Can you believe it? July 28, 2013 I had my last drink, make that my last bottle and 1/2 of wine. I didn’t plan on it being my last, it just happened. The middle of the night conversations were the same as always, the regret, the self-loathing, the shame. But that morning the feeling of desperation was still smothering me, such a weight to carry, I just knew I couldn’t bear it any longer. I found Jean (Unpickled) and Belle (Tired of Thinking about Not Drinking). Saved my life. Changed my life.
I had already played around with every type of moderation gimmick for years. So, I’ve never looked back, I’ve never slipped or relapsed. I can’t really say why, I certainly dealt with cravings and lots of temptation for sure. But I. Couldn’t. Face. Another. Day. 1. or 2 or 5 for that matter. They were sooooo hard to get through. Husband #1 was out of the country, it would have been easy to cheat, but I couldn’t bear the thought of where I was headed. If I kept drinking I knew I would embarrass myself in front of my grandchildren, for God’s sake, my “grandchildren”. I wanted to be Sharon again. I had lost her in vats of Chardonnay somewhere in my 20-30 years of drinking. I didn’t drink because of a shitty childhood, though it was pretty shitty. I didn’t drink because of a lousy marriage or problem children. It just became a habit, like smoking, a nasty habit that grabbed me, drinking with dinner, then after, while watching TV, trying to read (haha). That turned into drinking alone at night when the house was dark and quiet. How fucking pathetic? Really, as often as my brain said you’re fucking pathetic, my arm put the glass to my lips. I’m sure there’s truth to the genetic theories, my mother had an additive personality and alcohol was among the list of things that ruled her life. But I can’t blame that or her, I chose to drink and now I’ve chosen to stop.
Ugh, what a horror ride through the tunnel of my drinking past. It’s necessary to relive it so you can remember why you’re here.
Maybe some of you thinking about stopping have that weight on your shoulders, I’m two years of proof it can be lifted and oh how light you will feel.
10 awesome things in 2 years
1. I like, love myself again and I am worthy of a whole lot of good shit! Rewards and bubble baths are still in my life. I was always a good person (I think), but I’m a better person now.
2. My relationships with family and friends are so much richer. I’m attentive instead of wanting to be alone with my poison. I actually listen to what people are saying.
3. I’m tons healthier. I exercise regularly. My blood pressure dropped significantly, all by itself.
4. My skin looks pretty good for an old broad and my gray hair is now an ashy blonde. Not something I learned, just an observation.
5. I find joy in places I had forgotten to look. How green spring is, how birds sing early, early in the morning. How much I love to walk, especially with friends. How fucking cold Chicago can get,. I think alcohol falsely insulates you, then you pass out in a snowdrift and die! Alcohol is evil. Sorry, I digress.
6. The witching hour is a thing of the past. It’s rare that I feel the need for tonic and lime or NA wine between 5-7pm. That was a surprise. I thought I’d always need a replacement in hand because so much of my drinking was ritual.
7. Sober blogs rock. I’m still reading sober blogs, though I’ve gone from reading 15-20 a day to having just 3-4 in my email. Most of those I read are people that started along with or soon after I started my journey. I grieved when a few stopped writing. And I got pissed when some started drinking again. I had to learn that it’s their issue and doesn’t mean I’m going to succumb too.
8.Life is a gift, don’t fuck it up. Life is good, everyday with clear eyes and a clear head is a gift. Every morning I’m grateful to the Big Guy or Gal ( I’ve been leaning more toward a female God lately) for helping me. I fell on my knees the day I decided to stop and asked for all the help he/she could send me. She answered, sent me lots of lovely and handsome Internet Angels to guide me along. Sometimes the Internet can be a very good thing. You all held me up and kept me going. Still keep me going.
9. I also learned that swearing again like I did before kids made me feel frickin good. Any sort of tension release is good. Husband #1 was and is happy about that. Wink,wink. You know you can take the girl out of the 70’s but you can’t take the 70’s out of the girl. Old Hippie here.
10. The most important tool I used against alcohol was Attitude with a capital A. Developing a kick ass attitude helped me through some rocky times. I am strong , I am invincible, I am… OMG I’m so old I’m quoting Helen Reddy! How bout Katie Perry and you’re gonna hear me roaaarr! Anyway, Sherry, the Queen of the Motherfucking Ninja Warriors, helped me along with that attitude and remains an inspiration today. I kicked that frickin wolf to the curb. He’s still lying out there, but he’s down and in the gutter. I’d like him to stay down for a very long time.
I pledge to you all I will remain alcohol free for another 365 days ( I’d say forever and it will be but I do better with smaller goals.) I expect you to hold me accountable and get up in my face if I sound whimpy at some point. Deal?
Enough already, Sharon, long and borrrrring. Yawn.
