I don’t know what to call this. One year sober? Teetotalism? Recovery?
I know that on December 2, 2012 I drank too much for the last time, and on December 3 I woke up feeling like I’d risen from the dead, still woozy and stiff from the rigor mortis. I’d felt the same only a few mornings before, and again a few mornings before that, and so on.
I know that one year ago I realized I’d lost control. I didn’t think I was done drinking. I thought I needed to grab hold of sobriety for a few months to slow down.
Two days sober I saw my hand reach reflexively for a six-pack at the grocery store. A week without drinking I had to take a shot before I drove to meet a friend. But I didn’t. After a month I felt healthier, less depressed, and more lucid than I had in years. I sensed a new closeness to God, and I still do.
I had a problem. My maternal great-grandfather had a problem too; so did many of my dad’s relatives. When I consider drinking again, I can see myself losing control. I don’t know that I was an alcoholic or would be one, but I’m afraid of finding out. I wish I could be the kind of adult who drinks a glass of wine at parties or a beer with friends after work. Since I’m not sure I can be, I hope this year of sobriety continues indefinitely.
To all of the friends who continued inviting me out, who felt comfortable drinking (or not drinking) around me, who ordered me cranberry juices or ginger beers or even ordered them too: Thank you for your tolerance and encouragement. It’s been a really good year.