I've reached that magically date of two years. Why is it magical? I think because Mrs. D always talked about she wished she was at two years so her drinking years would be SO far behind her.
Well, I've reached that milestone! While exciting, while I want to grab people's arms and look them in the eye and say: "Can you believe it's been two years since I've had a drink?!?! Two years!" I still think the step into month two is more momentous for me. Stepping into Month Two was a true step into the dark for me, I had never gone that long without a drink before that moment. I was fragile, shaken in my identity and on a path into the unknown.
Now I'm at two years. What does that mean? I don't know. I still have moments of loss, of feeling left out, of having amnesia of why I'm extreme in the "all or nothing" stance of drinking. But I continue to "walk through the drink" and keep deciding that its best to stay on solid ground.
Husband and I travelled for New Years with old friends and the conversation came up about my not drinking. Of course, "do you miss it?" and "that sounds nice, but I could never do it" and "is it really forever?" was a part of the conversation. I've had that before. But both friends did bring up a fear of mine when they said they were both glad they knew me when I was a drinker, because if not they would be uncomfortable/intimated by my non-drinking. That's the worst! But that's a fact. Drinkers don't like non-drinkers around potentially and silently judging them. I've been there, saying, "fuck non-drinkers!" Even at two years and at 40 years old I have to keep telling myself: their insecurity is their problem not mine. Their insecurity says more about them then it does about me. AND if they want a 'safe' spot to drink without the prying eyes of a non-drinker, go for it, because it isn't that interesting and I'm not missing anything by not being there. That place isn't special when you see it from the outside, its a big sad actually. And You are annoying after 4 drinks.
On the morning of two years I am in London at a Job Fair. Yesterday Husband and I accepted jobs in Guangzhou, China. Husband celebrated with drinks and I celebrated with a lovely elderflower, soda and cucumber drink. I celebrated this morning by keeping my promise to myself to do yoga and say hello to my sober community. I'm celebrating by being grounded in the shake up of CHINA next year, celebrating the choice of growth instead of fear. Celebrating with clear eyes and mind about who I am and what brings me meaning in my life.
I used to drink with the best of them, but I don't anymore. I like myself better for it and have a full life because of it.
-Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp