Remember when you were a kid and it was going to be your 10th birthday? I remember it as the first milestone birthday, and have had many since. But 10! It was so exciting and magical!
Yesterday I celebrated 10 years sober, and I can say it was just as exciting and magical. I like that I celebrate right at the time of the Spring Equinox. It feels so hopeful and sweet. It really feels like I accomplished something, and there is a certain amount of pride that I feel around it. Of course I didn’t do it alone, of course there were steps and mis-steps and harder and easier times, but it happened.
And it certainly did start with my decision. No one told me to stop, there was no treatment center (and that’s not a judgement, just my story). One day It dawned on me that I would die drunk. And 4 months (4 MONTHS after that!) later I actually had my day one. Which has turned into 10 continuous years.
I don’t work a great AA program. I’ve gotten to a few more meetings during lockdown, which has been helpful in easing my boredom. I feel lucky to never have had a desire to drink (tell that to my PANTS!).
But AA is also part of my story. It gave me a good foundation and people to support me as I went through the earliest part. It led me to yoga in search of some sort of spiritual connection and that has sustained me. It gave me new friends who I have text chains with and gratitude lists with and that’s really my program now.
But it is a great foundation and it is how I got sober. I showed up at meetings and I did the work and I helped other alcoholics who were at the end of their ropes, as I had been.
I’m writing this today to encourage anyone who finds themselves questioning their drinking to reach out. There is help. Reach out to me. Reach out to someone in your neighborhood. Right now there are so many online meetings that you can go to in your own area but also internationally, in other states…it’s really easy right now and extra anonymous if you’re just “checking it out”….I did that too.
If you feel scared or worried know that there are many others like you. And that you don’t have to get COVID to be sick from it, or die from it. There has been a huge uptick in self-harming and drug and alcohol usage during this pandemic. It makes sense to me, although it breaks my heart. That’s a lot to seek help from, but there is help, always. I have seen many people, sadly, fall away during this time. But I have also seen many others begin their sobriety journey, or return to it. During this awful time to have that hope, that deep belief in themselves….a kind of Spring whenever they started.
Sobriety has been one of the best things that ever happened to me. I’m grateful to say that I am 10 years sober. And humbled to reach out my hand if anyone needs theirs held.