9 in 9

In 9 days I will be 9 years sober. I could just wait until then to post, but I like the symmetry and also know myself and that I may lose heart and decide not to post at all.

I don’t remember June 21, 2011 too well anymore. I remember more about it than any other June 21 before or since. It was an unremarkable day except that I decided not to drink and managed not to, even though it was physically and mentally very hard.

It wasn’t all luck. It was work to commit every single day, some harder than others, not to drink anymore. Fear was an excellent motivator. Early on I heard that it doesn’t get any easier to quit the second or seventeenth time around. After losing and regaining the same 15 pounds for the last few years, I know that is true.

Doing something for nine years seems almost as natural as breathing. And yet I literally haven’t been able to break another bad habit for nine consecutive years. There is something about the simplicity of knowing I will not drink today that makes it the easiest hard thing I’ve ever done.

It definitely gets easier to maintain over the years. Temptation and self-pity around not drinking don’t beckon monthly or even quarterly like they used to. I did have one moment a few months back. We were about a month into quarantine and I’d spent an emotionally draining day with my grandmother. When I got home, I said to my husband you know, she makes me wish I still drank. It didn’t feel good to say. I felt like a petulant, pathetic kid who says you’re not my friend anymore to her best friend in the world. But after I said it out loud, I knew I didn’t mean it. These periodic urges to drink are a good thing because they bring me back.

So in nine days I will wake up and may not immediately remember the significance of the day because I am absent minded and it has become almost as natural as breathing. With a little luck I’ll be back in a year to celebrate a decade.

Virtual coin

25 thoughts on “9 in 9

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  1. I love this post (and congratulations on 9 years!). I just made it to 1,000 days sober in late May and have yet to break any of my other bad habits. 🙂 But, I’ve appreciated life so much more in the past 1,000 days. Thanks for sharing your writing!

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    1. Thanks Margaret! The funny thing is the day passed without me thinking about it. We were away celebrating Father’s Day and a family birthday and it was only days later that I remembered. So I guess it feels pretty natural by now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know if it is appropriate to offer congratulations? Does it sound sincere or some how demeaning to be told ‘Good job’ for making a healthy choice. I wouldn’t congratulate someone for cutting out carbs…

    But I offer accolades none the less. I have tried quitting many things in my life, but never alcohol until this past year. When I learned that it contributes to feeding cancer. That was a pretty jarring realization. So, after treatment for breast cancer, I said good bye to wine. (Beer was never my poison of choice.) I’m trying to say goodbye to sugary drinks now, but I’m a one-step-at-a-time kinda girl. I will take some comfort that, maybe, the longing for a nice glass of moscato won’t nag me quite so much. I don’t think I ever fell into a ‘problem drinker’ category. But the family has a history, so, I’m not betting it isn’t an issue of addiction/habit/poor choice for me just because it never seemed like one.

    I think I’m trying too hard to relate here. Forgive that. Sometimes my ‘earnest efforts’ come across sounding ‘phony/patronizing.’ That was never the intention.

    I suspect I need my second cup of tea–with only two teaspoons of sugar. Baby steps, after all.

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    1. Thank you!! I have heard about sugar being something to feed cancer cells. It’s scary, although something we can work on. I have a TERRIBLE sweet tooth which has only gotten worse in sobriety. Baby steps are something to congratulate yourself on. I struggle with sticking to it. Wish I could figure it out. Thanks for reading. I look forward to following your blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Did you blog when you quit drinking? Sometime I read back over my first months dry to remind myself what a big freaking deal it was. Another blogger told me it gets easier and then easier still, and i didn’t believe her, but now I pretty much no longer care about alcohol. I only know how long it’s been because of my blog.

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    1. I started blogging about 6 months in. I followed sober blogs before and during that time. I’m somewhat afraid to go back and real old posts. How many years has it been for you? Your experience has been mine too. I did not remember on my exact 9 year anniversary, just because it has become a natural way of life.

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      1. Sometime in January 2016. I wasn’t a drunk anymore. Just a consistent drinker. You might say drinking wine was my identity. I worried about it every day. So much easier not to worry.

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