May is the busiest month of the year in my house.
I think this is true for many families, especially those with kids.
There are all the end of the year extras that completely fill our calendar.
We have award ceremonies for academics, sports tournaments, and more.
It's the final push for everything, when we’ve been running at high speed, since returning from Spring Break. Everything is due and all the deadlines are rapidly approaching.
One more field trip to squeeze in. One more banquet. One more project. One more celebration. Not to mention the emotions of a season full of endings.
In Chicagoland, it snows in April and the next day it’s 80 degrees. Summer seems to just appear when it wants and we are anything but prepared.
We’ve still got our winter coats hanging on hooks in our laundry room and our patio furniture stored in the garage, when the weather turns to the heat of the dog days of summer somewhere in mid May.
When I first quit drinking I wanted everything in my life to stay exactly the same. The only difference would be that I was no longer drinking. I didn’t want anyone to know if I was drinking or not drinking, and I definitely didn’t want it to be the topic of conversation. I feared my relationships would change, or that others would feel uncomfortable around me. I wanted to go on living my life, only somehow secretly not drinking alcohol.
Now, at 3-years sober, I realize how that was both unrealistic, and not in my best interest.
Looking back it doesn’t surprise me that I had all of these expectations. I had set myself up to live an unliveable life in many ways. I wanted to go unnoticed and keep everyone around me happy at all times. I also never wanted to feel anything. If I started having an intense feeling, I would get disappointed in myself. It was easier to pretend it didn’t exist. Whatever the feeling was, it had to be wrong, and it was my...
When you first get getting sober, you are in the fight of your life everyday to remain alcohol free.
You make a thousand decisions a day, just to stay on this side of sober.
You fight your own mind.
You are forced to learn new coping skills.
You move way out of your comfort zone.
It’s excruciating work.
For people that have been able to come out on the other side of addiction, it is what they are, and will always be, The. Most. Proud. Of.
Anyone who has been through it knows the amount of courage it takes to fight your own demons.
Your sobriety is top of mind for you at all times.
It is not however, something others will praise you for.
It has been disappointing for me to see my hard work go mostly unacknowledged.
Unless you go to AA for your chips, there are no gold stars given for sobriety.
Your drinking may have been the center of conversation, but your sobriety is not.