Today makes nine years that I've been sober.
Whenever the anniversary comes around I feel like I should write something profound and inspiring, but the fact of the matter is that the story of my sobriety isn't especially profound or inspiring.
Or rather, it isn't any more profound or inspiring than the millions of other stories just like mine.
That's the thing; I don't mean to downplay my achievement, but I don't want to build it up either, and really, apart from merely acknowledging what the day is, and what it means, I don't have that much to say about it.
I don't even feel like making my standard joke about how I'm going to celebrate the anniversary by going out and getting drunk, though I suppose that I just did.
If you really want to read about someone's achievement, I'd recommend this posting by Roger Ebert, who this year is celebrating 30 years of sobriety.
Yeah. That Roger Ebert.
I'm not in AA anymore, and haven't been for years, but while I've made that choice, I do acknowledge how much my time in AA did to get me to this point. The one lesson I learned in AA that's stuck with me throughout the past nine years has been about Acceptance and how vital it is to success in, well, everything.
It's not about being a doormat or just passively giving up and let life happen. Hell, as is clear in my case, it's not even about achieving some Zen-like state of contentment. And, if you know me at all, it's certainly not about quietly submitting to everything without complaint.
But, as much as it irritates me sometimes and makes me wish that I could be "normal," and as much as I do complain - hey, I like complaining; it makes me feel better, I'm good at it, and while there's always some serious component at its core, I like to think that my complaining is always good for a laugh, if only for myself - I accept the fact that drinking just isn't part of my life anymore. Accepting that as a simple fact makes it a lot easier to stay sober than making maintaining my sobriety into a struggle that is dependent upon keeping my resolve and exercising my will. If I went that route, I would have been back in a bottle - okay, probably a pint glass - long ago.
And here's the other reason I can't write anything profound or inspiring; sometimes I don't even know what the hell I'm talking about.
But that's okay. I accept that.
Okay, that's my story. I used to drink. A lot. It was the central fact of my life, and nearly was my life. Now it's not. It's that simple. And that hard.