I’m wishing everyone a Happy New Year. And a sober one should help ensure that. When I look back over my 21 and a half years of sobriety, I can honestly say that the biggest obstacle I faced was fear. Fortunately many of the fears I had turned out to be the boogeyman, and the ones that turned out to be real, helped me to grow and become a stronger person. So while not everyday may bring us happiness, we cannot fail to be happy by facing our fears, knowing that we will find greater strength in doing so.
If someone would have asked me in my drinking days what I would be doing in 2011, I would have made the same joke I always did about not being alive when I was in my fifties. Although my drinking was nowhere near as bad as some of the people I drank with back then, I actually romanticized the idea of being the type of person who partied hard and wasn’t afraid to face the consequences for it. Fortunately, as all the readers of my blog know I eventually did stop drinking and I am obviously still around.
The point I’m trying to make though, is that if my drinking was bringing me the happiness I thought it was at the time, I never would have made a joke like that. Then again nothing could have brought much happiness to someone who didn’t like or love themselves.
A lot has happened in my life since I stopped drinking on April 27th, 1996, and while not everything has been perfect, I believe it was all supposed to happen for a reason. Besides that, I am able to see that many more good things happened in my sobriety than what we call bad things, and I’m at a point in my life now where instead of worrying when the other shoe will drop, I tell myself more good things will happen.
It took me almost all of my fourteen and a half years sober to get to this point, but I can say I have not had an unhappy year since I’ve been sober. I also believe this one will be another happy new year for me. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be some challenges to face or a few obstacles to overcome, but I know now that it can only make me stronger.
I also know that as long as I continue trying to become a better person than I was before, I simply cannot fail to be happy in life, or with who I am. Something I certainly wasn’t when I didn’t love or even like myself not so long ago.