I’ve been struggling lately.

I’ve struggled to even say that – not because I don’t want to admit it, but because I’ve been happy lately, and for most of my life, I’ve defined happiness as my life’s goal.

But in terms of sobriety, I’ve been struggling. I fell off the wagon with my first sober vacation back in September of last year and there was a long, slow, downward slide after that. The holidays were a mess – but a beautiful mess! I was drinking, and drinking a lot, but things were more under control than ever before [while drinking], and I just kept flirting with the idea of moderation.

And yet, lately I came to understand that I don’t want moderation anymore, even though for so long I thought I did. I really want sobriety, complete abstinence – and my actions have not been in alignment with that desire. I kept giving in to the desire to drink, that desire for oblivion, that desire that I was occasionally able to recognize as self-sabotage. And the more I gave in to that momentary urge the more often the urge came back.

For the first few months of this year, the thought kept popping up: I’ve been struggling lately. Then I would think, but hey, think of yourself 10 years ago (hot mess), 5 years ago (same), a year ago (could not get a single finger-hold on sobriety) – you’re doing great!

You’re not perfect, but the journey is long.

I have the tendency to celebrate every little victory and maybe even think I’ve won the war when it was just a minor battle. I also have the tendency to want to share what I know with others even when I’m still only learning myself. Thus, this blog, which I created with the vague idea to help others and provide a place of light and positivity in seeking recovery. I didn’t have some big plan but I wanted to put out there what had worked for me. It felt good. Many times I thought no, it’s too soon, who am I to give advice in this area, but the idea kept coming back.

I knew I was still in the early days. I never meant to declare my absolute victory, but things were working for me in a way they never had before and I felt inspired to put it out there.

But here I am, letting you know that I’ve been struggling lately. Some of the same things have still been working for me, and I’m still celebrating some small victories. The other day I was craving beer. In the past once I’ve allowed the possibility into my mind it’s nearly impossible to stop myself from making it reality. But this day, in the process of making it reality – I had grabbed my purse, walked outside, and locked the door. But. Then I stopped. Stood there. This is a bad idea in every way, I thought. And I opened the door again and went back inside. I made dinner. I cuddled the dogs. I didn’t drink.

And THAT, my friends, was a huge victory for me.

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