One year ago today I woke up on the couch. I was sleeping sitting up with my head on a cushion and my neck in an awful position. I was sleeping this way to prevent myself from getting sick. I opened my eyes and almost instantly had a sinking, terrible feeling in my stomach that was in no way related to nausea. I picked up my phone and began texting apologies to countless people; some were received graciously while others were not. My hands were trembling, my body was shaking and all I wanted to do was cry. I said to myself “I never want to drink again”. I had said this before, multiple times, but something felt different. I said it again and again until finally it came out “I will never drink again.”
It’s been one year.
It’s been one year since I’ve had a hangover, since I’ve woke up ashamed and embarrassed because of what I might have done the night before (because God knows I didn’t remember). One year since I’ve “rewarded” myself by getting drunk. One year since I’ve had to text people apologies for driving drunk, for my loud mouth, emotional outbursts or just flat out crude or harsh behavior.
What have I learned?
I’ve learned how to act in a social situation without having any liquid courage. I’ve learned how to have a debate without getting choked up, raising my voice, or embarrassing myself while defending my opinion. I’ve learned how to have fun late into the night without feeling like complete shit the next day. I learned that alcohol exaggerates everything and drunk reality isn’t real.
When you can’t have a drink you’re forced to face yourself; all your quarks, flaws and insecurities. You’re forced to get to know who you are. And then, as time goes on, you begin to accept who you’ve become.
I am not a loud mouth, inappropriate, overly dramatic person. I was all of those things because I was drunk. I am not an awkward, uncomfortable, social outcast. I drank because I thought I was all of those things if I wasn’t drinking.
I am fun. I am funny. I am caring and loving. I am sober.