25 years ago today….

I woke up sober and have done so every day since…

So yesterday was a mile stone of sorts…yes, it was 12-12-12, better known as sound check day….get it? Check 1-2-1-2-1-2. Yesterday also happened to be the 25th anniversary of my sobriety. Coincidentally it was also the 25th anniversary of the last time I wore handcuffs….well at least wearing handcuffs against my will. And today I celebrate the fact that I have woken up sober every day for the past 25 years.

25 yearsIf you want to do some quick math I am 48 years old which means I gave up drinking when I was 23 years old. When I quit drinking I was really in the prime of my “party” years, and while my drinking career was short, I will say it was pretty illustrious. I joke with people and tell them that from the time I was 20 until I quit drinking that I never fell asleep or woke up, I just passed out and came to.

My time spent in the bottle was an interesting time and has left me with many memories, some very good and some very not so good. There are also quite a few lost memories as well, I know these will be something I will never get back, but they sometimes surface by way of a stories that old friends will recant back to me. This doesn’t happen too much, as I have lost touch with most of that group, and rarely see these people.

Thankfully I never had to hit bottom before I figured out that my addiction to alcohol was going to be a serious health detriment and would take me to an early grave. For the most part when the decision was made it was easy for me to throw the switch and stop drinking. I did work a 12 step program for a year or so and I did do a 30 day stint of out-patient rehab, all of which helped me to understand my addiction in greater detail and give me the understanding that I am not wired to ever be a social drinker and be able to drink in moderation.

Today I am a different person than I was then, and there is no one in my current circle of daily friends, acquaintances and co-workers (wife included in this) that knew me when I did drink. So for many when I posted a status yesterday on Facebook that it was my 25th anniversary I am sure it was a surprise for most to know that I am a recovering alcoholic. This is a badge that I am not ashamed to wear and have worn it with pride most of my adult and sober life. I am, and always will be, an alcoholic, I am a recovering alcoholic, and I continue to beat the addiction a day at a time. Albeit most days I don’t even think about it and the temptation to drink alcohol has long gone away, but I am still ever vigilant that it could only take one drink for me to slip back to a place that I don’t ever want to revisit.

In many ways my alcohol addiction parallels what I face today. Though in this circumstance I feel that I did experience rock bottom with my weight. Just as I knew 25 years ago that if I continued on the path I was on, the alcohol would probably kill me sooner than rather later. Today I find that I am on the same path just in a different vehicle that is speeding me to an early grave appointment, and if I don’t stop my current situation and make some serious lifestyle changes soon, I will surely die sooner than I want. So for me my decision for WLS is a lot like the decision I made 25 years ago to stop drinking. I am making a decision to live a better and healthier life than what I am today. The difference is today I am married and have children and this decision isn’t just for me, but it is for their sake as well.

So here is to another 25 years of sobriety…I hope that with the changes I make I am around to see my 50th anniversary.

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