Which, coincidentally, is how long I have been sober, give or take 4 days. The actual anniversary of my sobriety is Jan 5, but as I was forced to spend the better part of my last week and weekend hanging out with co-workers and nearly every single consumer electronics geek in the world... I am just now getting around to this post.
Also, to be totally fair and honest, I am not sure what else I have to say about this. I have considered a number of directions in the past few days... from touching, to self-deprecating, to matter-of-fact, to nothing at all. Nothing seems complete. However, since I have become quite adept at the bullet-ed list, this seems an effective tool for highlighting all of the underdeveloped thoughts I have about this particular anniversary.
- I am a high functioning, binge alcoholic. That means that I can go several days, even weeks without a drink. But drinking is like Pringles for me -- once I pop, I can't stop.
- It runs in my family.
- Every former heavy drinker has bad habits... I used to stay up very, very, very late and order things from the TV using any available credit card. I would, obviously, pass out and forget that I had ordered anything until weeks later the item would show up on my doorstep. This is how I came to own a very complicated bathroom cleaning system, the Time-Life "Sounds of the 60s" (and 70s) box set(s), and a bedazzler. (NOTE: When one is very, very drunk, a bedazzler is so sparkly... it is nearly impossible to resist. I challenge you to resist.)
- I do hold the record amongst a group of former acquaintances for the longest keg stand (just over 55 seconds)... and I can chug a pitcher of beer in a remarkably short period of time. Not that I brag about these things. But everyone needs to be good at something.
- I had pet-names for the toilets.
- I officially met my husband about a year after I quit drinking, despite the fact that we went to college together. I had such a reputation for a booze hound, that it took N. several weeks to figure out that I was one and the same with the drunk he knew from school. In fact, my reputation almost kept him from asking me out.
- I decided that I needed to quit drinking after waking up on Jan 5, 1998 (which was a Monday) with no recollection of how I got home or where I had been the night before. I looked outside and saw that my car was "parked" on a curb... I could have killed someone.
- At our wedding, N. was "forced" to finish a bottle of champagne by himself... I ate three giant pieces of cake and compensated with sugar shock.
- During the past eight years, I have had only three drinks (one Black Velvet, one half of an apple martini, and one beer), each has been within the last 3 months and each has brought an uncomfortable amount of guilt. I did, however, enjoy them in the moment, which is probably the perfect indication that I need to stay away from the sauce.
- I lost friends because of my drinking and I lost friends over my decision to quit drinking... But only through quitting, did I gain respect for myself.
- N. loves that I don't drink. I am a cheap date and a free ride home.
- People often ask if I miss drinking... I reply that there are a lot of things that I would miss even more.
- The one habit from my drinking days that I can not seem to kick... falling asleep in the clothes that I have been wearing all day.
That about sums it up... So, here's to another eight years. And another after that.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.