Not so funny today, folks, but I really wanted to get this one written.
It’s been nine months since I got sober. Nine months. A baby born today wasn’t conceived when I was drinking. Nine freaking months, man. And I feel? Well, I feel ambivalent about it. I’ll tell you why.
I’ve had the toughest damn nine months I can remember. Things were just as bad if not worse when I was drinking, but back then, I could numb out the pain. I simply didn’t care. The bad relationships, the crappy apartments, the lack of money, and of course my constant torment from my undiagnosed bipolar disorder were all masked by the static of drinking. I don’t have that static anymore. The protective walls of alcohol have been broken down, and I’m left naked and alone in my mind, with no idea what to do with myself.
And yes. I do miss drinking.
I miss it in moments, not hours, not days, but fleeting moments. Walking through Whole Foods past the wine aisle, knowing I shouldn’t even walk down it. Wanting to go out with friends and knowing I’ll have to smile and say "No, I’ll just have a Diet Coke." and then explain why. Moments of pain and torture created by my own mind wherein I can’t find a way out, can’t make the noise stop, can’t do anything, even scream or cry.
So yes, I do miss it.
I miss the relief I had at the first drink, knowing I had a full handle of vodka to keep me company when I couldn’t bear to be around other people. I miss the slow, warm descent into oblivion that made all the pain go away. I miss going out with other people and getting sloshed enough to battle my social anxiety, so I could (at least in my mind) act like a "normal" person. Alcohol was my constant companion, something I could always depend on. Something that, unlike so, so, so many people in my life, would never leave me.
I miss my friend.
In "the program" they call this the process of mourning. And it is. A mourning of all I once knew, all I depended on, all I loved. I mourn my monster, this plague, this evil that came so close to killing me, this demon that made me not care if I lived or died. It sounds sick, I am fully aware of that. But yes, in tiny, fleeting moments, I do miss it.
That being said, 99% of the time, I am beyond grateful that it is gone. I don’t miss so many things I can’t begin to list them here, but most of all, I don’t miss having to live my life at the mercy of a bottle of vodka. It ruled me, enslaved me, and almost killed me. So I walk past the wine aisle with my head up, and I do smile and order a diet coke, and I do try to be social without having a panic attack. I do this because even though I mourn the monster in moments, I live my life celebrating its demise.