Wow. It has been one entire year since I stopped drinking. I remember on day 4 looking at my ‘quitter app’ thinking ‘gosh four days is not very long… but soon this will say 1 month, then 6 months, and then 1 year – you can do it.’ I had no idea I would grow and change so much. I had no idea I wouldn’t have to endure my life anymore. I had no idea how fucking happy and awesome I would become during these 365 days. I shouldn’t act like I can’t believe it, because I can – I made all the choices to stay sober and did all the work. I guess if anything I just can’t believe how amazing life is sober and I am in awe everyday at how much more awesome life gets.
On July 24, 2013, I knew I was done with alcohol indefinitely. It had been a long time coming and after years of saying I could control my intake and my drunk behavior, I reached a point where I knew I was not in charge of my drinking anymore. Drinking just was not fun. I would lose important things, spend money I barely had, looked terrible, felt terrible, and emotionally was just a vacant person with no self esteem. I wasn’t drinking round the clock or taking nips here and there, but I was not able to separate drinking and priorities anymore. That sounds sad, and honestly it was. I would try to do things and ultimately I would psych myself out or not be reliable or consistent about anything. Then, I think of all the drama and the anxiety I have caused for family and friends. The erratic and inconsistent behavior was just a drag for me and for everyone around me. Living paycheck to paycheck because of uncontrolled spending sucked too. Drinks? Sure! Dinner out? Sure! Random crap because drinking makes preplanning impossible? Sure! Plus don’t forget I was supporting a household!
The first few months I felt firm in my decision and very nervous around drinkers, like I had something to hide or be ashamed of. I can laugh at that now because I’ve come to find being sober is a characteristic almost all people envy. Heavy drinkers always commend me on my sobriety and ‘wish’ they could do it. I’ve had people be critical and worried that I chose to get sober without AA or a formal support group, but honestly it’s been incredibly easy to be sober. I don’t put myself in situations that would illicit me not being sober. That means emotionally and psychically. I can very easily go to bars/clubs/events and have a blast – the best part is that I don’t spend hundreds of dollars, talk out of my ass to strangers/friends, and then I remember everything and truly enjoy it.
Probably the reason I made it past my birthday (July 30) and remained sober for those first few critical weeks was my dearest friend Tannith. Our friendship, her support, and her own sober journey allowed for me to have someone I trusted to turn to when I had questions or just observations about this new sober world. Her support and enthusiasm for sobriety showed me that it entails a world without ‘missing’ because her life is so much more full in sobriety too. Tannith, you were my rays of sunshine in the dark and lonely storm. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you and your family sharing this journey with me. I am especially glad that we have a true friendship and can experience it all sober. I love you and am so grateful for you.
While I’m thanking people I should also commend my family. Mom, you were always right – booze is lame. Thank you for supporting me and dealing with the old Brianna. Thank you for not ever saying ‘I TOLD YOU SO!’ and especially thank you for being my friend. Words can’t even express my gratitude for your love. Dad, thanks for reminding me to not be so hard on myself and taking me to the edge of my thoughts and comfort zones. You are able to transform the way I see things and I’m so grateful for you.
Honestly, I think back to the person I was a year ago, and I don’t even know her. I am so happy. Truly happy to be sober and to be enjoying my beautiful life. The more removed I get from my old life, the more wonderful I become. I cannot stress that enough, sober living is so marvelous. This world is stunning and for me, alcohol makes everything fuzzy. I will never be sad that I cannot drink or rather will not drink, because I am in love with reality.
I am so fucking proud that one year ago today I finally let go of alcohol. I gave myself the opportunity to grow and to become this person I truly love. Goddamn, life is good.