My dad quit drinking in 1985. I grew up knowing that he was active in AA and had come from a long line of alcoholics. When I quit drinking, I knew my dad would be a helpful resource, but I found myself fearful to talk with him. I opened up to my mom about not drinking, flippantly at first, with slightly more depth added to each conversation as the days wore on. I knew that my dad would get the information second-hand, and that was enough.
Sunday was Father’s Day and I gave my dad a call. We talked about his new chainsaw, the afternoon barbecue my family had hosted and the herd of cats my parents currently house. As the conversation wound down, my dad said, “I wanted to let you know how proud I am of you. Not drinking is not an easy task. I don’t know the details surrounding your decision, but I do know that the decision itself is a powerful one and I didn’t want any more time to go by without you knowing how full of pride I am.”
Wow. It sparked another 30 minutes of invaluable conversation. I disclosed things that I have uttered aloud to no one. I discovered that we share similar tendencies when it comes to our thought process surrounding alcohol and addiction. It was eye-opening and comforting all in one fell swoop!
I’m not sure why I was afraid to open up to my dad. Although, I’m 90% certain it had to do with him knowing how much control I’d lost, and feeling ashamed about it. The last time I saw him was Christmas and I was convinced that he could hear the track in my brain, “Is there enough wine? Should we go get more alcohol now if there is going to be a storm later? We can’t be snowed in without booze! What’s open on Christmas morning?” Like he is equipped with some sort of AA superpower.
I’ve been wary of reaching my 100 days. I’m nervous that friends who are aware of the challenge will say, “You did it! Let’s celebrate! Let’s get drunk!” and I’m afraid I’ll buckle. However,between the Father’s Day conversation and the sober days I’ve wracked up, I am feeling strong and confident that I can tackle this. I will hit Day 100 and then I’ll do 100 more and then 100 more after that. Maybe someday I’ll forget what sober day I am on, but I’ll never forget the days that brought me to this place, this sobersphere, and for that I am grateful.