Four Years

I had my last drink of alcohol on the 27th October, 2009. I was miserable, confused and afraid that my life was about to come crashing down around me. Shortly after, it did, and it was the most horrible time of my life to date.

Thank God.

I’m so grateful for the moment of clarity I got which shone through the fog of guilt, shame and denial. That moment, in my apartment in Perth, alone, sober for three weeks and stark raving mad. That moment when a voice inside told me I needed to do something about my drinking, even though I wasn’t drinking at the time.

I had ‘quit’ but the trouble was I needed to drink, or at least know that a drink was waiting for me on the horizon. Without it I was left flailing, fearful and confused.

Four years later, and the truth is, I am still flailing, fearful and confused, just to a slightly lesser extent, depending on what day you ask me.

Sometimes, I even feel normal! Oh the relief on those days when I feel like a connected human being on planet earth!

Sometimes I am filled with so much joy I feel I could burst.

Like the last two weeks showing my Mum around Mexico.

And yesterday, arriving at our beautiful apartment in Oaxaca city.

And sometimes, such sadness, fear and anger, I wonder if I have actually recovered much at all.

Like this morning. On my recovery ‘birthday’ where I sobbed in the shower for five minutes straight and just couldn’t get a handle on the day or reign in my emotions which fired in every which direction like the firecrackers which are currently exploding like gunshots around our neighbourhood.

Sometimes the best I have is a sober day, without peace or serenity or clarity or even happiness. My true growth has come from accepting that, with the knowledge that the happiness and joy will arrive soon, because it always does.

And when it does, I revel in it!

I think I’m just a little tired today, and that all the emotions which are tied up in this day are overwhelming me, especially the fact that I am not bouncing around with energy and joy like I have been the last few weeks.

You know, driving 2,000 KM across Mexico sounds so easy until you do it!

But like all adventures, it has been full of weird and wonderful experiences I am so grateful for. The fact that I get to experience them with my Mum is even better.

Like breaking into our house today after we locked the keys to the gate inside!

Today, we went to the market in the center of town and bought bread, cheese, meat and sweet pastries.

On the way home, I picked up a huge pumpkin to make soup, and later, I will make real hot chocolate with blocks of cocoa, sugar and cinnamon.

Today IS a good day. Thanks for helping me remember.


Four Years — 54 Comments

  1. Happy sober birthday! Your post is inspirational, validating and terrifying :)

    Thank God drugs and alcohol are not my addictions of choice. I feel so lucky and grateful for that. But I have my own addictions and addictive process/recovery that goes with them. Both a gift and a curse. The cursed days are brutal. I still don’t get full days of joy… but I do get fleeting moments that I try to cherish. I hang on believing that those moments will get longer, and the brutal will be shorter. This has reminded me that shorter does NOT mean gone. That doesn’t mean I’m doing it wrong… that’s just the way life is.

    Whew, thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Zelda, you are so right, they do get shorter, thank God! I think the difference is that my awareness is growing, slowly but surely. I am getting better at accepting my negative emotions, and letting them ‘wash over me’ with the knowledge that they will pass, because they always do. Thank you so much for stopping by and for taking the time to share your experience too! Xxx

  2. So proud of you muffin. Well done you have done amazing, on the good days and on the bad days. Love you wilth all my souls am always a phone call away if you want to vent, debrief or you just want me to make you laugh!

    • Thank you sweety, for your constant love, support and friendship. You were the first person I went to four years ago, and I am so grateful for our friendship xxx love you xxx

  3. Happy sober Birthday! Addictions aside, life is full of ups and downs. We live in a weather system of emotions. I find that tiredness is one of the surest precursors to a storm.

    Oaxaca looks gorgeous. You’re making me miss Mexico!

  4. congratulations on your journey and for sharing your overwhelming emotions. We all experience that at some stage, but you will go through it. The great thing is you are currently on adventure with your mum in Mexico and you have this unique experience to share things with her. I have traveled the world with my mum too, and bonding moments like this are priceless.

    Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip and looking forward to seeing more posts! Cheers!

    Heart recently posted..Boracay Island: our fun and relaxing getaway in the PhilippinesMy Profile

  5. Happy sober birthday, Sarah!! I have been reading faithfully (and quietly) for awhile, but as a fellow traveler on this road, I wanted to wish you well today. Peace, friend!

  6. Hi Sarah, thanks for sharing your journey and what a celebration at 4 years. You’re brave, honest and inspiring! Enjoy the time with your mum. Love to you both xoxo

    • You have always been there, I have always felt like I could be honest with you and you have always been there for me, thank you. You inspire me constantly, love you Jyots xxx

  7. One day at a time…that’s all we can manage right? You are such a different person than back then, I’m sure. Going through so much to get where you are has probably equipped you with more strength than you realize. The challenges keep getting harde as we navigate through life, but continue to have faith in yourself dear.
    Carmel recently posted..CELEBRATING THREE YEARS OF MARRIAGEMy Profile

  8. You’ve done SO amazingly Sar. You are such a strong and beautiful soul-Dont ever forget that! Much love x

  9. Happy sober birthday! How wonderful to be able to share an adventure with your mom, and on such an auspicious occasion to boot! I’ve been travelling with my mom for years and treasure the experiences we’ve had. Now that she’s getting older and her body is starting to let her down, it’s become even more important to me to make the most of the time we have left together. Cherish every moment!
    Heather recently posted..My Perfect NYC WeekendMy Profile

    • Thanks Heather, yes we certainly have had some adventures together! We have been to Italy, France, Bali, Thailand and now Mexico – we are very blessed indeed :-)

  10. Sarah, I was so fascinated to read this post. Have you written about this before? I’d love to read other posts on the subject.

    And a total aside — I can’t get over how much I LOVE that apartment in Oaxaca.
    Alex recently posted..Love Out LoudMy Profile