Checking In

I am mortified that it has taken me so long to get back here. Part, maybe most, of the reason is that my life has been so good – lots of writing, traveling, enjoying family and nature and the world. Diving deeper into a Zen practice that is changing everything. See clearly a lot more often. All without drinking, something I would not have thought possible two years ago. This is beyond the pink cloud effect of the first few months (that is, after the tar-black-and-hailing-dog-poop cloud effect of the first few weeks). It’s a whole new world. Not “life without alcohol.” Just life.

And a life I didn’t even know was there before: full of good nights’ sleeps and hard laughs with friends and family and good decisions. Times can still be hard sometimes, grief happens, injustice doesn’t disappear, but everything sits easier. And there are so many clear sunrises, starry nights, and evening mists to enjoy along the way.

It was always there, always available to me, but I missed it, because I was focused on nailing down that first (then second then third) drink. Maybe I drank because I was scared it wasn’t there. That that first sip of white wine in the evening was the best anything ever would be, and if I gave that up, then I would have nothing, or worse than nothing – the constant craving, headaches, nausea, bloating, and ill temper that marked most of my drinking days.

Well I was wrong. And that’s why I really will try to post more often. Because those of you just starting to quit, or trying to get up the nerve to quit, or planning a relapse need to hear this.

No matter how bad your life is right now, stopping drinking will make it better. Guaranteed. It will also probably make it great.

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9 thoughts on “Checking In

  1. Nice to see you back HH! Your post was inspiring! I am almost 9 months sober and last night, for the first time in a long time, I really, really craved a glass of red wine…I didn’t give in, but I had to shove a few pieces of candy in my mouth to squash the craving. Your post was timely for me! Thank you! I want to be 2 years sober and loving it! xo

  2. So true! I really did think that was as good as it gets. Now, at only 200 days sober, things keep getting better. They don’t just stay static, as I assumed after about a month or two sober. Your brain (and life and spirit) keep healing and growing stronger, but most important — you are capable of joy. I didn’t even know what that meant any more. I thought only alcohol could bring that, although very temporarily. It’s amazing. I’m glad you put it into such eloquent words. ; )

  3. I really needed to read this. I’m drinking again. Unwilling to accept the fact I can’t get it under control. Unwilling to try and quit yet again, but also knowing I can’t go on like this.

    Your life sounds great, really great. You had the courage to make big changes and it’s paying off.

    • It will never be easy, and it will never be a bad idea. I am not particularly courageous. I was desperate. And for a long while, I was a pretty sad sober girl. I stayed sober because I thought I had no other choice (and was probably right). And once I got a few weeks under my belt, and it started getting easier, there was NO WAY I wanted to go through early days again. But now? I am just sorry I waited so damn long…and I’m so grateful I didn’t wait a minute more. Really, believe me you can do it and you can have a life you love, enjoy, and are proud of. I promise.

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