The difference a year makes

As the new year is upon us and New Years parties are going on I recognize there will be a good amount of temptation with alcohol going on around here. New Years is all about partying and drinking. People go absolutely all out and everyone wants to join the party. But as a newly sober person this can be very troubling and even more tempting.  For people in recovery this night can be a very tempting one. Many people, unfortunately, give up their sobriety and hard work for one night of partying.

Composite image of 2014 and 2015

Recently I had an encounter which put the perspective the difference of what one year can make. Almost every Christmas my best friend and I go to our hometown and while there we go ice skating together. One year ago my girlfriend and I were driving to the rink and having a fight about my drinking or one of the problems that arose from it. In fact, she was driving because I was too busy sitting in the passenger seat getting drunk. Yeah, I was a piece of work.

So we get to the rink and I am in a horrible mood- despite this being the first time I had seen my best friend in nearly a year. I should have been happy but my girlfriend and I couldn’t stop fighting and I couldn’t stop drinking. When we got there I basically unloaded all of my relationship problems onto my best friend, even stating “I hate my relationship”. Mind you, this was the first time my childhood friend had met my girlfriend. Not a great introduction. I then proceeded to fall all over the ice like some drunken bastard. Needless to say- it’s not the memories I was wanting to make with my best friend and girlfriend.

Skip forward one year, this past Christmas (a week ago). As I am driving to meet my best friend I get an overwhelming flood of memories from the year before.I couldn’t help but notice the parallels of the events. Except now my life is much, much different. Almost exactly one year before I was drunk, fighting with my girlfriend, making my best friend uncomfortable and performing a 3 Stooges routine on ice. This year I was nearly 9 months sober, have a wonderful relationship with my girlfriend (same one) and was driving to meet my best friend- who I now had a much better relationship with. Life was much different for me and way better.

People on the ice rink

The point is that in one year your life can change drastically. In one year I went from my lowest point in life to one of my highest. One year gave me the right amount of time to put the work in and make the changes to actually live a fulfilling and happy life. In one year everything can change. So tonight, when it is you staring at that bottle, think to yourself- what could my life be like in one year? If you put the work in- one year from now you could be celebrating a new year and a whole year of sobriety!

 

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2 Responses to The difference a year makes

  1. Ian says:

    Congratulations! Almost 11 months for me, and I can echo the same sentiments. In a year, so much can happen. Keep at it! I did a year off the booze (2011-2012) and then stupidly went back to it. Thankfully, I decided this past Feb that it was time to end the relationship with it for good. So don’t go back, no-matter how tempting it may look. 9 months sober is amazing. Make it 12, 18, 24, etc :-)

  2. Marty says:

    I completely and totally agree. It’s been 4 months for me, but I’ve spent most of the last year sober and things have turned around completely. Last year before Christmas I was in an emergency room because I had cut myself all over after being awake drinking for 3 or 4 days straight. Now I’m back working full time, I’ve got lots of projects I’m working on, my relationship with my family is great, and my friends are breathing sighs of relief. When I call, they don’t have to worry if I’m on the other end out of my mind and incoherent. This New Years Eve I worked late, came home and went to sleep. It was wonderful.

    I actually found your blog because I started one myself recently, and Sober Bastard was the first name I thought of. You beat me to it by a few months! It really is a great name.

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