Five years…and counting

15 Jun

3:37 pm

Five years ago yesterday, I got sober.  And, I started this blog.  And, my, I’ve come damn far from this first post (this is how I started the post):

I woke up today hung over.  And it’s going on oh, about 48 hours or so since I had my “last” drink and I still feel like ass.  My belly is swollen and my liver hurts, which, this morning makes it hard to fit into my interview clothes.  My pants are too tight and my underwire bra is pressed so tightly against my aching liver that it makes me cry.  So now I am crying and I’ve got less than 10 minutes to pull it together and all I can think is, Fuck, I wish to Jesus on the Cross that I hadn’t poured out the last third of that “last” bottle of red that I had stored in the fridge two nights ago when I binge drank.

And, five years later, my life has changed drastically.  I can’t even begin to write about how different my life is–how different *I* am–it’s that different.  And, I’ve written five years of blog posts covering all that awesome progress!  Suffice it to say, I am never hungover, I have paid off my student loan debt, I have gotten engaged, I have become a “successful” freelance journalist; I have gone on trips, volunteered abroad, become a barista.  All that, however, is the cosmetic byproduct of a deep, unwavering peace.

Yes, I feel negative emotions, and get confused about what direction to go in; but beyond and untouched by all that surface stuff is this, well, peace.  The big stuff stays in place.  I can think and plan and act coherently; I continue to work steadfastly toward my goals, even if I can only intuit what they might be in the long-term.  I sometimes focus on the negative (especially lately), but beneath that external chatter is a universe-sized body of water called *possibility*–into which I can deep dive because I am sober.  Only because and precisely because I am sober.  I can even see a life–a world, actually–beyond me, and my past, and my sobriety; and boy, is it endless with possibility.

Exhale, is my mantra these days.

All that being said, I haven’t been blogging much, and I haven’t been feeling that excited by my sobriety these days.  I’ve been re-reading my posts from years ago, and I’m left wondering, where have I gone?  Where has that girl gone?  That getting sober girl who was on freaking FIRE to be getting sober?  I guess it’s simply that we all grow, change, evolve, move on.  And, I can accept that, and I do.  It’s just…  I want some of that fire, and I want to know why it’s no longer infusing me!

Not to say that life isn’t full, and complicated, and grand–because and only because I  got sober, and wrote this blog, and made a new way of living for myself.  Life has become full, almost always a race to the finish.  My partner and I are in a transitional phase, meaning, we want to move but we’re just not sure where–where to go, what will it lead to, how we’ll fare in a new place and a different life.  We’ve been talking about it for years; I think we’re at the point that if we don’t make a change soon, we’re going to implode.  Pull the trigger, I say!

I’m tired of waiting, of wanting another life!  Yet, I also want to know what, exactly, I’m looking for, and why, exactly, this amazing life I’ve created here seems no longer enough.  Maybe I’ve just outgrown it?  Been there, done that.  I mean, it’s possible!  I’ve been living here for five years now.  While I want to continue to write about sobriety–there’s so much to mine–most of the time I just want to forge ahead on my work, and keep getting shit done.  And I do.  I just wonder where all the excitement has gone.

Frankly, I think it might be related to taking the pill.  I have never taken meds, and since I’ve been on these, I just feel…flat.  I feel nothing.  To the point where, I feel no “looking forward to” feeling, no “I can’t wait to do this” feeling.  I don’t dream–like, literally, I have no dreams.  It’s like, I can’t “see” my emotions, I can’t “see” my desire; it’s like, that part of my brain is off.  I can’t see it; it’s dark in there.  It makes it easy, I guess, to live on a day-to-day basis, because I have ZERO emotional ups and downs.  Except, the only feeling I seem to have, that I can touch, taste, smell; is anger.  And, that sucks.

Exhale.  Maybe all this angst is circumstantial:  maybe my corporate job has driven me insane because it feels SO irrelevant to me now, having been a journalist, having done freelance writing.  I wouldn’t mind leaving the corporate work for good, and becoming a barista full-time again, you know?  I can’t, though; after all this time, at 43 years old, I’m finally gaining some ground, financially.  I can’t let this go.

I don’t know what the next step is, which is a good thing, in a way.  Why?  Because ANY next step is the right next step!  So, I have decided to take a few weeks off and travel to a country I’ve never been, on a volunteer project I’ve never been a part of, alone.  I am hoping it’ll jump-start me–take me out of myself, and my situation; help me to figure out what’s going on.  Or, what the next steps might be.  I leave next week and come back after the holiday in July.

