When I was brainstorming for my final blog of 2015, I kept getting hung up on how to end it. I wanted to find the perfect one line to capture my accomplishment. I thought about it for a while and thought about how dramatic, and difficult, and incredible the year had been, and I finally wrote “and she lived happily ever after”. Right before I was about to publish my post I deleted that line.
And let me tell you, am I glad I did that!
Everyone keeps asking me what it’s like now that I’m drinking again. I think everyone expects me to say something profound or talk about all the good choices I’ve made and how responsible I’ve been.
And, I think everyone has been really disappointed by the answer they get.
That’s not to say I haven’t been responsible or made good choices, I have. But, I’ve also been irresponsible and made some really bad choices.
In some ways, drinking in 2016, after a year of sobriety, has felt a lot like drinking in 2014, before my year of sobriety.
When I realized that, I started to panic. I wondered if maybe I did have a problem with alcohol. If I’m still capable of making the same poor life choices under the influence, maybe I need to permanently eliminate the influence. I wondered if I was being too hard on myself. I wondered if I wasn’t being hard enough.
In the last month, I’ve had countless glasses of wine, a couple whiskey’s, two solid hangovers, and one somewhat regretful night. Again, I’ve decided to keep a diary this year, so I’m going to leave my dirty laundry crumpled in the corner of my closet and not go into too much detail here, but yeah, I’ve done a few things that I wish I could call “do-over” on.
I can’t say I regret anything though. Ultimately, everything that has happened was meant to happen and what I wanted to happen. I do wish I could’ve done some stuff differently, spared a few feelings and dramatic conversations, but at the end of the day, it is what it is. What happened, happened.
I know, that sounds a bit harsh or careless, but I promise it isn’t.
Drinking again, and having too much fun and saying I’m sorry the next day to either myself or someone else has just made me realize this; I’m 28 years old and I’m still figuring shit out and it’s okay to make a mistake every once in a while or order a third drink on a Friday night or even do something that hurts someone else. It’s part of being human. It’s part of being a young(ish) human, in a big city, with a lot of life to sort out. It’s messy and painful and so confusing and sometimes it feels like, “what’s the point!”, and then other times, it’s fun and adventurous, and freeing and I feel like I never want to grow up because trekking through the mud and gunk feels so good.
There’s no such thing as “happily every after”, it doesn’t exist and I think that’s great. Life is a constant learning curve. I’m never going to get it all right. Sober or not, I’m never going to be perfect. I’m never going to live this picturesque, well-ironed life that I constantly have playing in my mind. It’s not in the cards for me and I’m really grateful for that. I want to keep learning and trekking and figuring the shit out because that’s called living.
I intend to do a lot of living this year. I intend to stumble and spill a glass of red wine all over my white blouse. I intend to laugh until I cry and cry until I laugh. I intend to apologize a lot and forgive even more. I intend to take deep breaths and trust that everything happens for a reason and I am exactly where I intend to be.