Today I am five years sober. Five years of no alcohol and no hangovers. Five years of life continually opening up to me in new ways, all because I make the choice, every day, to not drink.
This year, I will keep it simple and tell you, as I have before, that I am immensely grateful. By choosing sobriety, I have chosen to create a life for myself, and for me and Steve, that is fuller and richer and brighter than I could have possibly imagined.
I am no longer an obese, inactive, chain-smoking drunk. I am fit and strong and engaged in the world around me.
I am no longer paralyzed by sadness, anxiety, anger, and fear. I experience these emotions, of course, but on a clear and manageable level.
I no longer wake up every day with a voice in my head saying things like “I hate myself, I suck, I’m a failure,” or, in the final few months, “I want to die.” I value my life. I value myself. I look forward to the future. I used to think I wouldn’t care if I died at 50. Now I think there aren’t enough years to spend with the people I love, to do all the things that bring me joy.
I live in optimism and hope, even on bad days.
That first day of sobriety was the beginning of everything wonderful. It was the catalyst to so many other decisions that led to the life I have before me. And I will never forget that. Every day, I make the choice to not drink, and to not forget that.