Sober for Two Years in Aruba
Sitting here watching the sunrise, listening to the waves crash on the beach, the Aruban birds call to one another, in the early morning hours, thousands of miles away from my children, I am at peace with my life. I am more content than I ever could have imagined I would be. I am so grateful for these last two years.
We ate dinner last night at a very swanky, outdoor sushi restaurant in the strip known for its night life here in Aruba. There was a little pool lining the edge of the restaurant with neon lights, massive swings and club tables. There was a DJ sitting up in a high booth, getting ready for the late night party scene to begin. We arrived at 6:30pm and left by 8:30pm. We were the only patrons for a little while, and we loved it. The food was incredible and I rolled out of there, stuffed and happy. Every place we have been so far down here had had incredible mocktail menus. And maybe it's because of the atmosphere or that everything is made with fresh ingredients and coconut, but I am loving these kinds of drinks lately. It's nice not to order just sparkling water for once.
When I told people that we would be coming to Aruba to celebrate my birthday, my two year soberversary and the launching of my book - people asked when the last time we had taken a trip away from the kids. I thought about that question, and it dawned on me that the last time we were away was for our ten year anniversary to Bermuda. This was actually a chapter in my book, a difficult topic to write about. During that trip we drank a whole lot. I wrote in my book, On the Edge of Shattered, about those feelings of wondering to myself if alcohol was becoming a problem.
During that trip away together almost 5 years ago, Evan and I drank all day and most evenings - me way more than him. We didn't do anything except sit on the beach and drink. We didn't do any excursions. We did some golf, but we drank while we played. One day, we did a booze cruise and I ended up showing up to our last dinner out so drunk - which was supposed to be a special night, because it was a sunset meal at one of the nicest spots on the island. I don't remember the meal. I don't remember eating. I was sick to my stomach and wanted to go back to the hotel and sleep. But I do remember the waitstaff gave us a nice dessert that said happy anniversary in the frosting. I didn't eat it though and we left it untouched - ducking out immediately after they delivered it to the table.
I felt ashamed after that trip to Bermuda - having wasted so much of that week in a state of numbing. A state of trying to escape from my "escape." I got home and felt so depleted and depressed. I wanted a redo.
This week in Aruba, I am embracing my time away and cherishing every moment with my husband. We have so much planned. Couples massages, sunrise yoga, moonlight yoga, sunrise hiking, daily beach walks, a snorkeling trip and sailboat excursion, paddle boarding and enough relaxation to make me excited to head home to my kiddos in a few days. I am grateful that alcohol plays zero role in my life anymore. I am able to do so much more with myself. I don't miss drinking one bit while I am here, because the possibilities are endless now. And I don't look back on my drinking days with regret or shame, because look at where I am now.