It’s crazy when you look back on a defining moment in your life and realize how oblivious you were at the time (most of my early 20s, let’s be honest).
My biggest life defining moment took place on Sunday, October 16, 2016. I later found out that it would determine the course of my life from that point forward. One guy referred to it as my “aha moment”. ** (Aha moment sounds so much more profound than “Oh, shit!”)
I had been digging my way to rock bottom for quite some time, and I was oblivious to how far I had fallen. I had no idea that my rock bottom could be so low. Looking back, my demons had almost complete control. Reality had escaped me. (The only indication that I thought I might have a problem was when my psychiatrist would bring up my drinking at every appointment…she was onto something.)
It’s crazy how much self-awareness I was lacking to get to rock bottom yet how much intuition it took to scream at me that it was time to change.
At some point, intuition overrides oblivion.
I remember the exact moment I realized that if I kept digging, something unforgivable would happen. I didn’t know what that would be, and I still don’t care to find out, but let’s just say I now know the meaning of being scared straight.
My aha moment.
I’m not going to tell you all about how life is so great being sober like those 60-year-old men that have 20 years sober do at AA meetings. Life has been quite challenging. In fact, I have faced my biggest struggles in life during these past two years being sober. I’ve had to learn how to live and cope with life’s struggles like a normal person…sober. The first year was really hard for me. It was in outpatient treatment that I learned I couldn’t just gain coping skills; I actually had to utilize them…meaning I couldn’t keep avoiding life’s problems. My demons weren’t just going to go away because I quit drinking; that’s not how it works. I struggled a lot – not with temptation to drink – but with learning what I needed in life to be happy. I had to deal with myself. I had to learn how to escape boredom. I was in a darker place during that first year than I am even now dealing with the most shit I’ve ever had to deal with. I was lost and empty.
This second year has been busy. I’m getting better at figuring out what I want in life. I have gained more interest in going to church and meetings. I don’t work the 12 steps, but sometimes it’s just nice to be around people that understand my demons. It was hard coming to terms with my addiction at a young age. At first, I was angry and bitter that I had to give up alcohol before I was ready to be done partying, but I look back now and am grateful that I didn’t waste any more time.
I’m outta the hole, and climbing a mountain in the rain. But. I’m. Climbing.
What can I say about being sober? I have yet to hit some crazy revelation, and maybe there isn’t one. All I can say is the biggest lesson I have learned over these past two years is this:
I can still appreciate the sun when the rain comes.
**He says that everyone has one and only one.