Five Years Sober on 5/5/20

May 5, 2020 is my 5 year sober anniversary.  When I first started this journey, I wasn’t sure I’d stick with it.  I honestly was in the clouds about my drinking, and I wasn’t sure I even needed to be sober.  Sobriety has allowed me to do a lot of great things, and in all honesty, it has also seemed to contribute to some unpleasant things.  The good, however, far outweighs the bad.

In the last 5 years I have:

  • Gotten a better job
  • Bought a house
  • Been a better spouse
  • Been a great cat mom
  • Felt a sense of freedom from alcohol
  • Felt physically well
  • Felt emotionally well more often than not

I have had struggles through my sobriety, however if I dig into any of them it’s obvious the solution alcohol would provide wouldn’t really be the best thing.  

Through my sobriety I have:

  • Missed work social events to protect my sobriety (although I will admit that this is better than over-drinking, acting like a fool, and losing my job)
  • Felt paralyzed by social anxiety at any and all events (admittedly, I likely wouldn’t make the best friends if I could only do so when drunk)

Last year I celebrated my sobriety by writing the names of everyone who helped me along the way on popsicle sticks and put them in a shot glass I painted.  This year I’m going to do something that I have trouble with, but through years of therapy I can recognize as important.  I’m going to thank myself for staying sober, and recognize all of the hard work I put into it.  All of the people who helped me were only able to do so because I sought out their help in the first place.  I listened to what they said, and I put into practice the things that resonated with me.

But I was the one to put in the work:

  • I went to therapy every week.
  • I was honest in therapy and talked frankly about where I was with my sobriety.
  • I showed up for all of my (frequent) psychiatric appointments.
  • I asked my psychiatrist for Naltrexone when I knew there would be a lot of drinking opportunities on a business trip.
  • I used coping skills when anxiety or depression made me want to drink.
  • During cravings,I thought about how it would really play out if I went to a bar or liquor store.
  • I called someone in my support system when I felt I needed support or to be held accountable.
  • I frequently reminded myself what life was actually like when I was drinking.
  • I constantly worked to improve my own mental well being.
  • I made the decision daily to not drink.

At 5 years sober, I think it’s a good time for me to recommit to sobriety.  My life and the life of those I live with (human and feline) are better with me sober.  I know the popular 12-step way to think of this is one day at a time, but while I acknowledge that one day at a time is important, I also want to allow myself the confidence and optimism to imagine another 5 years of sobriety.

I wrote about my previous anniversaries as well. You can read them at:

Two

Three

Four

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s