I feel like I am at the beginning of a self evolution.

A very slow process of self awareness.

A slow reach to the light.

When you have been in the dark for so long, you end up not even knowing you are there.

Or, you know you are there, but the dark becomes such a part of who you are, and how you function and receive things in the world, the idea of change seems impossible.

So, you carry on.

Year after year.

You become almost robotic.

Every year losing more and more of the woman you really are.

Your days are filled with high functioning, hard work.  You are a successful business woman and you are a leader amongst your peers. Always holding upper management and leadership roles, you have a keen eye for personal success and development in your daytime world.

But everyday, the night comes…and the dark is waiting for you.

You realize this is where you ‘think’ you feel most comfortable.  You have worked so hard all day to keep it together.  To help, motivate, and cheerlead on the people around you. Because this is what you do.  This makes you happy.

But when the day is all over… the drink is always waiting.

You even begin to salivate as you pull the glass down from the cupboard. As you crack the ice, and hear it hit the glass.  An all too familiar sound.  A sound that elicits the predicted response…the weight of the world slowly lifting itself off your shoulders.

You grab the bottle off the shelf and pour. Knowing that over the years you have begun to pour more drink and less mix.

The balance has shifted.

The amounts have changed and you need more and more to ensure that the night will pass and the day will be washed away.  And you believe you need this.  This is the medicine you’ve worked all day to receive.

And this repeats itself…day to day…month to month…year to year.

17 years now.

17 years for me to now realize and understand that the medicine was actually the poison that was slowly stealing my life away.

The strength it’s taken to continue everyday is now gone.  I am too tired to continue on this path.  My body is actually physically telling me—no more!  It no longer wants the poison.

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I am on day 17.

In 17 years, this is the longest I have gone without a drink.  And it feels really, really good.

I just celebrated my 43rd birthday and realized that I did it!  I made it through a birthday without a drink. It definitely seemed weird, and I was very conscience of it, but I pushed through, because I just don’t want to go back to day one again.

I don’t.

It’s not easy.

An old friend, who has been sober for 10 years, said something that very much resonated with me.  He told me that his worst day sober was better than his best day drinking.  When he said that it felt like a light switch went on.  I realized he was right.

It is not easy.

It is hard.

But it is better.

Not drinking is better!

I think I am finally getting it.

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