A guy I used to be pretty decent friends with has just celebrated his first year of sobriety. No easy feat that, let me tell you, and frankly I'm suprised and really thrilled that he did it.
My brother and I both recently celebrated our respective anniverseries of sobriety. Him from hard drugs (heroin) and me from good old alcohol. I can't tell his story (well, I could, but realisticlly it's his story to tell, so I won't), but I can tell mine.
The funny thing is that we were raised by an abusive alcoholic. We knew better. But the fact is that we are broken in a fundamental way, and that was how we dealt with it until we could put ourselves together again.
I always had an issue with drinking, once I start I have a hard time stopping. If I'm in a public place I'll stop, because I'm so anxious about making a fool of myself. But in private, I'll drink myself into a stupor if I have enough alcohol around. I'm that woman that showed up hung over at work on Monday. Hell, I'm the woman who showed up still drunk on Monday (I actually did once.)
I stopped drinking when I got pregnant. If I hadn't gotten pregnant I probably wouldn't have stopped, I would have had no reason to. At that point I was so hurt by everything going on in my life that I couldn't deal with anything at all. I was lost, and getting pregnant was the thing that forced me to deal with all the things I knew were wrong.
I don't keep alcohol in the house, and the sad fact is that after a crap day at work, no matter how much I may want a drink, I can't have one.
I want a drink a lot. I try to tell myself that it would be just one. One glass, one bottle, hell one sip, just to take the edge off. I'm lying of course. I know it, but it doesn't stop that terrible little part of me from trying.
You don't ever really stop wanting a drink, or wanting that drug that did it for you. It's always there, that need, that feeling that you could control it this time. I've backslid, I admit, my road hasn't been perfect. Each time proves to me that I can't have that drink. I can't.
So kudos to him for his first year. I wish him many more. It's a different life without having that crutch to fall back on.