Well, #soberoctober has come to a close, and hopefully, you all made it through relatively unscathed. For me, it was a month of both struggles and rewards; both in dramatic extremes.
When I was diagnosed with cirrhosis, it was at such a stage that doctors were not even considering that I might live past 90 days. I had a 50-50 shot, they said.
50% chance that I would live past 90 days.
50% chance that I would die before the full 90.
If, and only if, I stopped drinking.
My parents and I left the hospital with palliative care pamphlets in hand, and a million more questions than anyone seemed to have answers to.
Working for it
The next few months were rocky at best, learning to relive life, without this thing that had become a very integral part of my life. After all, I didn't go anywhere without being somewhat buzzed, and without the promise of being able to get more drunk when I arrived. Life had completely changed for me and so many emotions came with that.
So many emotions came with;
- healing physically
- growing mentally
- letting go of the old
- embracing the new
- resenting the unchanged
- admitting change is inevitable when old ways haven't been working
the usual emotions that go along with a relationship change
-though this relationship was with a substance.
Last week, before October fully wrapped up, I saw my liver specialist yet again for my biannual checkup. As we sat in the exam room together and cried in joy at the accomplishments that came hand in hand with being sober.
I couldn't help but think of that terrified girl in the hospital in April 2017, unsure of so many things but certain about one thing - her will to live.
Sober gifts to me
For the first time since my hospitalization, my levels are that of a healthy person; albeit a healthy person with a liver disease. In her words it is similar to diabetes, 'cirrhosis (and ultimately addiction as well) are manageable diseases.'
I know that by staying vigilant, remaining honest, and remembering where I started, I can keep both my addiction and liver disease in a manageable state and go on to live a full and hopefully long life.
I know this because I'm proof. The last year and a half have been proof.
I have no doubt that if you want to, you can do it too.