Happy New Year! May 2019 be the best one yet!
Actually, given it’s the first time I’ve gone into a new year sober, I’d say 2019’s chances of being pretty spectacular are better than good. I took a break from most things online over Christmas and except blogging I didn’t miss it. I loved Facebook when it first came and for a while I was one of those irritating people who couldn’t do a thing without checking in or posting a picture, but I must have overdosed because I can’t bloody stand it now. I removed my whole account and it was partly because I had ended up inviting 300 “friends” to see every last aspect of my life and I freaked out. To be very clear, I do not have 300 friends – they may have been people I’d say hello to if I bumped into them, along the lines of “we sat next to each other in third grade” or “the brother of a girl I took Spanish with”, but certainly not people who were in my life. Not really. So down it came and a year later I created a new account and the 50-or-so people I’m connected with today are people I actually have at least SOME sort of interaction with beyond attending the same scout camp in June 1984. But even so, I take little interest in it these days and I certainly feel little need (or want) to post anything. Hubby is more into it and likes to take selfies when we’re out somewhere and I grudgingly agree some of the time, but I find myself actually resisting letting the world know what we’re up to.
“There’s not a single photo of you and me,” Hubby said when we looked through the photos of our Christmas break.
I think it struck us both as a little sad at first. But then it became really obvious why. There isn’t one because we were enjoying the moments by being in them as opposed to posing up a storm. I also thought “damn, wish I’d taken a photo” when Cherokee and I went for a walk along this beautiful trail in the snow and sunshine – it would have been a lovely one too, but the reason why I didn’t was because I didn’t think to do it. We were too busy walking and talking. So it sort of struck me that, for me personally, the fewer photos I have of something, the better time I had – this seems to be the case for me because if I’m having a really lovely time I’m too caught up in whatever I’m doing to whip out my phone to document it all.
Then again, the place where I grew up is stunningly beautiful – there is nowhere like it and when I one morning had dropped off hubby and Bonus #2 who were going off on a hike through the forest with my dad, the lake looked so beautiful I had to capture it. It was like something out of a fairytale and I couldn’t let it go. Unfortunately a photo can never quite do it justice and I wish I could just transport you to that moment in time in that very spot, but this will have to do:
A new year often means a new start, but I have no resolutions this year. I mean I have lots of things I want to do and achieve, things I need to get on with now, but I haven’t quite managed to put those into words yet. 2018 was the year I got sober and I sort of feel 2019 should be the year I got serious. No more treading water and just practicing staying afloat, I’ve got that bit sussed and now it’s time I get moving. There are the big statements and broad brush strokes you can make of course, but I am going to take a bit of time and really plan a lot of it out. “Work towards becoming an addiction counsellor” is not specific enough – I need to list all the things I need to do to get there, what courses to sign up for, where I can volunteer, ways in. Amazingly, I’ve patiently (yes, “patiently” – ME!!) laid the ground work there and just need to wait another 20 days and I’ll be able to get going with a rehab I’ve already been in touch with and been to see twice. 20 days from now is when I hit one year sober, you see, and they require you to have this under your belt before working for them, which makes sense as the first year is when you’re most likely to lose your footing. But there is much else besides (fitness, writing, bashing metal into shape, etc) and now that I’m beginning to feel more solid and secure in my sobriety (in that it’s no longer strange – it just IS), I can turn my sights to the things I want to achieve.
I repeat, however, in case anyone reading is new to being sober… It’s a life long journey and I will never lose sight of why I got sober. I’m just saying that a year in, sober is my new normal and I don’t find myself giving it much thought when I’m in situations where previously I would have been drinking. Like New Year’s. No big deal. It’s funny actually and I said it to my brother as I handed him a bag containing Prosecco, wine, beers and Bailey’s for New Year’s Eve, that of all people it was the alcoholic who was in charge of getting the booze.
“Holy crap, who else is coming? Have you invited all of London?” my brother exclaimed as he checked through the contents.
“What did you expect, sending a drunk to buy booze!” I told him and made sure I smiled so he’d know it wasn’t a problem.
And that’s the funny thing about it. I literally stood there in the store and tried to calculate how much booze normal people might drink and couldn’t for the life of me work out what might be the right amount. I sort of halved my standard everyday intake based on New Year’s being a big celebration and people probably drink more than they usually would and for six adults it didn’t seem excessive to me to assume a bottle of wine each in addition to a beer or two, a glass of bubbly and perhaps a bit of Bailey’s. Is it? My brother certainly seemed to think so. Well. I was obviously sober at midnight and to be honest, no one else seemed intoxicated. There was part of me that cringed at how awful I must have looked all these years always being the one who got totally hammered. Actually, I didn’t participate if I could get out of it for that reason. Hah! There is literally nothing about alcohol that I miss. Good riddance, you fucker.
Bonus #2 asked during the evening if I found it strange or if I craved alcohol, but I honestly don’t at this point. In the beginning I was acutely aware of it but now, well, it just is. I don’t even feel awkward. Pretty sweet, eh?
So I went into 2019 the way I hope I will go into every year for the rest of my life: hopeful, calm, content, present and excited for the future. Please God, let me always remain sober. I’ll never ask for anything more.
Today I’m not going to drink.