November 9th, one year. That’s how long it’s been since I drank. That’s how long it’s been since I checked into rehab after everything hit the fan. To be honest, I can hadrly believe it since I couldn’t go an hour without a drink let alone a year. It’s a bit surreal, like one of those things that you think will never happen until suddenly it’s here, sort of like Christmas.
It’s funny because now I have two birthdays in November. My bellybutton birthday and my sobriety birthday. It is also funny because I really don’t care about my physical birthday anymore. I have had plenty. The only one that matters to me now is my sobriety date, of which I haven’t had nearly enough. Yet I have one year, and that is all that matters.
Looking back it’s interesting. People would tell me I’ve come a long way since my drinking days but to be honest I could rarely see it. But now that I have a year I am beginning to realize it. I can’t exactly pinpoint it all, but I do sense changes in me. I understand the world and the heartache and pain it can bring much more clearly and I am realizing just how many people struggle with some form of suffering, be it addiction, loneliness, abuse or a myriad of other possibilities. I knew much of this before, but now I see it through a telescopic lens that makes it so much more pronounced.
I also learned that I am not the person I thought I was. Whether it be religiosity, idealism or just my general sense of self, I am not anything like the person I once knew. It’s stripped my down to learn what really matters in life, and maybe given me some courage in seeking it, and the grace to move on when I fail.
It may seem like I have some of this stuff figured out, but I don’t. These are somewhat vague observations that have come out from time to time. I don’t know what it all really all means, where this will take me or what I will receive in the end from all of this, but I do have sobriety and now I also have a year, which is far more than I thought I’d ever have.
I will leave you on a fun note here. I met Matt Fraction at Comic-Con and he is a writer in recovery himself. I told him my struggles and he was highly encouraging. On the 9th i sent a tweet to him saying something like, “hey I met you at SDCC! I just got my year of sobriety!” and guess what? He responded with…
“hey congrats! get dat chip and eat dat cake, man.”
So I will get that chip and eat that cake! After all, it’s been a year in the making.