I quit drinking four years ago. I’d made the decision on a sunny day in Manhattan, and then four days later the world as I knew it fell apart. I don’t think there’s anything weird or coincidental about that. I think the Universe was giving me a head start on a new life.
Alcohol had been my companion for a while, and I had drunk way too much of it way too often. I drank when I was happy, and I drank when I was sad. I drank when I was celebrating, and I drank when I was ruminating. I drank with friends, and I drank alone. No matter what, alcohol was there. And I knew I needed to break up with it.
So instead of a long, drawn out process, I just stopped. I hadn’t gotten to the point of being physically dependent on booze, thankfully, so it was just a decision made and followed through on. The fact that the next two years of my life would be so upsetting and tumultuous kept me motivated to stay clear-headed.
That’s what I mean by the Big U giving me a head start. Being one hundred percent sober during one of the most fucked up situations of my life (divorce) sucked donkey balls. But you know what would have been worse? Being a drunk asshole through the whole thing. Numbing all that pain would have just kept it sitting over in the corner, waiting for me to acknowledge it ten years down the road or whatever. Um, no thanks, pain. I’ll take your hits now, thank you very much.
I understand it’s not that easy for many people to just stop self-destructive habits. I understand how lucky I am to have had the clarity I did. I attribute it to whatever Higher Power watches over me. I will always appreciate that heads up because I think it saved me from a lot of crap that could have gone down in some really ugly ways had I not received it.
I look around at my life every day and am grateful to see it with four years of sobriety as the filter. It’s both chaotic and peaceful, crazy and calm. What I see most clearly are the blessings: my beautiful children, a loving man whom I adore, steadfast friends, a goofy dog, delicious coffee, and a full wide-awake heart.