My life is awesome, I have to say; which is why all this internal angst is confusing.  How can I intellectually see how good I have it while also feel so…frustrated?  In any case, I am sober, and that is 99% of my life, and that 99% is simply awesome.  I would not trade the past five years of learning, and even this period of struggle, for anything.  I wouldn’t trade it for the brother who has written me off, the friends I no longer feel connected to, the big city career that I probably won’t (and don’t want to) regain.  I feel so blessed to have made it out alive!  I feel so blessed to have been given the gift of having to work on  myself, of being forced to change and grow and evolve.

Five years…and counting.  I can’t wait to see what the next five will bring.

36 Responses to “Five years…and counting”

  1. mishedup June 15, 2017 at 4:29 pm #


    the questions never stop, the only thing that is guaranteed is constant change…you’re doing great. we all are because we’re sober.
    i love that your going on a volunteer trip…being of service to others as wells yourself .

    happy 5 years. that is truly wonderful

    • Drunky Drunk Girl June 15, 2017 at 4:31 pm #

      Thank you!!! Thank you for being part of my journey–so grateful!

  2. Lisa Neumann June 15, 2017 at 5:46 pm #

    BIG congratulations on your anniversary. “The next step,” this was part of my meditation today from “A Course In Miracles” today. I am reminded, again (after forgetting—again) that the Universe knows my next step, my job is to pay attention to the voice of Love within. Very happy to see you flourish. xo♥

    • Drunky Drunk Girl June 15, 2017 at 6:45 pm #

      Thank you so much, Lisa–great to hear from you, too! So grateful you are part of my journey…! xx

  3. findingasobermiracle June 15, 2017 at 6:13 pm #

    I can relate to your malaise. I have it as well, and I’m only beginning on year two. I will tell you that the pill made me angry and flat-feeling, just like you described. I came alive again after giving them up decades ago.

    Five years is amazing. Congratulations! Have you written a book, by the way? ❤️

    • Drunky Drunk Girl June 15, 2017 at 6:46 pm #

      Thank you for this–I am going to think about stopping them and seeing how I feel. Haha–I have been thinking about a book lately, yes! Funny that you mention it!

      • findingasobermiracle June 16, 2017 at 6:18 am #

        I knew your were thinking about it! I was looking all over the blog, thinking “Great writer. Five years sober. What’s missing here? A book!”

        I just rented an office space to TAKE MYSELF SERIOUSLY. I am also planning on writing something. I’m not sure what yet. I am hoping that sitting in an office will give me some ideas. ; )

  4. AuntieLex June 15, 2017 at 8:34 pm #

    Goodness Gracious DDGirl.. Look at you go all sober and sexy and doin your thing..
    I’ve been a reader since the beginning and somehow I got my grave on and started a sober cyber bloggy thing with you as my muse…
    love this whole thing..
    Carry on Warrior.
    Love and Light to you..

    • Drunky Drunk Girl June 15, 2017 at 11:02 pm #

      Oh, Lex, thank you! I have been so happy to read your posts lately–you’ve become my inspiration! xxx

  5. nkdwhtguy June 15, 2017 at 10:16 pm #

    Congratulations. This is a significant milestone!

  6. Anchorleg June 15, 2017 at 11:31 pm #

    Congratulations on an amazing feat! It could have all ended up so differently. I really hope in your next five years you are able to find the excitement you’re seeking, maybe it will relieve some of the angst you’re experiencing. I believe you will!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl June 16, 2017 at 12:33 am #

      Thank you, thank you! I really appreciate the positive thought… And, yeah, at this rate, who knows what it’ll bring???

  7. Robert Crisp June 16, 2017 at 8:38 am #

    Well done on five years! I’m working by way toward three, and I understand what you’re feeling. I’m 43, also, and am going through yet another transition period. I wonder if it’s just part of being in our forties. I focus on getting shit done, too, and I don’t blog a fraction as much as I used to.

    I have to remind myself of a Pema Chodron quote often: “Pain is not a punishment, and pleasure is not a reward.” Emotions come and go–even periods when you don’t experience many. Sobriety lasts and keeps giving back.

