I love me a good Cosmopolitan, at least I think I did. I would order one because I knew it was a drink that had a good bam of alcohol in it. I honestly don't remember what they tasted like. Was it the effect or the taste loved the most? After a little soul searching research I am pretty sure it was the effect. Granted, it was a sweet concoction, but I drank them way too fast to enjoy them. It was more the rush of ethanol and sugar coursing through my system. Ethanol? Yes. It can be found on the liquor shelf in all sorts of varieties and also at the gas pumps. No wonder I feel better after not putting any of that into my system for the last five years.
Five years. That's right, five. To celebrate that milestone I thought I would look back on the process from year to year.
Year One in Review:
It took about a week for me to start feeling better, and by thirty days I felt amazing. Or so I thought. Really, it just got better every day! Until about 3:00. My fuse got shorter, and I was on the prowl looking for some relief from my cravings. Sometimes I was successful in the form of baking cookies and eating the dough. Which I know now just triggers more cravings. Who knew? I would work out (rarely), call a friend (not very often), shop (too much), or my favorite and most consistent; curl up with a book, Ellen, an afghan, and snooze my way through happy hour.
I took Antabuse every morning thinking I wouldn't dare ever stop taking it. Antabuse was my drinking insurance. If I drank, I would get really sick. I mean like my body turned bright red, even the whites of my eyes! My heart would beat so fast I was convinced I was having a heart attack, and in the meantime my stomach was revolting. I'd tried it in the past, you know, just to see if it worked. It does. So I would take it in the morning when I was high on being hangover free and curse the dang stuff by mid-afternoon. It worked. By my one year sober-versary I had no need to take it. The desire to drink had left me completely.
I was still pretty quiet about being in recovery and was just fine keeping my secret to myself. The only person that congratulated me on November 6, 2014 was my husband. God bless him! The man deserves an award for sticking with me. It was a quiet celebration that actually scared me. Why? What do you do after a year of sobriety? I knew I was supposed to be doing more than just hanging about by myself in sober land, so I Just kept going.
Did year one hurt? A little. But when I think about it there are a lot of things in life that hurt a whole lot worse. Loss of a loved one, cancer diagnosis, babies having heart surgery, seeing your husband's disappointment that you drank again, blackouts, hangovers that last for days. No, this didn't hurt.
Was it what I expected? Not at all. I was a little disappointed I wasn't amazingly fit and thin after a year of abstaining from all those liquid calories. That might have something to do with all of that cookie dough. I missed going out with some groups that I was hanging back from for my own good. Amazingly though, I felt pretty peaceful about the process so far.
What gave me hope? I started seeing glimpses of me. The me that I had been missing. The me who had her act together. The clarity I felt every day. The peace I was feeling. My relationships were improving.
There is a song by Third Day called "Revelation" and this song was in my head constantly. Read these lyrics.
"My life, Has led me down the road that's so uncertain And now I am left alone and I am broken, Trying to find my way, Trying to find the faith that's gone This time, I know that you are holding all the answers I'm tired of losing hope and taking chances, On roads that never seem, To be the ones that bring me home Give me a revelation, Show me what to do Cause I've been trying to find my way, I haven't got a clue Tell me should I stay here, Or do I need to move Give me a revelation I've got nothing without You I've got nothing without You"
This song would bring me to my knees. It became a prayer. So I went into year two with another dose of surrender.
To be continued...