It’s my four year sober-versary! Four years ago, if I’d been wearing the same pants for a week, it was because I was hungover. Now it’s just quarantine life, baby!
But seriously, hell yeah. Four years feels remarkable because it doesn’t feel remarkable. Sobriety has become a given, a constant in a life that used to feel like constant chaos. This past year was profound for me internally. I experienced a revolution of self… a lifting, turning, and resettling.
Going sober after almost a decade of and a half of daily binge drinking is fucking hard. It is a physical, mental, and emotional obstacle course, and you have to do that work inside yourself—not alone, necessarily, but all that work is going down inside an already exhausted and, honestly, scared self. It’s all happening to and relying on you. You you you. There’s no escape hatch. No out. You’re faced with facing the world exactly as it is and exactly as you come to it, day in and day out. Nights too. You you you.
There is a special and instant knowing between people who have gone through some form of addiction recovery. Whether it’s alcohol, narcotics, food, gambling… I think the healed and the healing show up in the world differently. It’s often subtle, but if you’ve walked through that kind of fire yourself, you can recognize the ember in others. These people have an I’ve-seen-hell tell. I think it’s almost a survival tic? Like, I’ve become alert to the people who can help me in a way no one else can if I run into trouble of self again. And I will. Because that’s something the recovering know too—this is our thing and it will always be there. Caged, but still there.
I love who I used to be. I love the people I spent time with then. I love many of the memories I made. My worst fears of sobriety came true. I lost friends, some perceived social clout, the identity I had built. I don’t care. I would have lost them anyway if I had continued on the path I was on. But now I have a peace and quiet self power that would have been impossible without walking through that fire.
To the recovering: I love you. Keep going. It’s a muscle. And it’s worth it. You are worth it. You you you.