Today I woke up 5 years sober.
It is a glorious achievement.
It means I have reached “stable remission” from alcohol use disorder.
Milestones are a tricky thing.
Just as a huge achievement was rounding the corner for me, a crippling wave of shame crept in even faster.
I spent most of the weekend in tears.
My loud inner critic was shouting at me. Screaming that I could not celebrate, because my drinking hurt people. I could never take back my alcohol problem. It will never be over. I need to live in my darkest shadow forever. I should feel no sunshine. The only appropriate way to be is on my hands and knees in repentance. Forever. Joyless.
That voice said, I am not allowed to be happy and free.
How dare I celebrate?
My drinking hurt the people I love most. I should nail myself to the cross and live under my dark cloak of shame forever. The dark forever sorry-ness closing in on me. Suffocating me. The only response is to...