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Savoring Sobriety

18 May


What does May 18th mark for some one who is addicted to alcohol and substances? For my bf, it marks his ten year anniversary of being sober. We call it his birthday because prior this date ten years ago, during his battles with alcohol and substance abuse, he believed he was not really living at all. Some people may not understand what it’s like to be, be with, or even know, an alcoholic or addict, while other may know what’s it’s like all too well.

Alcohol and substances effect all walks of life, and while every one’s story is different, there can be certain aspects of these stories that sound eerily similar to one another. My bf’s story started out with drinking and abusing drugs at a very early age, getting three DUI’s before age 21 (the legal drinking age) and several visits to the Emergency Room, one of which left him in a coma for a week. One would think any one of those instances would be a wake up call, but for an alcoholic or addict, it’s not as easy as it seems to stop drinking or using as it may be for some one who isn’t afflicted with this disease or predisposition. Thank goodness for his family members (and especially his sister Evy), who made a final intervention and ultimatum to either get clean or get out of their lives as the life he was leading was headed in one of two directions, jail or an early grave. His mother could never get a good night’s sleep, as she thought she would one day get that call that her son was either dead or had killed some one. As the family and/or loved ones of some one is going down a path of destruction, we too have to make hard decisions of being an enabler or not. That ultimatum is what lead him to Las Encinas Rehab, which taught him the tools he needed to get and also remain clean and sober, which ultimately saved his life. While he considers himself one of the lucky ones, he also knows it doesn’t just take luck. He takes his sobriety one day at a time, waking up, thanking God for another day or being alive, and not taking anything for granted.

My bf describes himself during those “dark years” as a “shell of himself,” with no morals, no values, or without ambition to live. While I didn’t know him during the the time before his sobriety, I know that time is a big part of what makes him who he is today, one of the best persons I know, the man I love and who I can’t imagine my life without. Although every day can be considered a day to savor and celebrate his sobriety, I am so proud him and happy that we can celebrate this special milestone of his tenth birthday together.

(Amazing Banana Creme Cake Courtesy of my bf’s sister Evy, so gooooood!)