That’s a big number. Somehow realizing I had not been drinking for two or three days became not drinking for 175 more days. Not really “somehow” more like “I finally had e-fucking-nough.” I had enough. I had drunk all the vodka and whiskey and wine and beer. I had frequented all the liquor stores. I had told all the lies about my drinking to enough people and mostly to myself. I had seen every problem I had grow exponentially worse after marinating in alcohol for a couple few years. I had enough. I was sick to death of myself and sick to death of existing in a sick wasted life.
These last six months have been a time of emotional growth and change so I am not terribly surprised that this situation with exboyfriend almost dying (and then NOT dying, revealing previously unknown to me details of his life) has happened now. I am grateful I got sober before this shitfest. As much crying as has happened in the last two or so weeks, there has been reflection, thought, prayer and growth too. None of which would have been possible if I was still drinking. If I was still drinking, this would have been one long confused night of hysteria, anxiety and desperation. I would be obsessively replaying old hurts and fears with no objectivity. This…this whole thing could have been the end of me if I was trying to navigate it drunk.
Navigating it sober is unpleasant. But I am navigating it. Some days I am literally trembling with fear and throwing up with the anxiety that he might die, some days I am hurt by what he was keeping from me, some days there is a rage that he has made every horrible thing that ever happened to me even worse than it had to be including almost his own death and some days I love him so much I cannot bear that he is hurt. Some days I cycle through all of that in three hours. It is just a big avalanche/tornado/insert-natural-disaster-metaphor-here of feelings and I just keep feeling them. Feeling ALL the bad feelings…fear, grief, shame, hatred, regret…without trying to kill the feelings with alcohol is a major thing for me. If I had only had one or two sober weeks when this happened, I feel sure I’d be drunk right now.
The upside to being 41 is that I have lived through bad shit before and for the first time in my life, while in the middle of bad shit, I have been able to be still and know that it will pass. And know that I will be ok no matter how this turns out. That is a gift from sobriety. To have the clarity to see my life experiences as a comfort instead of as a night terror. I, friends, have endured pain and loss and survived. I have even endured MYSELF and survived. I endured enough vodka to kill half of Russia and survived. I will abso-fucking-lutely endure this too. Somehow.