What can I say about two years of sobriety?

I am very happy to be sober.  Full of joy all the time?  No.  Of course not.  No-one is, if they are completely honest with themselves.  But being sober equalizes things for me.  Brings me back to the middle.  I still swing toward sorrow and fear at times.  And though still too infrequent I have many, many days of contentment and joy.

I know this for sure, my ability to stabilize the bouts with depression is improved with not drinking, as alcohol is a depressant.  You don’t want to believe that when you are drinking, but it’s true that alcohol exacerbates the bleak moments, dark moods, the feelings of despair.

I don’t work a program, though I believe that some of this would be easier if I did.  There is a sense, when you are an alcoholic that you’re Alone with a capital A. Alone in a room of drinking people.  The world is full of people (my husband is one) that can have a drink or two and stop.  Alone in that others don’t have that “thing” that you do, which makes it impossible — to — stop once you have started.   The inner compass that directs your soul, that moderates your actions and behavior.  That thing is broken when you’re an alcoholic.  During the last two years of drinking I just didn’t want to stop.  Every time I drank, I wanted more.  I was able to control it for a while by not letting myself have access to a lot of alcohol.  One bottle of wine in the house at a time or whatever.  But an open bar, or party, or what not pretty much guaranteed that I would be plastered.

Anyway, that’s all boring.  Being a drunk is sad and boring.

Being sober is beautiful.  I can feel my feelings.  I can see my kids, hear them, and know them.  I appreciate my life, my husband, my blessings.  Friendships are sweeter.  Writing and photography — all the goodness in my life —  is connected to sobriety.

Most of all, I know that being an alcoholic (though at times a real bummer cause I wish I could still drink ) makes me need.  I take that “need” and hand it over to God.

I am helpless.  Hopeless.  Lacking in anything good without God and so grateful to know I am loved.

Tonight in YOGA, I heard God say to me :

B E L O V E D.
Over and over again, BELOVED. 
YOU are deeply loved by me. 
Let go of what others think of you (or what you think they might think.) 
Why do you care. 
The only thing you need to care about now 
is that you are my BELOVED.

That’s all I need for tonight.

Mel

I have written a lot about sobriety both poems and prose.  If you ever want to talk about any of this, I am available. I’m no expert, but I’ve been told I listen well and care deeply.  melhhanson@yahoo.com

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Meg E says:

    I have a question. Is it easier for you if people around you choose not to drink around you? Or do you like that people feel comfortable to or ?? I have a relative who is an alcoholic and his wife and parents have chosen to teetotal even when he is not around, in solidarity. Tom and I still drink, even occasionally around him. But, since it’s not a big need/want/whatever for us, would it be better to just abstain?

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    1. Melody Hanson says:

      Hi Meg, Thanks for asking though I have to say every person is different and depending on where a person is in their recovery also makes a difference. When I quit the first time in order “to see if I was dependent” it was important to not be around drinking. Now, I don’t mind being around it and I do want my friends to feel like they can do whatever. And I’ll be okay. I don’t think people have to teetotal and shouldn’t if the person has said it’s okay. This year we have even gone so far as to have beer around the house (in a downstairs fridge) for Tom and friends who come to do music. It doesn’t even tempt me but wine in the house would be harder.

      ON THE OTHER HAND, if a person isn’t getting healthy, perhaps doing a 12 steps program, and finding other ways to have fun and is hanging out in places where people are always drinking … that’s a recipe for disaster. Many, many, many people relapse because they don’t find a new life of joy and service to others.

      Alcohol was my friend, my lover and I thought even my muse. I thought I couldn’t live without it. I could not imagine life without it.

      Come to find out it was the betrayer, the liar and home wrecker. Killer of Joy. Deceptive and evil.

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  2. zandaltwist says:

    Sobriety for different people has different traps. Some people have to have the security of others abstaining because their hold on resisting is tenuous. Other people don’t have that problem long. For some time after going on the wagon, I couldn’t have alcohol nearby. It was really tough. It took years for me to be safe in that regard. But, I was diagnosed while still being a minor, so it was a little easier. By the time I was in my early 20’s I was the designated driver for all my friends who would do the “Tennessee (Street) waltz” on their 21st birthday.

    Each alcoholic has their drink of choice. For me, it’s bourbon. It sounds like for Melody, it’s wine. Everyone has their specific taste. But, when the addiction has us in its control, anything and everything is fair game. But, it’s all a matter of maturity, and like Melody said… walking through and getting healthy. An addict cannot say no easily. It takes an entire lifestyle change. One’s heart must be transformed, and it requires more than just our own ability.

    God’s grace is amazing that each and every addict can be free.

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