😃 Onward to year 3.
* update, Husband #1 is at 119 days, that makes me happy, too. Don’t know when he’ll imbibe again, he says he will, but he’s done an awesome job so far. Wink, wink.
Oh, one more thing. 63 is the new 42, it’s true, it has to be. I read it in an AARP magazine.
Amazing post from start to finish – you go girl!! And husband no1 – does he get a special sober treat for your 2 years and his 120 days tomorrow? 😉 So proud of you Sharon 🙂 Big love from across the pond xx
If my grey hair will turn beautiful by not drinking then sign me up for two years sober! I think the kids would say it’s amazeballs! Your story is so encouraging to me. Lori
A huge congratulations to you for 2 years! it must be an amazing feeling, I’m looking forward to getting there. “I am strong , I am invincible, I am… OMG I’m so old I’m quoting Helen Reddy!”
hahahhahha, this made me giggle. Here’s to another 265 days for us both x
I meant 365 days!! 🙂 darn fingers on ipad
Totally inspiring! I am coming up on one year and am continuing to feel a gradual shift on many of the fronts you mention in your post. I suspect that will continue for some time. I did find the witching hour revelation interesting. I am just beginning to notice that internal cue is a bit random these days, and since my husband still drinks, that’s something. Just one thing – how do I find Sherry, the Queen of the Mother-Fucking Ninja warriors? Thanks so much!
Congratulations on your 2 years and your husbands 119 days! I am happy for you. 🙂
Congratulations on 2 years. I agree with everything you wrote. Especially the sitting on the couch drinking in the dark alone. What was that? Where was the fun in that? Shudder.
Anyway, I will get to 2 years in about 5 months and will also renew my annual gift to myself (this time for my 44th birthday) of another year of sobriety.
Because life is beautiful.
life is a gift, don’t fuck it up – indeed. sober momentum rocks. keep doing what you’re doing. and many hugs from me : )
Congrats on 2 years! Awesome post – so inspiring!
Sharon, so very happy for you on your two year soberversary! I have also pulled away from most bloggers. Sobriety feels so normal now. I truly couldn’t imagine myself taking another drink. What a relief, right? Best to you and hubby. Keep up the good life!
Awesome!!! Well done. Xx
Congrats and thanks for posting. You are one of the blogs I read to stay the course. I am 57, started drinking at 13 and spent my whole life numb. I have a lot of catching up to do. Life is good and I am 18 months sober!
Love all of this, Sharon! Two years…wow. It really is amazing. Thanks for sharing your list. You rock! xo
So, so happy for you, Sharon! Xo, Kristi
Great, inspirational post! You are my role model! Happy 2nd Soberversary!
Wonderful, inspiring and funny post. We have traveled this road at same time. i have read your blog many, many times. I celebrate 27 months today. Congratulations to each of us. Sobriety is liberation !
You could NEVER be boring! You could write all day and you’d still be awesome! I love the life you’ve built and love to hear about Husband #1 and grandchildren and Olive the puppy and…well…anything else you’d like to write about!
And so, in honor of your two year soberversary I will give one of my favorite Mother Fucking Sober Ninja Warriors my highest compliment…
You, my friend, are a BADASS and I’m glad I know you.
Happy two years!!!
Oh…and thanks for the shout out but you’ve got it backwards…it is you who inspire me!
Yay Sharon!! I’m thrilled for you. Two years!! I found myself nodding vigorously for every point you made, especially how you already tried moderation and didn’t want to go back to day 1. That’s hard to put into words, but I understood perfectly what you meant…that was my experience too. I’m so glad you’re living life fully and swearing up a storm. Kudos to your husband too. Your post and milestone made my day.
Awesome You! So happy for you.* Here’s to 365 more wonderful, completely-you-filled days!
Oh my gosh, Sharon. I am just sitting here, grinning at my laptop, so happy for you and for me and for a sober life that has such an incredible Top Ten list. I love that you just commit to the next 365 days. That makes sense to me. You are a Black Belt soberista and I am glad/lucky to have found you and your blog. Hugs, kisses and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you.
I am 62 now, myself!
And I am now sober for 338 days!
I found your blog today and I don’t think it was accidentally. I’m 65 and this morning had a goodbye ritual for my wine boxes to go to the trash. I’m not going to screw up the last part of my life! I have already been inspired by you and your journey. Thanks and continued sobriety & happiness!
Cindy — you will be blown away by the riches that await you in a life without the wine. Stick around the sober blogosphere. It’s a gold mine.
I am grateful for you folks who are still writing as the months and years go on and on. Grateful!!
Just started following you. Day 2 again and for the last time. Turning 60 this year and would like to be a sober granny… not that I have any grandchildren yet….but get sober and they will come? I’m starting at the beginning of your blog. We know all the same songs!