  8. Mark David Goodson June 16, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

    Happy anniversary! 5 years + 1 day. And you’ve blogged your way trough it al? I was about to write slogged. It’s the same thing I think. What progress. Sensational post!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl June 16, 2017 at 1:41 pm #

      Thanks so much, Mark! Slogged is not far from blogged, that’s for sure–haha.

  9. ainsobriety June 16, 2017 at 9:54 pm #

    I’m 45 and I took the pill from the time I was 14 until about a year ago, except when pregnant.
    Stopping it made me feel better. I can’t say exactly why…and I take an antidepressant as well since 2013, but it wasn’t helping me.
    Of course, pregnancy has its own issues! So the pros and cons need to be weighed.

    There are different versions of the pill too. I have a few friends who switched around and resolved the side effects.

    Hug. 5 years of living. Beautiful.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl July 23, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

      Sorry this is so late, but thank you! I couldn’t have done this without your support–all my fellow bloggers’ support! xx

  10. carrieonsober June 17, 2017 at 9:06 am #

    Happy 5th Birthday DDG! I have loved reading your story and being along for the rocky ups and downs as we’ve navigated this difficult unknown path together in the online world. I’ve loved hearing your stories, thoughts, struggles and victories
    It’s been truly inspiring and your honesty and vulnerability is always appreciated
    Here’s to the future who knows what’s going to happen but I know that we are all stronger sober!
    Lots of love Carrie x

    • Drunky Drunk Girl July 23, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

      Carrie, thank you! You have been a huge part of the past 5 years, and I am grateful!

  11. dealingwithalcoholdependency June 18, 2017 at 8:46 am #

    Happy anniversary and well done. I’m not at the stage where I can contemplate giving up completely but your blog certainly gets me thinking.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl July 23, 2017 at 3:19 pm #

      That’s awesome, Jim! Go for it–see how it feels. You can always go back to drinking…that’s how most, if not all, of us got to be sober (“trying” out the bizarre world of not drinking–haha)…

  12. M and K June 18, 2017 at 8:18 pm #

  13. CH June 25, 2017 at 7:30 pm #

    Awesome DDG!

  14. lifeofadrunkgirlblog June 30, 2017 at 6:00 pm #

    Thank you for sharing. I once had 5 years… today, I have 7 days. I’ve been struggling for the past 3 years. My life was beautiful is sobriety, I took my life back… slowly. It’s been a tough road getting back but I hope I can get to where I once was.

    • Michelle July 19, 2017 at 1:24 pm #

      I know exactually what you mean! But you can get there again 😊

    • Drunky Drunk Girl July 23, 2017 at 3:20 pm #

      I know you can. It is tough coming back, but remember that beauty (and actual peace, freedom, calm…). Big hugs…

  15. losedabooze July 12, 2017 at 9:02 am #

    What a great blog! I have been following you since I joined the sober blogging world and started my own in 2013. I am now leading a few groups/challenges on Facebook as I am not 100% sober but definitely in a better place/space. I finally achieved the goal of doing 100 consecutive days (2 times) and working on 300 days in a year sober. I’ve shared your blog with my 100 Day Challenge group! My blog is now up at my website … a great part of my success is because of great blogs like yours! Thanks for sharing!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl July 23, 2017 at 3:22 pm #

      Thank you! I follow your blog, too, and have truly been inspired by not only your progress over the past few years, but also how frank you are about not being totally “sober” and that being totally OK (I believe everyone has to find what works for them)! Thanks for sharing your story…!

  16. Eric July 15, 2017 at 3:53 am #

    Nice job staying sober for 5 years. You are a inspiration to us that want to stop drinking and be a better person.

  17. furtheron July 17, 2017 at 8:12 am #

    belated congrats on the 5 years… and here’s wishing you well as you continue to “trudge the path of happy destiny”.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl July 23, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

      Haha… True dat! Thanks for being a constant part of my journey over these past 5 years. It’s this blogging community that really was the foundation of my being able to keep being sober, day in and day out. Big hugs from my corner of the world to yours!

  18. V R S February 4, 2019 at 7:52 am #

    I read your entry titled “I don’t think I’ll ever drink again but…” where you detail a few relapses and commit to not drinking anymore in January 2016 yet this entry says you’re five years sober. I’m not great at math but if you finally stopped drinking in 2016 how does that equal five years? Other than my confusion with this timeline I really enjoy your blog.

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