As I tried to fall asleep last night I started thinking about what a damn miracle sobriety is. Maybe it was triggered by re-reading some old my old blog posts earlier, which took me back to those difficult first days where I really didn’t know how I was going to make it. I still don’t know how I have made it this far, sometimes, aside from making a serious commitment and then putting one foot in front of the other every single day. It really does get a lot easier as you keep going, even though a relapse is always only one bad decision away. I don’t want to be negative by saying that, but reminding myself of that fact helps to keep me on my toes.
I quit smoking for 5 years when I was 25, and thought it was the bees knees. I was so happy to be free from that stinky and expensive addiction. I felt so capable and good and smart…I had beat smoking! Yeah! Stuff happened, though. I broke up with my long-term boyfriend, moved out on my own in a new city, and started meeting and going out with friends a lot more. Eventually, within a few months, I was back to smoking cigarettes every once in awhile. I don’t remember how it happened exactly, except that it seemed like no big deal to have one or two. I mean, I had quit for 5 years! Ha. It didn’t take long before I was completely, 100% hooked again, miserable this time, because I knew how wonderful it was to be free from that addiction.
It took me over 2 years…years where I tried to quit about a bazillion times, before I was able to kick the addiction again. I finally quit a week before I found out I was pregnant with my son. And then…I started again after my baby was born and I was feeling overwhelmed, blue, elated, but also completely stressed by my new life responsibilities. My addiction to cigarettes was back with a freakin’ vengeance. So was my alcoholism, but let’s stick to smoking for now. I finally quit last summer about a month before I quit drinking, and I no longer crave them. Once again I am really happy to be done with that addiction.
Sorry for the long ramblings that have nothing to do with drinking, but I am scared to have that same type of experience happen again, this time with drinking. At the time that life lesson, my inability to quit smoking again, felt really harsh, but now I am grateful for it. I think I understand better just how hard relapse can be. Every quit is different. Sometimes it is easy, but sometimes your addiction has teeth. Whenever ‘just one drink’ sounds good, or a sneaky thought about how ‘I can drink again for a few days…it was easy to quit…I’ll just do it again!’, I remind myself of that struggle of epic proportions and tell myself ‘no way, ma’am.’
My heart is with those of you struggling now.