365

365 days.

One whole year.

This journey for me has often been one day or even one hour or minute a time. I have had some really really rough, heartbreaking, just have to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head days. I have also had some amazingly beautiful, wonderful and full of gratitude and childlike wonder days. I have reflected on the days like these ones as they would have often been the ones where alcohol would have been involved. It’s amazing really, to think that on those horrible days I would have drank (heavily) to numb it, or hide from turmoil. On the fantastic days I would have been drinking in celebration and that would in turn have led to the day turning out in the end to be not so great. Or would have been negated by the guilt and remorse and confusion the next morning (not to mention the hangover).

I can’t even begin to express my thanks and gratitude to the online community here and on instagram. I honestly don’t know how I would have made it this far, or even through the first three months honestly. For the support and encouragement and compassion from all of you beautiful souls out there, thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Truly, honestly and deeply. Thank you for writing about your own journeys, and for your raw honesty. Thank you for sharing your struggles and your triumphs and showing me and others that we are not alone.

Donna

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These thoughts; they are a swirlin’

I guess it has been a while since I have written on here – 20 days to be exact, which seems mind boggling to me.

At the end of September (and into the beginning of October), I took my first sober trip to Vegas. Ahhh I love Vegas. I’m not a gambler so my trips to Vegas always consisted of exploring and people watching and drinking. Lots of drinking. This trip consisted of exploring and people watching and a night in Boulder City and a road trip to Death Valley, hiking all over the place, people watching and more exploring and more hiking and more driving and then back to the strip for Sunday October 1st. Yes, I was there that night, but I was walking on the strip by NYNY, heading back to my room at the Mirage when it happened and I had no clue what was going on a few Vegas blocks down from where I was until I woke up the next morning to my phone almost vibrating off the nightstand with all of the texts and phone calls and messages asking if I was ok. My heart breaks for everyone who was impacted by what happened.

During my trip I met up with my adventure partner and I was also lucky enough to meet an awesome blogger, who’s blog was my go-to when planning this trip and who was also amazing enough to give me some tips and pointers that really made the trip great. Seriously, if you want to plan a trip to Vegas and see lots of cools things and see what that amazing city actually has to offer, check out https://SoberInVegas.wordpress.com

As far as urges to drink while I was away, I had surprisingly few. My adventure partner, while a drinker, is amazingly supportive and considerate and asked me several times if I was ok, or if there was anything they could do to make it easier. I WAS actually ok. I had a few moments of “boy it would be nice to grab a giant can of beer or one of those slushie drinks and walk the strip” moments but they passed. Being with great company helped that too. Waking up each day and remembering how fun and awesome the day before had been also helped that.

It was AFTER I got back from my trip that I started having a hard time. The recent ex asked me if we could talk, so against my better judgement I met with him. I have tried to keep it as civil and nice as possible. You know – the “we’re just two completely different people and there’s nothing wrong with that, but we just want different things in life, blah blah blah” breakup. It has been so bad for so long and honestly he wasn’t nice before I quit drinking, but he was downright terrible after I quit. When we met to talk, he started off nice and sweet-talking and then said “I don’t expect you to move back in right away, but…” Whoa, wait a minute buddy, I’m NOT moving back in. Once the sweet talking and the cajoling didn’t work, he started trying guilt trips and then the self-pity. I stood my ground though, and started walking back to my car and that’s when he turned angry. I just (I am so proud of myself for this, truly) kept my calm and told him that I’m sorry he feels the way that he does, but that I also don’t deserve to be talked to that way. And then I left. And then I ignored phone calls from him and turned down an invitation to go for a walk a few days later.

The last week or so my anxieties are through the roof, I’ve been fighting off waves of bad moods, and I feel like I’m fighting a huge battle in my mind trying to figure out WHY I’m feeling as down, as sad, as angry, as frustrated and as anxious as I am. Of course, after writing out this post and reading through some of my past posts over the past year I can sort of figure out why haha. I am 356 days clean, sober and smoke free today and I am truly thankful for that. I have been reminding myself over and over the past few week of how things would be different if I started drinking again. I’d be effing up so much good that I have going on in my life right now. This is just a phase (I don’t think that’s the word I’m looking for, but it will do).

Also, when I was in Vegas I went to a Speakeasy, which is something that I really wanted to do when I was still drinking and I found one near Fremont that you actually have to text and make an appointment to get in to. Considering what a speakeasy actually originated from, I felt a little funny asking for a N/A drink (the mixologist was a little taken-aback about it I think, but I said I had no problem paying the full price for the drink. He made me an EXCEPTIONAL ginger drink. I mean it was absolutely fantastic). And then I thought that it would be kind of neat and fun to have Teetotaler versions of Speakeasy’s. The whole ambiance in them is cool and laid back. I’d totally go to something like that to hang out in a funky place with other non-drinkers, with super awesome N/A drinks and no alcohol in sight or on the menu!