Today it's been 83 days since I quit drinking. I'm doing fine. Great, actually. Feeling better, clear-minded, just all around good with it. Not drinking again is the plan. I look at the sober people and I think, yes, these are my people. That's how I want to live. All good.
Yet I've started thinking, well, OK, I'm doing really well, but I didn't really drink all that much and now that I'm doing so well it will be nice when I can get back to having an occasional drink. Wait! What? No no no! I'm not really thinking this, not in any meaningful, planning-oriented way. I've just noticed that thought slipping in once in a while, and I root it out and go on. Still, it's persistent. My usual, old-me way of doing this would be to go with it. I'm so used to trying to be smarter and better and all that, and of course I would have thought I'd one-upped this booze problem, and then started in again. That's my old pattern, anyway.
But I have to say, so many excellent people have written about about exactly this, how at about 80-something days they started thinking, "Oh, maybe I wasn't so bad" or "what if now I can try having a drink once in a while" or some such. I read those when I was in the full pink blush of newly sober, say at about two weeks or three, and I thought, no way, I will not be so silly as to think that. And now here I am, noticing myself having those same thoughts. Who's silly now, I wonder? I know, because I know me, that if I hadn't read so many smart people who had wrestled with the same thing, I would not have seen this as sneaky addict-mind talk. And I would have fallen for it. It's seductive, after all, thinking I can do it differently, my way, because I'm stronger or smarter or craftier or whatever-er.
I'm not, though. I know that, too, by now. Reading other people's stories, I've been able to see that this getting-over-drinking thing has a pattern, and when I think like this, it's just me in that same pattern. So I can shake off those thoughts, and quietly remind myself how much better life is now. Last night I wondered whether I needed a full list of the gory details of how bad the last days of my drinking were: blackouts, panic, sweats, puffy eyes, despair. I don't think I want to detail it any more than that. I just know I'm not going back, and when I start to think those seductive, addictive thoughts, I'm immensely grateful to all you who have gone ahead and then told your stories, so I can avoid at least some of the holes a person can fall into. I like this being sober. Like it a lot. And at 83 days, I know I couldn't have done it without all the help of a whole lot of fantastic people I've never even met. Thanks to you all!
On a side note: last night was my first fancy restaurant meal out since I stopped drinking. And it was beautiful. We arrived early, and I ordered sparkling water in a wine glass, and when the rest of the group showed up and wine was being ordered, I just smiled and said, "None for me, thanks," and that was all I had to do. The food was great and the conversation wonderful, and I didn't miss the wine one bit. Another wee accomplishment on the way to staying sober. Hooray for that!
OK, that's my story. So far so good. Good night all, and sweet dreams.