in fact, today Erinup is on day 102 … and here’s the lovely email she sent me to celebrate her wonderfulness:
Day 100 … How the hell that happened?! I mean I know, but I am still surprised – kind of like an unplanned pregnancy 🙂
I remember the first few weeks so clearly and how I felt like 100 days was so big. I remember wondering how I could ever make it that long. I stressed about dinners with friends, camp-outs, bbq’s. In the beginning I wondered how would I ever survive those situations. I couldn’t wrap my brain around how I could make it through everything just saying no to alcohol. How would I not drink at those functions and yet not reveal my secret …
I steeled myself for the first sober dinner with friends. I swallowed hard and just said casually “I’m not drinking right now, just taking a break.” Then I held my breath and waited for the world to end, for them to walk away and not be my friend anymore, for them to ask deep questions I didn’t want to answer yet or really just for anything to happen.
But none of those things happened. Nothing really happened. I built all this stress around the “what-if” and then NOTHING HAPPENED. What the hell? Didn’t they hear me? I’m not drinking right now. That’s important news people! … So, I learned an important lesson those first few outings. This whole being sober thing is about me. What I choose to share or not share is my business and what I celebrate is also my business. I cannot/should not look outward for approval nor should I worry about judgment. These thing were big lessons for me – that and the whole world not revolving around me thing.
I am working every day to make choices that are positive and healthy both mind, body and spirit. Some days I suck at it — some days I get it right. I wanted so badly to rush through, to do more homework, to make quicker progress, but that’s the thing about 100 days isn’t it? You only get there one day at a time — regardless of how stellar a sober student you think you have become. I have learned it is important to not rush through. I never know which day will bring an important lesson.
It’s not all peace, love and sober days though — I do get thoughts of feeling like I am at the 100 day finish line and I can drink again. The classic “maybe I wasn’t that bad…” rears its ugly head. I have to learn that there is no finish line. I can keep moving the finish line out — 1 day, 1 week, 10 days, 100 days, but I feel like the reality is that I have to not view this as something with an end. I am not sure how to do that yet. I guess that’s the whole “me in progress.”
I always want to remember the first few weeks clearly. I always want to be reminded that quitting is hard. It is not to be taken for granted. It is good for me to remember that the whole world isn’t revolving around me and my decision of whether to have wine with dinner. Very few people actually care and even fewer think it is important. That is not a bad thing at all, it is just the way of the world. They don’t care just like they don’t care what I had for breakfast or how my workout went. It is stuff that is important to me, but not so much to the outside world and that is totally fine. It is reality and that is good.
So, I am moving the finish line to 180 days. I am working on how to remove the finish line mentality. I don’t have any idea about how to do that yet so I guess I have something to keep me busy for a while.
Thank you Belle for everything you have done and continue to do – you are an inspiration, reality check, sober penpal extraordinaire!
Still counting, Erinup