On May 18 I will be 40. On May 16 I will have 1 year and 4 months of sobriety. Both milestones bring me joy for my accomplishments and anticipation for what's to come for the second half of my life.
At a year and 4 months I would say my identity and "transformation" to non-drinker status is a success and no longer in transition. I am here. This is me. My community has adjusted and when rounds of drinks are ordered my soda water gets thrown in the mix, no questions. I do find a bit of relief / pride that every once in a while a friend will say, "What? You don't drink? Ever? But I thought I saw you ...." This shows me my core self before and after the sobriety isn't all that different after all and people are not noticing I'm not drinking. I fit in to the fun even without a drink.
I will always have to monitor and do check ins with myself but outside of that I would say urges and dangers seem very distant and theoretical. Can I say I arrived? It feels like it, but 21 year olds feel like they have arrived at adulthood and we know that is only technically true.
Since my my last write back in Februry, my world of fun and healthy habits continues to expand. The biggest life changer is Street Dog Dolly. This little street dog took up refuge in our back yard. We started to leave out food for her, then put a blanket out there, then decided to spay her, then, then, then, the baby steps led her to fully inside. Just this week I've started taking her on morning walks with Dog Face. She is being crate training and learning the ropes of being civilized. She is adorable. A meek little cuddler that wormed her way into our pack by choosing us.
The other "about to be" change is that I want to re-learn the viola as my 40th birthday gift to myself. I stuck right now because I can't find a "C" string in Cairo thus far, only violin strings. Anyone stopping by Cairo and could bring me one? But with my 3 strings I squeaked out "Ode to Joy" by memory from when I learned it in 4th grade. I will get a string eventually, even if that means I have to wait until July when in Portland. Then, to find someone to give me lessons! I just know it will be true: when a student is ready, a teacher will appear.
I'm one string short, but I will be ready soon teacher, so make your way over this way.
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