Last week I celebrated my 9e months of sobriety. I didn’t think I was prepared to succeed with the endless drinking opportunities, especially in the summer. It is not something that is often talked about in the media or in private life without understanding people’s reactions. Still, it pushes me to think about what these nine months have given me in my personal development. I do not claim to be a better person than another nor to want to preach morality. I am also not part of anonymous circles. I speak on my behalf.
I have enough distance now to say that I stopped drinking to curb the all-knowing sadness that appeared with the second drink. I never drank on a regular basis, but when I was drinking and going through emotional stress, I had no limits. I even came to have a toxic psychosis which brought me to the psychiatric hospital.
It’s a reality that I have to accept: alcohol fuels a black hole in me that engulfs the galaxy of my joys. Alcohol resuscitates the traumas of past assaults and makes them even more vivid in my wound.
Since being sober, I realize that alcohol is everywhere, from our rites of passage to our favorite shows, in celebrations and in darker times. I have lost count of the number of times I have had to say no to a drink and have been looked at with pity or curiosity. But being sober doesn’t mean to me being boring or unhappy, it’s more about understanding that sometimes certain socially acceptable substances may not be for us.
By being sober, I understand that my encounters are more real and my relationships with people, healthier.
In nine months, the challenge of sobriety fades, becomes a joy of living. Saying no, in this case for me, means yes to a life where my emotions are lived head-on, with grace and humility, even the hardest-to-shed tears come to light. There is a vertigo in the truth that it gives me pleasure to live entirely.
Yes, nine months, like the child arriving in the arms of its parent. And I like to say that finally, I found the mother in me, the one who takes care, the one who arrives, who cajoles, who reassures. My smile took on that of childhood, that smile that celebrates life.
I note that it is not so much sobriety that we congratulate in these moments of anniversary of sobriety, we rather applaud someone who chose himself and who said: this is not for me.
If I drank, it was to calm my emotions which were running in all directions. It was to numb me, if only for a few hours. I was relieved, I just had to tell myself that tomorrow, I won’t have to think about anything other than my nausea or my headache. I want to be sober yes, except for life, love, real encounters, for these paths that we take and around which we find ourselves with a little more self-knowledge and answers to our questions.
How much time did I borrow from my healing. I scratched my wound so much that it never closed. I told myself that if it closed, a part of me would remain behind the scar and it would be too late to learn. But nothing can be born from a wound, whereas from a scar, everything can flower.
I am very happy to be able to say that a wound is closing, that I have finished adding fuel to the fire. To paraphrase dear Gaston Miron: I am getting to what is beginning.
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