6th Good Reason to be Sober
There's something that happened for me over the course of me getting and staying sober- I discovered my sense of self.
Sense of Self
Pretend like you live with a stranger. And every day you come home, and every day there is this stranger, here, in your house. They are unpredictable. Dishonest. Full of shit. You wake up and here, in your bed, is this stranger. A liar.
And then realize that stranger is actually you. Oh, no. Me? Who the hell am I?
Being sober gives me a sense of self I haven't had since I was about eight years old. I know what I like. I know what I can deal with and what I can't. I make decisions. I take care of myself. I have an identity and that identity is not just being me wishing I wasn't me.
I can remember when a new girl moved in next to my best friend when I was in third grade. Her mom was divorced, she had two sisters. She had dark beautiful hair, and was new and different. I could tell that she was confident and sure of herself and I was already getting teased for who I was. She lived right next door to my best friend and I was up the street around the corner. My best friend became her best friend, then we moved in the middle of fourth grade which pretty much solidified the fact that I was awkward and not cool. Which lasted until I started drinking around fourteen, and then I wasn't any cooler, but at least I didn't know it for a while. I wasn't any less myself, but when I drank at least I felt like what I thought everyone else must feel. And I was included. Part of something.
I ache when I think about the what if of if I'd had the courage and purpose to actually be me all those years ago. And then I rejoice when I know that I finally get to be me. Me. Not someone else's version of what me should be, not the version of me that hides behind bottles of wine, but actual real me. Who knows what she needs. Who has boundaries, and hope. Standards! Who knew I even had those!
I am liking me more and more these days. It's nice to look around and see a familiar face and not that drunk stranger who kept hurting me and I kept letting her. One of the best parts of sobriety has been getting to know myself, and then liking myself so much that I actually love myself. That when I look in the mirror and my blue eyes look back I feel like I'm seeing a friend. My best friend- myself.