Beachmama

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you!!! I used to think people that talked about the “joy” they felt where just kind of nutty people in general. Almost like salespeople that were exaggerating claims to get me to buy something that I didn’t want. Who knew I would turn into one of these people? Life seems to have a sense of humor, doesn’t it?

        Thank you for the post. I just ordered your book on my Kindle. Twenty-eight years of sobriety! I can hardly imagine what that would be like. I look forward to reading about your journey. ; )

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  3. Thank YOU for ordering my book. I hope you enjoy the read, which pretty much “outlines” my journey through a drunken life, followed by early sobriety. When I first got it published, I was a little concerned about the world reading all my lumps and bumps along the way. Now, I know I have no more secrets. My life is an open book. I am the same person no matter where I go or what I do. I no longer wear a mask. Sobriety taught me that I couldn’t save my ass by pretending to be someone I wasn’t.
    I think one of the greatest gifts of sobriety is that we come to learn exactly who we ARE. We learn to accept ourselves and even to enjoy our distinct selves.
    If you’d asked me in early sobriety to list five things I liked about myself, I’d have been hard put to come up with more than..well…maybe two. I learned to love myself by allowing in the love I got from those in recovery.
    You couldn’t possibly “sell” sobriety to those whose minds are shut. They’d never believe you. As I’ve come to learn, it is indeed an “inside job.” I can see you beginning to enjoy life “all under.”
    You are indeed a sober miracle. Now celebrate yourself!!!
    By the way, it’s been almost a year since my book was published. Maybe it’s time I got back to my blog and shared my gift of sobriety with others as I hope I’m doing here with you!
    Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree — you should get back on your blog! It’s funny, but when you read someone else’s memoir, you really don’t see lumps and bumps. You kind of become the character and cheer for her recovery. I am only about 1/4 of the way through your book, but already I want to go visit Australia and London just from your descriptions. And I feel like I could call you up because I “know” you now. Isn’t that a gift? It’s a kind of friendship that you can give over and over again, every time someone reads your book.

      How long did it take you to write it?

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      1. Wait, I just realize I have the wrong book! I am reading another memoir as well — your book is in my Kindle library online, but I’m not sure if I have it on my Kindle yet. (I am new at the Kindle business.) Starting at Goodbye is what I will be reading next. (Scrap the Australian comments. ; )

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    1. And you just made my day. I am sitting here at the computer, my body humming with energy, just wondering what to do with it. Like a kid.
      I spent years dreading waking up, no matter what day it was. I slogged through life reluctantly. I am so changed.
      Miracles do happen, C.

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      1. You wrote of the peace you are experiencing with such emotion and genuine desire to share it with others……like me. That’s what grabbed me the hardest —– your words jumped from the screen into my being. I am truly grateful for your blog.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post! It’s part of the process, isn’t it? Learning to look back at yourself with kindness and compassion rather than with hatred and disgust. Hatred and disgust is so easy when you’re in the thick of it, but when the fog clears, there’s no room for it anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It was a long time coming.
      I could see the burdens that my son was carrying, and I knew the best and most radical way to help heal him was to forgive myself totally and without apology. Maybe then he could think about doing the same.
      I hope it works.

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