Sober certain

There was a time when I was curious about sobriety. Although, perhaps it’d be more accurate to say I was curious about whether or not I was an “alcoholic.” Either way, I started to question, really question, my relationship with alcohol. By this time, I’d been drinking—binge drinking—for 25 years. I was in a dark place and it was only getting darker. As dark as the closet in the guest bedroom where I hid my vodka bottles.

Maybe social drinking is “normal,” but what I was doing was not. It was secretive, destructive, and dangerous. What was I doing to myself? Why? And what was next in the progression?

I was teetering on the edge of a very slippery slope. I’d already slide down a ways, now perched on a shallow shelf with a decision to make: keep sliding or begin the grueling task of clawing my way back up and out of the abyss? I took the easy way out, which was down, and kept on sliding.

While I was sliding and drinking and sliding some more, I bought books. Lots and lots of books. Sober memoirs, namely. I read articles, too, and educated myself, soaking up stories of addiction—and what life could look like on the other side of the bottle—like a sponge.

Even so, I kept drinking for the better part of another year. It wasn’t until a particularly frightening blackout and another beast of a hangover—and a growing concern for my health and my safety—that I knew I needed to surrender and throw in the towel. And leave it there.

What I had been doing for the past quarter of a century—drinking for every occasion, drinking in excess, and then hiding booze—was NOT normal. It was a death sentence.

But there was a way out. There is a way out.

And so, I’m no longer curious about the sober life. I am living the sober life and am certain, more so than ever, that this is the life for me.

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