Today is my birthday. Not my belly-button birthday but my other, more important one. Today marks my 20th month of continuous sobriety. Has it been difficult? Sometimes. Especially the first six months or so when my body and brain were first starting to heal and I had cravings all the time. And using dreams. Those were worse for me than cravings.
My dreams would be filled with drugs: finding them, seeing them, going through the rituals associated with smoking meth and using. I've done a lot of different drugs in my life but the only ones I've ever dreamed about are meth and, very rarely, cocaine. It's the meth dreams that are most disturbing. In them, I always realize, just before I wake up in a panic, that I've just blown everything. All my hard work down the drain and I'm right back where I started and it terrifies me. In a cold panic, I try to think of a way to get the meth out - out of my system so I can have do-overs. In the dreams, I'm overcome with the realization that 'this is it'. I've sacrificed my sobriety and now there's no turning back. I'm filled with the dark, overwhelming knowledge that I don't have the strength to go through the battle of getting sober again. I will use for the rest of my life. I will die as a using addict.
Then I wake up and slowly start to realize that it was just a dream. I'm flooded with emotions, mostly gratitude. And fear. Fear because I know that the dreams are not far from reality.
I can never say, "I'll be sober for the rest of my life." If I start thinking that way, I'll get complacent and that's when I'd be in trouble. I have what I think is a healthy fear of 'falling off the wagon' as the saying goes. I guess you could say that I respect my addiction. But every day I stay sober is one day further from the nightmare I lived for so many years of my life.
I'm grateful for every one of the past 600 days.
So, happy birthday to me! Today is going to be a great day.