212 days. The length of time that I decided to stop drinking. I’ve learned a whole lot about myself now that I am of sober mind. What started off as a way to cope with a terrible break up turned into a very long nightmare. 2 years of drinking almost every single day. I felt like I couldn’t function.
I didn’t want to face the realization that my life was becoming exactly what I did not want it to be. I would avoid things that would cause me anxiety or paranoia by drinking . Whether that be a deadline for school or simply running an errand. I had gotten to a point where the only way I could function was by taking a few shots of whatever to keep my mind off of the task at hand. Somehow in my mind I thought I could d overcompensate by getting the next goal accomplished. Another degree, another award, another skill, another talent. I thought that the more my life glittered the more people would be distracted by the fact that it did not shine. At some points my life was no more than a flickering candle in the wind at any moment getting ready to burn out. My drinking had got to a couple pints of whatever a day to keep up with my increasing tolerance of alcohol. It took a few months of being on a roller coaster of drama in what I thought was my dream situation for me to understand I really could not do this thing called life on my own.
No matter how many friendships, relationships, jobs, money, talents, hobbies I added to the equation…I was not happy. And nothing could fix that. Well one thing, but I knew that If I went that direction that I would have no choice but to trust in someone other than myself. That I would have to relinquish control and no longer run the drama filled, fruitless life that I had now cultivated. Late one night after being very ill and questioning if I had gone too far I cried out and said “God if you will help me I’ll surrender and come back to you!” I didn’t hear anything. Didn’t feel any different. But I knew at that point…what else was I to do? If I’m going to die well let me go out at least trying to make it work.
Fortunately, I did wake up the next day and although I still felt terrible it wasn’t nearly as bad as it had been. I threw out all the alcohol. Got rid of all my shot and wine glasses. I drank a few days later realized that it wasn’t worth it and threw that out too. I remember sitting at my desk and asking God ” What do I do now?” I found the Driven Purpose Life by Rick Warren on my bookshelf and began reading the daily assigned chapter. 40 days later I finished the book and began reading devotionals from the bible. The more time I spent in God’s presence the more I realized just how off course in my life I had gotten. And as much as I wanted to sink into depression and beat myself up about it. God continued to encourage me everything I had done would one day work together for my good.
I do think from time to time what it would be like to have a drink and the crazy life I use to live. I can’t lie and say some part of me doesn’t miss the “adventure” and by adventure I mean drama and delusion. I’m not alarmed I did make it apart of my reality for 2 years. But than I think about how 7 months later for the first time in my life I know what’s it like to have peace. A peace that really does surpass my understanding. Things that use to move or upset me no longer do. I’ve lost almost 30 pounds. I no longer avoid things that cause me anxiety. I embrace them head on. I read my bible and pray everyday because I want too, not out of duty. I no longer depend on people and things to make me happy. I, just the way I am. make myself happy. Only God can help make me whole. No one or nothing will ever accomplish that. All I can do now is hope that someone else understands there is always another option. I would choose God.