A Beautiful Destination

I’m 100 days sober today.

I’ve reached a point in my recovery that is notorious for relapse, and now that I’m in it, I can understand why. I’m unearthing years worth of emotional hurt that I’ve spent half of my life distracting myself from fully addressing, with no way to numb the pain other than to keep pressing through it.

Recovery isn’t just about not drinking or using. It’s not as simple as that. All of us have reasons why we are driven to drink or shoplift or lie or sleep with total strangers or whatever that thing is that keeps you from feeling that thing that you don’t want to feel.

I would go to almost any length to avoid feeling those things that I don’t want to feel, and now that I’m sober, I’ve been sitting in them for awhile. That’s why I’ve found myself doing things like baking cookies and eating the entire batch (on two separate occasions) and then being angry that I’ve gained weight, or working out like a crazy person because I have anger that I don’t know how to process, or calling a friend and just sitting in silence on the phone because the simple act of calling someone reminds me that I’m not alone.

It tethers me to something real. It reminds me that I have support, and even if the person on the other line doesn’t always know what to say to me because she isn’t an alcoholic, she is saving my life simply by being there.

As difficult as experiencing the hard stuff is, the good stuff makes the bad stuff almost forgettable. Just like childbirth made me feel like I was literally dying right there on the table — rationally, I figured I wasn’t actually going to die, but my body felt like it was shutting down and my soul was floating away — but the joy of seeing that little face made me immediately forget. All I can remember is that childbirth is unpleasant. This makes me hope that one day I’ll recall 100 days sober as unpleasant, but not bad enough to kill me.

Drinking would kill me.

As I keep inching forward, the pain lessens little by little. Every day, a tiny piece of my soul is restored … I think. Sometimes I can’t tell if my soul is healing, or if I’m simply losing my mind, but I do know one thing: I can’t go back.

The terrified part of me wants to say “NEVER MIND, I WAS JUST KIDDING!” and go right back to drinking, but the tiny shred of sane self I have left knows that I could never un-know that I’m an alcoholic and that there are things in my past that drove me to this point. I could never un-know that my coping mechanisms will send me to an early grave unless I retrain myself how to cope differently. I could never un-know the joy and peace I feel in my good sober moments.

They say it gets better. I believe them. I have to.

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6 thoughts on “A Beautiful Destination

  1. I’m not an alcoholic but a former addict and mother. Going on 4 years next month of being out of my active addiction. It has continually gotten easier and my life just gets better and better. Hang in there!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Harmony, I have never written before to a blogger but I read your story on Scary Mommy which lead me to your blog. I think I ready 20 of your posts yesterday and woke up this morning still thinking about you. Your story fits my childhood life so closely. My mom was an in control alcoholic for all of my childhood. For many reasons that are similar to yours and some that are different my mom drank. My mom was controlled, never drank before 5, never drove with us under the influence, never physically neglected us and also was/is an amazing mom. She decided one day when I was 18 she had a problem and went to rehab I am now 40 years old and she hasn’t had one drink since. She has been sober for over 22 years. Harmony my mom is my hero and the absolute strongest woman I know. I just want to tell you how unbelievably strong I think you are and even though your journey is hard and awful and emotional I want you to know it is all worth it and your kids will be forever grateful. I will include you and your family in my prayers for strength and guidance.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for your posts! I am 37 years old, mom to a 5 year old, and 53 days sober. I’m looking forward to day 100, but that’s not the end, and *that* is daunting! Thank you for sharing what you are going through. Keep going. đŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A friend introduced me to your blog, and I am in love with your naked honesty and beautiful writing! I am a mother of two very young children, and just received my 6 month coin. Thank you for sharing your truth and articulating the beauty and horror of being newly sober.

    Liked by 1 person

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