IMG_8445Sober fós: still sober. Today, Saint Patrick’s Day, marks 17 years since I last drank.

I quit on or about the 13th of March, 2007. I wasn’t sure it’d take and didn’t want to crow about it, so didn’t mark the exact date. I assumed, based on decades of daily drinking, I’d become such a stone alky I’d have relapses or even fail outright. I thought I’d have to go the AA route to get support.

But it did take. I didn’t fall off the wagon. I didn’t have to seek help. Over time, Saint Patrick’s Day has become my self-chosen anniversary … sometimes I even feel it’s Saint Pat himself who stands by me.

What prompted me to quit, honestly, was fear of getting a DUI and growing feelings of disgust with myself. Absolutely, yes, I’m an alcoholic. But a lucky one. Lucky because I was able to quit.

Getting sober, at least in my case, turned out to be less of a struggle than anticipated. I expected a hellish ordeal, like the one I put myself through in 1978 when I quit smoking, the hardest thing I’d ever done. Turned out my alcohol addiction was more psychological than physical, and once I began to appreciate waking up rested and clear-headed, I was able to lock those just-one-little-drink urges in an airtight box, and over the course of time have almost forgotten where that box is. Like I said, lucky. I know it’s a monumental struggle for most alcoholics to quit drinking. But I also know it can be done.

For the first few years after quitting I’d promise myself a Famous Grouse (my old favorite — you can have your single malts) when I made it to 75. But 75 came and went with no drink: I just had no desire for one. I used to tell myself that once recreational marijuana became legal in Arizona I’d try it again, not having smoked pot since college. But that day too came and went.

I like the way I feel straight, without alcohol or drugs. I don’t want to feel different. I don’t want to alter myself. I’m happy the way I am. So Saint Patrick’s Day is a big deal for me. If you’ve been building up to quitting, today’s a great day to start. If you’re a sober alcoholic, I wish you continued success. Saint Patrick has been good to me; may he be good to you as well.

Éirinn go Brách, y’all!

One thought on “Sober Fós

  • Same here, daily drinker for many decades but high blood pressure was the proximate cause that made me give up the booze. Even on good BP meds the sauce spiked my readings so I quit drinking about three years ago. I loved booze but not enough to die for it. No exact date because I quit several times over some years before it took, like most, including a few AA meetings- which really ain’t for me with my probable atheism.
    I never hit ‘rock bottom’ but I for sure needed hooch every day. The good health feeling is very nice since quitting. I don’t miss hangovers or alcohol gut issues, though I am pretty far from sober, continuing to smoke cannabis daily. Another health issue I’ve dodged for many years.
    I managed to tear myself away from elder care for my 90-something ailing father (sadly, Trump favoring) in 2020 and I spent a month in Baja quitting booze, reefer and my marital home all at once. Sounds like coals to Newcastle but I proved I could exist without it all, at least for a month. I came home and fell off the wagon with my marital separation and the hard cancer death of my dad, after keeping him alive through covid. The stress of the trump treason era (still continuing for that vile motherfucking [and daughter fucking] turncoat) also kept me drinking.
    But after JRB’s electoral stomping of the draft dodging criminal coward I realized that celebratory drinking is still drinking and that I’d better take action if I didn’t want to end up under Forest Lawn’s turf joining mother and daddy.
    Good timing because giving hospice care for my dad was a horror and drinking would have made it worse, or impossible.
    The (non-cannabis) sober life is good and I seldom crave boozing any longer, except on hot Great Valley summer days when an IPA would quench my thrist better than water.
    The cannabis is another health issue I need to face. But not today. Happy St Patrick’s day and congrats on the successful longterm booze fighting.
    Tod recently posted…Headless CB Guitar Build: Day II, Attaching ‘Tailpiece’My Profile

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