Days Gone By

I made it! I have gone 30 days without one drop of alcohol and tomorrow is brand new territory. It’s likely going to be pretty anticlimactic, but that’s okay! I will know the significance and sometimes that is enough.

I stumbled upon some old e-mails yesterday. I have a folder in my account full of e-mails I have sent myself over the years. I had completely forgotten about it! They range in date from 2011-2013. Needless to say, 4 years later, it was an interesting read.

Here is one excerpt:

I can’t quite decipher the mixed emotions I have. I feel displaced. I feel like I don’t exactly belong anywhere. I feel like things aren’t awful, but they aren’t particularly great, either. I realize that things don’t HAVE to be great all the time, but I hate this “treading water” feeling. I hate that [Boyfriend, now Husband] made that comment about drinking. I also know that I am drinking too much but I don’t want HIM to tell me. I am going to get into a better habit – not drinking during the week. Moderately on the weekend if there’s an event. I do not need to have wine every night. I recognize that my norm has become finishing a bottle of wine on my own. THAT IS NOT NORMAL.

That particular blurb was written in April 2012. Three years ago. Three years ago I recognized that I was struggling, knew that it was alcohol related and still tried to talk myself into making it work. It was never going to work.

One month later I wrote this:

I have the worst headache on the planet. I know it’s because all I did this weekend was drink. It’s an awful feeling, but I feel wonderful knowing that I didn’t do anything stupid and I didn’t get completely wasted. It was more of a sustained buzz which is probably worse because it was so well-maintained. My poor liver. I feel SO negative! I know I will feel better once I get outside in the sunshine. I also know that I feel this way, again, because of all the alcohol this weekend. It is, after all, a depressant. 

It’s such a cycle. It was such a habit and I knew it. I guess I just felt powerless to stop it and didn’t really want to. I couldn’t imagine living a life without some sort of hangover. I also couldn’t imagine a weekend without an “event” that gave me an excuse to drink non-stop. Sometimes that event was simply, ‘I’m home alone on Saturday so I can start the day with a dark beer because it’s like breakfast and then drink wine all day while I watch tv and do laundry – see, I’m productive!”

Another month went by:

I don’t even know where to begin or why it is like this. I do know that I need to stop drinking 5 beers every day or an entire bottle of wine. I want my life back!!!

I cannot believe this was three years ago and had been going on far longer than that. It’s staggering to realize that it would continue and worsen until just 30 days ago.

It makes me sad for my past self.

It makes me relieved for my present self.

It makes me incredibly optimistic for my future self.

It has been eye-opening to look back and ultimately helpful. The past exists for us to learn from, and by golly I am. I think I’ll write myself an e-mail today, so that in a few years I can look back and remember that right now, today, I am proud of myself.

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