The Last Day I Drank.
Updated: Jan 10, 2022
One year ago today, I had my last drink.
On that day, I was a stranger to myself.
Up until that moment, I felt a darkness in my life that pervaded every ounce of my being. Most days, I lived inside a feeling of perpetual gloom, allowing alcohol to dictate my worth. On the outside, I appeared self-assured and at ease with myself, but on the inside I was falling apart.
I felt as if I existed nearly everyday at the bottom of a deep, shadowy hole in the earth, staring up at the people around me, wondering how to climb up and out to the light above. How could I reach my children? My husband? Sometimes I was successful at clambering my way up the sides of the dark chasm, my fingernails digging into the crumbling earth as pieces of it fell away beneath me. I would struggle up from the lonely abyss and find my way to solid ground every now and again, emerging into the light, dazed and often confused.
At times, I tried to exist above that hollow chamber, but I often lost the strength.
Eventually, I would fall back even deeper below the surface of the ground, further away from the ones I loved. Allowing the substance to take over once again. For a while, I felt placated within the safety of my little hole, because I could avoid the looks of others. The problems of the real world up above were hidden for a bit, and I could silence the noise. It was easier to live within the shadows of my secrets.
But the darkness began to wear on me.
I began to sink further and further away from the light.
My space was filled with a murkiness that began to suffocate me, and I was unable to climb to the surface as easily anymore.
My flailing and kicking only made it worse, and I was beginning to sink, deeper and deeper. It felt like quicksand. It got to the point where I could not see the light any longer. The space above me began to close in, and instead of the joyful, familiar faces of my loved ones I only saw disappointment and shame looming above. Discomfort was all I knew.
On this day, one year ago, I finally found the courage to ask for help. I pleaded. I sobbed. And hands pulled me up and away from the deep, angry hole that was my life.
I said, no more. I said, would you help me stop? I cried.
Now. Today. I am no longer sinking. No longer drowning in darkness.
The dark chasm has disappeared, and instead there is nothing but wide open, graceful stretches. Expansive, endless paths to search.
I look around now and I am no longer stuck. I am not spending my days crawling up and out. Clawing at the earth, tunneling my way through dirt, tree roots and rocks.
I have found quietude. I was lucky enough to get away. I was able to discover the light, as I had escaped the darkness at last.
My world is now brighter. It is colorful, fragrant and beautiful.
Today, alcohol no longer controls me.
Today, and everyday, belongs to me.
Today, I am free.
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