On March 8th, 2014 I met Keith and Corrie at local brewery to try out some new beers. I had a few, but kept the intake low enough that I could still drive home, where I got some Thai food and drank another beer. While I have had a few tastes since then, this beer would be the last one I drank.
My health struggles have been well documented here, and they didn’t start the morning of March 9th, but they definitely took a turn for the worse at that moment. As my stomach and digestive track continued to make things uncomfortable I found that the last thing I wanted was to pour alcohol onto that fire. Think about any time you have had stomach issues and what your desire for booze was. That’s where I was at. So I did the obvious thing, acted like a real grown up, and stopped drinking.
As things weren’t getting any better, and the doctor was having a harder time deciphering the problem, and the troubling liver tests, the doctor recommended I stop drinking until further notice. That wasn’t a problem since I had already been sober for about 4 months at the point.
Then I hit the six month point of my sobriety. That felt like a real milestone, and I was impressed with myself. I wanted to really test my will power and decided that regardless of when the doctor cleared me to drink again, I was going to hold out and see if I could last a year. The real test was lying just ahead as it was tailgate season. That was tough at first, but it wasn’t even an issue by that final game.
Now as you may have noticed, that one year mark is nearly upon us. I am happy to say that have been able to hold out save for the occasional sip, taste, and that one glass of champagne I had at a wedding.
But something happened towards the end of December. While I still had no word on my liver, or how the new prescription was truly affecting it. I mean I was feeling better, but I had no idea what was going on inside my guts. But I knew the March deadline was near.
I started thinking about how I was sleeping better, how I had more energy, and just how I felt all around better. I realized my sobriety felt quantifiably better than any night of drinking ever did. I hold no regrets or ill will towards any of the time I spent drinking, but this is so much better for me. So with that in mind I have opted to continue to not drink. I am embracing the straight-edge lifestyle.
The biggest concern I had when making this decision was about my friends. I had heard stories of people getting sober and losing touch with the friends they have. But I realized there are several differences here. First of all, while drinking is a past time I shared with my friends, it was not the thing that built our friendships. Second, my sobriety is not because I have a drinking problem and can still bear to be around the stuff. But most importantly I have amazing friends who are nothing but supportive, and they understand those first two things as well.
Now I approach this anniversary and I look to the future. I have the confidence that I can succeed in this sober goal, but I also hold hesitation as it is a drastic change to my life. But the reoccurring theme on this site and in my life is optimism. So here we go, bottoms up, or wait, the hell do I say now? Cheers? Sláinte? To infinity and beyond! There we go. That’ll do.