I am 31 days sober. 31 days sober has been just 31 days sober. I started this journey on January 2ndof 2019 because I was supposedto start cutting back in early June of 2018. When June came I told myself I couldn’tcut back because it was summer; sobriety in the summer is isolating. When fall came I couldn’tcut back because I was violated and how was I going to cope with feelings of humiliation when I was sober. Then January came and I knew I was going to lose my relationship if I continued to drink. At the time, my relationship seemed more important than my own well-being and losing it wasn’t an option. To be clear, I knew my partner wouldn’t have left me if I continued to drink, but she was going to leave who I was while I was drinking. So here we are, 31 days sober and I’m not sure if anything has changed.
What has changed is I know I’m capable of not drinking for 31 days. Will I be able to not drink for 32? Will I make it through tomorrow? I’ve always thought of my sobriety as circumstantial; if life isn’t too stressful, I won’t drink. When life becomes too stressful, well I’ll needto drink. If life feels dull or I need to fill a void, I’ll need to drink. Isn’t that the question, what is that we need versus what is that we want? In reality, I needed to stop drinking for health reasons. I needed to stop drinking because I didn’t know who I was outside of my relationship with alcohol. I vaguely understood my interests but they were often pushed aside because of my toxic love affair with alcohol.
Nothing in the last 31 days have changed; most days, I think I know less about myself than the day before. Recently, I started questioning my career, which was fueled by a master’s degree worth over 150,000 dollars. Turns out, buyer’s remorse applies to education. Sobriety at 26 feels as confusing as navigating the world at 21. Things feel even more vulnerable and raw. Most nights, I lay on the couch and cry with no indication of why I even started crying. While, I think my stress level has remained the same, it feels less manageable sober. While I’m not hungover on Saturday and Sunday mornings, I wake up startled by anxiety. I don’t know what I am going to do with my unstructured time besides scrub the floor and bath the plants.
I started this blog because I needed somewhere to write down my thoughts and I need the accountability of an audience. Or the accountability of a nonexistent, yet potential audience. I don’t want to make a commitment to writing daily/weekly because that feels overwhelming. However, I do promise quality content with persistent pop culture references.