Honestly, I never thought I would see the age of 28, which is why reaching 29, and sober nonetheless is that much more of a milestone. Even at an early stage in my alcoholism, I anticipated my drinking would be my demise -and it very well almost was. As I get older this year, I’d like to take some time to reflect. A chance at growing some gratitude for the last trip around the sun.
The end of drinking
For so long, I ignored so many warning signs. To the point that it’s hard to even remember every single one that I experienced. I shrugged off the pleas of the people who loved me most. Long ignored their urging to get help, and I took every hint with a grain of salt. Soon, I began to justify my drinking in the guise that it’s socially accepted, i.e. the ‘wine culture’.
In the days and weeks leading up to my birthday this year, I vacillated between dread and gratitude.
Dread for the fact that, at almost 30 I’m still in the infancy of restarting my life. You can’t imagine the shame that accompanies that shame. As many of my friends and peers go on to have families and careers and I am still here barely managing to pick up all the pieces worth saving.
The dread, luckily, was quickly replaced with gratitude, and for almost the exact same reasons really. The restart.
growing some Gratitude
My journey could have ended in April 2017, and my friends and peers would still have gone on to live their lives. I feel an enormous sense of gratitude that I get to be here to witness these monumental life moments for my closest friends and family.
This time that I’ve been given fills me with immense gratitude because it was almost ripped from me. Albeit, through my own fault, but ripped nonetheless. I like the idea of growing gratitude in times of hardship.
While it feels bittersweet in the form of a 29th birthday, another year is very much the best gift I could have ever received.