Monday, 14 May 2012

8 years

Today is my 8th sobriety birthday.  I suppose different people have different definitions for that day - I know some for who it is the day they first had without a drink at the start of their recovery, for others the day they first attended AA.  For me it is actually the last day I ever drank.

Here is an extract from the My Drinking Story page on this blog...

... (Mrs F and I) had some good news and my wife texted me a simple line "tonight we can celebrate". I saw that last word, considered this great news and thought - "My life is still utter shite" and I went off on an all day bender. At home that evening my long suffering wife instead of ignoring me finally bit back and we had the most almighty row which is not how our relationship functions - we don't row. In the middle of that with the swearing and threats etc. I gave up. I lay down and cried and cried. I just wanted it all to stop. That was the moment I made the decision that I had to do something dramatic about my drinking I couldn't continue in this way.

So that is why my sobriety birthday for me is on this date - this is the day at which I had my "moment of clarity" (as it is sometimes referred to).   If you know my story or read it, I'd been trying countless vain attempts to stop for a year seriously.  It had been a battle for many years before then as well.  But in that last year I'd stopped, restarted, changed drinks, kept diaries, read widely about controlled drinking etc. and frankly ended up confused, bewildered and baffled by my singular lack of ability to simply not drink to excess.  I kept coming back to the same place, drinking too much, out of control as that last day showed it was a mess of the first order.  I remember vividly feeling like I just wanted it all to end, I couldn't kill myself but if I could I'm sure I would have at the moment just stopped living if that had been an option.  Luckily though there was a voice inside saying - you need to really really get help this time.

8 years - one day at a time - as they say.  Originally I was only going to stop until I could "drink normally".  I soon sussed that I couldn't do that, i.e. "drink normally", as I never had.  I had to stop for good... that seemed a tall order, so I loved the "day at a time" element of AA.  I still do, will I never drink again in my life?  I cannot possibly tell you, and certainly I'd never promise anyone that. However, at the moment, I'm reasonably confident I won't drink today, and that is enough, I'll worry about tomorrow when tomorrow is here.

Anyone who reads this who is a friend of Bill W's in anyway - my eternal gratitude to you, without the fellowship I wouldn't be here sober today.  Anyone who reads this who has a problem with any addiction and wants to stop I implore you to seek help, it can be overcome.

18 comments:

  1. Congratulations on this important anniversary, you have a strong message to give, without being in the least bit "preachy". It's one of hope and example. Did you and wife ever reconcile?

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    1. We did - it was a little touch and go whilst I was in rehab as I was completely lost and part of me thought the best thing was a total new start away from everything. In the end she graciously gave me one more chance. We are still together and will be celebrating our 27th anniversary later this year

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  2. Happy Birtthday! Here's to many more happy and healthy years ahead!

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  3. Congratulations! Being all girly and mushy at the moment, I'm typing with tears streaming down my face because I am so happy for you, your wife, your kids. Thank you for continuing to provide your wisdom and your strength with us.

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    1. Blimey don't get all mushy - I mean it's not like some big thing really - I just don't drink no more... :-) Well ok for any alcoholic that is a big thing but y'know...

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  4. Any day sober is cause for celebration but I particularly live the birthdays. I understand the momen of clarity. Mine, too, was sudden and profound and I haven't picked up a drink sense.

    You go, sober brother. Well done, you.

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  5. Well done Graham, and as the Northern Soul saying goes: keep on keeping on.

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  6. Well done Mr F... I completely understand the impossibility of moderate drinking and the Herculean effort it takes to switch off that ticking in your (well, my) head that goes off a hundred (more) times a day... "could do with a drink now"

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  7. Congratulations! 8 years really is commendable!!

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  8. I'm with Elsie. ;) As ever, proud of you.

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  9. Happy Birthday, Furtheron! Many more!
    I will celebrate with you - I don't drink (medical reasons) so I'll have a nice Perrier & Lime and toast you from afar.

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  10. Keep your eye on the prize.

    J x

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  11. That's some achievement. Keep it up. Well done.

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  12. Happy Sobriety! You are amazing. Keep on going..one day at a time.

    You should be quite proud.

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  13. a belated and heartfelt happy birthday
    forgive me sounding patronising but "well done"
    x

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  14. I still feel like I'm in my 20's too!

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  15. What an amazing accomplishment. I was just visiting another blog friend of mine and read that his sibling passed away last weekend due to alcoholism. I felt such sadness for him and his family. And then I came to your blog and read this post. It hit me hard. What an accomplishment, 8 years. Through much suffering you achieved something wonderful. Hooray for you and your family. x

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