November is my Sobriety Anniversary celebration month. Rather than mess with just one day, the 18th, I celebrate the whole month.
21 years, not a drop or a drug.
There are reasons for the month-long celebration that go well beyond a simple desire to grasp at something to be happy about though. The weeks leading up to an anniversary are notoriously difficult and this one is proving to be pretty trying. Celebrating daily helps me to remember a few very important things: That these minor difficulties are normal, that they are to be expected and most importantly, that I’ve been winning the battle for more than twenty years now.
These problems range from the mundane, something as simple as being a little moody, to the serious – what we come to know as “drinking dreams”… In other words, we dream about getting drunk. This may not seem like a big deal to the uninitiated but to a recovering drunk, they’re a nightmare. They often even come with the unmistakable feeling of an intense hangover. On waking from one of these dreams I’ve checked, on more than one occasion, just to make sure the car is in the driveway and is not crashed – they’re that intense. If that wasn’t bad enough, they often come with feelings of guilt and remorse for even having the dream in the first place.
The proper perspective for these dreams, of course, is that they’re the brain’s way of taking out the trash though that way of thinking is often of little comfort.
Far better, as I see it, to celebrate the entire month so that when these little issues rear their head, I’ve been concentrating on being grateful for having been spared from an ugly, lonely, dreadful existence because it is when I’m grateful that I’m best equipped to handle life’s minor pitfalls.