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It has been over half a year since I stopped drinking (190 days). This is an attempt at an honest reflection. Is it worth it? Absolutely. However, it is not easy or without pain. For me. For those who love me. If addiction is a wave of destruction, sobriety is a rollercoaster of emotion, shortcomings and learning. Joy and Pain. Like sunshine and rain.
Ashtanga yoga was essential to my decision to stop drinking. Yoga helped me understand what was wrong in my life and what needed to change. I have made more progress in 6 months of not drinking than the three years before.
I experience joy, much joy. I was unfamiliar with the emotion. I think I had the happiest days of the last 20 years in the last 6 months. Taking my niece and nephew to the Renaissance Festival is the best day I’ve ever had.
I rediscovered a passion for learning and study, and unearthed a love for philosophy. It now sit and learn from the likes of Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus and Pantajali daily. Living is an art.
I love being present when I am with people. It is the greatest gift I can give. It is a struggle in this age of distraction, but I do my best.
It has not been without pain. It is hard it is to love someone who has chosen to get sober. We often don’t love ourselves. Even in sobriety, I can leave a wake of destruction as I struggle to figure out who I am.
I now know what it really feels like to hurt and disappoint without my armor of whiskey to protect me. I have no way to hide from it. No substances to blame for my behavior. I have no excuses. I am left wishing I had done things differently. I carry the responsibility to learn from it seriously.
I vacillate between being open and vulnerable and being scared and needing to protect myself. I now exist with the same thoughts and feelings that drove my addictions but without a way to numb them. I am raw and exposed, often flailing.
But above all I am grateful. I am grateful to all of my friends who love and support me. You continue to love me even when I don’t love myself. It has taken an army of people to get to where I am today. Thank you. I hope I am honoring you with the path I am on. I will not let you down.
I love you.