The Party is Over!

I will never have fun again. That’s what I thought would happen when I started to think I needed to stop drinking. The party would be over and I would never have any fun ever again. Poor me. I conveniently failed to acknowledge that for me, the fun had ended a long time ago. Truth be told I was miserable and pretty much only seeking oblivion when I drank by then. Party? Not even close… more like a pity party, right?

It wasn’t always that way. I had a lot of fun drinking. I had a great, light-hearted, irresponsible time, for most of my late teens and early twenties. If you didn’t have fun like I did, you got ripped off! I eagerly anticipated the next time my friends and I would get together and raise hell. Drinking rarely held negative repercussions for me. But then, slowly, things began to change.

I can’t put my finger on when exactly, but my relationship with alcohol turned dark. But boy, did it ever. What used to signify freedom to me slowly became my captor. I never was free from alcohol, for the last few years. It was with me in every waking moment and I was never really free, not even when I slept. More accurately, I usually passed out. And when I woke, instead of looking forward to the day ahead, my first thought was often, “Oh no, not this again.” followed by, “Is there any vodka left?” 

Party? Yeah, right.

But my life has changed. It has changed so much that I barely recognize the guy I was. Today I relate to people on a deeper level than I ever could have before. I can look people in the eye and tell them the truth. I am available and willing to help. I can be relied on. My wife and kids trust me. I do the work of recovery and with the help of my higher power, I will continue this good life until I die.   

Which doesn’t mean it’s easy. I mean, don’t get me wrong, my life of recovery is very easy, in comparison to before, anyways. So easy, in fact, that my life has been filled with things that will keep me from my recovery if I forget. I have to stay as motivated in my long-term sobriety as I was when I first got here, battered and bruised, full of shame and self-pity. That’s not easy when life is so good… but I can’t forget. I can’t forget because I regularly see people go back out, and I’ve never heard how good it is out there, and worse, oftentimes they can’t get back. It’s far easier to stay sober than get sober. And there’s no guarantee that I can get back if I do stray. That life was so bad and this life is so good that I never want to go back.

I have to be wary. I have faith that my higher power has my back but I also have the freedom to screw this up if I forget. Alcoholism is vengeful and it has a voracious appetite. I haven’t fed my disease in quite a few years now, and it’s hangry.

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