Eight Hundred Days

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It’s been 800 days since my last alcoholic beverage. Do I think about drinking a lot?  Nope, not really. Occasionally I crave a drinking session with hubby or a friend, where we laugh way too loud at meaningless things and wake up feeling horribly, not just physically- but mentally and emotionally too. The last part of that is enough to brush the thought off with a quick, “Not today Satan.” I hope it’s always that way, memories can be so powerful.

I was reminded of those hungover feelings recently. We had some family over last weekend. It was a great night with many laughs. One family member ran to get his beer during the evening, but other than that no one was drinking. I am so thankful that my circle of close people are not drinkers, for this makes my journey a million times easier, but I digress.

I woke up the next day with a feeling of paranoia. This would be normal, if I had been drinking. Thoughts like, I wonder what I said to ______, or I hope I didn’t _______, would plague my mind. As I started to clean up the messy kitchen, that little voice was jabbing me.

It was the memory.

I didn’t drink, but did feel a little hungover. We had been going going going all weekend and then ate a ton of crap food and stayed up way too late- so physically I did feel my body purging the toxins, and it felt so familiar. The feeling, the mess, the circle of campfire chairs outside and a huge pile of ash, and that teeny little voice that wanted me to feel guilty.

It’s amazing how our brains can trick us and how powerful our minds can be. I think this is the most important and most powerful thing that I have learned going through recovery. My brain convinced me for years that I needed wine to unwind, when really it just added to the pile of stress, and in a multitude of ways. After a day or two without it, my brain would be screaming at me.

But it didn’t sound angry, it sounded rational and sounded just like my own voice. Some days I could abstain, but other days it was like a light switch. I could be having an amazing day, preaching about how much I love sobriety, but then a shift would happen and before I knew what I was doing, I was in the car driving to the store for booze.

The more I gave in, the louder it became. But I started to notice something.

The longer I abstained, the less I heard from the voice (who by now, I had given a name and a whole entity known as “Betsy”). It didn’t take long for the voice to start to diminish. Days 3 or 4 seemed to be the worst, but after about 4 days it would start to slowly retreat. By 3-4 weeks, it’s hardly noticeable and usually just pops up at random (but often vulnerable) times.

Even back in 2017, when my journey first began, the voice wreaked havoc.

My Subconscious Screaming at Me

I knew it back then, but it still took until 2019 to finally quit for good. I had a lot of learning and practicing to do, but now I can see that my hundreds of day ones have served an important purpose and all of it has helped me with the voice and my internal peace.

At day 800, I am extremely grateful, for every day and all the past experiences, events, people and setbacks that helped me get here <3

 

 

 

 

Published by Organic Revival

I am a mom of boys, wife, furmom, gardner, walker, runner, teacher, reader, writer and cook. I am 42 years old and live in the beautiful state of Michigan. I love my job as an elementary special education teacher. The most remarkable quality of mine is that I'm a recovering alcoholic.

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