Last night, I got a notification on my phone that notified me of a “milestone” I had reached…being 6 months sober.
I immediately brushed it off and swiped away the notification, as I have done with others like it in the past, and moved on.
But something about it bothered me. Normally, 6 months would be a huge deal. Something definitely worth celebrating and noting. But I just…I don’t feel like I’m there. Not really.
See…6 months ago, I began my fabulous journey of peeing on sticks (pregnancy tests) knowing that likely one day very soon, I’d have to have had my last drink. When I found out I was pregnant at just over 3 weeks, that was it. I had gotten myself mostly out of the withdrawal phase by then…and I was as ready as I was going to get.
6 months ago today, I made the decision to act upon the choice I said I would make. And for the most part, I have stuck to my word.
But I don’t feel like this is a real date, or a day worth celebrating. Not yet.
First of all, while, yes, I have been “sober” for 6 months…I’ve still failed. On more than one occasion.
More than once, I’ve had a few sips of hard seltzers. More than once, I’ve wanted to turn to alcohol in times of emotional distress and anxiety. More than once, I’ve failed.
No, I haven’t been drunk in 6 months. I haven’t had anywhere CLOSE to my regularly consumed amounts of alcohol, I haven’t gone to the store to buy any alcohol, and I haven’t poured myself a cocktail. And I haven’t passed out from drinking too much, or woken up the next morning from a night that I can’t remember. Those things are true. And I’m grateful that I can say that.
But even that, even those things…they don’t feel like that’s something worth celebrating or acknowledging.
I didn’t do this for me. I didn’t do this because I had hit my bottom and I’d had enough. Admittedly…that has happened a number of times…but that isn’t why I’m “sober” right now.
I’m sober right now because I have to be.
And frankly? That feels like cheating. It doesn’t feel worth noting, and certainly not celebrating. I’m sober because I made the choice to get pregnant, a choice I’ve made just like this in the past, knowing that I was saying goodbye to alcohol for the duration of my pregnancy. A choice I’ve made now 3 other times.
I didn’t sign up for this with the black and white intention of never having a drink again for the rest of my life. That was waaaaayyyy too scary of a thought.
I signed up for an extended vacation from it…a “see ya in 9 months, and maybe hopefully longer”.
So, these “6 months”…they don’t feel real. They don’t feel valid. It feels like cheating, it feels like not a real decision, and it just feels….it feels like a lie. Especially since I have had sips of stuff here and there.
I’ve been as many as…9 months plus a little more, sober 3 times now. With this stretch being my 4th. And I’ve relapsed harder and faster each time. With the most recent time being….absolutely horrendous. It didn’t take me long at all to go from 9ish months sober to…drinking all day every day.
Which then led to an absolute shit show of a few years.
So…do I need to be sober? Like…for real sober? Yeah. I really fucking do. Alcohol has a hold over me that’s so alluring and consuming…and I’ll never be free from it unless I’m free from it.
So, no. I don’t count this as “6 months”. Because it really hasn’t been. It’s a little forced, and a little fake. I am proud of myself for being sober for this whole time, but like I said…it wasn’t really a choice. It was the decision that I knew I would make when I decided to have another baby. And it’s a decision I’m glad I made.
I don’t think this “6 months” counts for shit.
But I do hope that one day…it will. One day, I hope I will have a real 6 months. A 6 months I can actually be proud of.