Like a typical junkie, I tend to overdue everything. Over the last month, I chomped down cookies, cupcakes, brownies, pie and candy like I was Pac-man nibbling my way around a maze filled with desserts. And as with my other vices, sugar makes me feel good but it doesn’t last forever and soon I’m hungover, lathargic and feeling worthless. So The Mister and I decided after the holidays, we’d take a sugar sabatacle.
After getting sober from drugs and alcohol, I know that kicking a habit takes willingness and honesty. I had to ask myself, am I honestly willing to say goodbye to sugar and all it’s lovely bi-products and to try to stay sugar-free one day at a time? My answer was uh, for now. Having relapsed and not following through on everything from cocaine to The Artist’s Way, I’m realistic about ending my romance with sugar. I know that I’m going to want gelato or a brownie at some point and I am not going to kick the crap out of myself for it. Besides, a bag of Oreos never made me take off my clothes in random places. I’m mainly looking to balance my relationship with sugar and feel better in the process. I take it moment by moment and so far it’s been good. The husband and I are eating more veggies, not going out to eat and have exorcised the sugar demons from our apartment. There’s lots of kale, legumes and beets in this house which means all kinds of crazy things are happening with my body so that’s exciting. Plus, without sugar I’m having crazy, vivid dreams and sleeping more soundly. We’ve also decided we’re trying it for a month and seeing how we feel. He, as always, is wonderfully supportive and will indulge me when I whine about wanting cake and I do the same for him.
Mainly, my experience in recovery has taught me that with a spiritual program and willingness all things are possible. So the sweetness in my life, both figurative and the kind that comes from the kind people at Reese’s, are gifts to enjoy and it’s up to me to do so with both gratitude and boundaries.
For the past three years whenever January 2nd rolls around, I have to double and triple check the date. Just to make sure it’s actually happening. But after seeing the date on my computer – 1/2/2012 I realize it’s truly January 2nd and I couldn’t be more excited. Because today, I am celebrating three years of continuous sobriety!!!
I’m not sure if 3 is the magic number but I do know that as third child who was born on the 30th, it is recurring number in my life. But I’d sound crazy ( or crazier as the case may be) if I tried to spout off a bunch of numerology mumbjo jumbo, mainly because I don’t know any. What I do know is that for me, the kid who started drinking in 1989 and didn’t stop until 2009, three years is a long ass time without a drink! I always thought “multiple years of sobriety” was something other people could do. Moreover, I wasn’t sure if it was something I wanted to do. I knew that without drinking and without drugs and without some regular chemical or form of escape, I would have to deal with myself. And why in the hell would I want to do that?!?
I spent years carefully curating a life of complete bullshit and delusion and I knew from having sober family members that I would have to tear that all down and “get real”. Blah. Real is unsparkly, unfabulous, and uninteresting. No thanks. So I put it off for a loooooong time. Well the shit hurricane that was my life reached a level five intensity at the end of 2008 and I was forced to face the music which is a fun sounding idiom but is far from fun when you have to do it. Yet it was unavoidable so I did it. I got sober. And lord knows I didn’t always do it right and wouldn’t win some crown for being the most perfect sober person on Earth. But one day at a time, I didn’t drink and I don’t drink. And then before you know it, I haven’t drank in three years.
Alas, I don’t get to graduate from recovery. I don’t get a certificate in the mail that says “Congratulations! You can now drink again.” So three years, three decades, three minutes sober– it’s all amazing. This is a life-long journey. And I’m okay with that.