Why the Hell Am I Still Sober?

by Bill Brenner on August 3, 2016

This is the second in a series of posts about navigating through the unexpected. It’s based on experiences I’ve had since my father’s death last year.

A lot of legal paper pushing, hand-holding and arguing has gone into managing the building my late father left in my care. I’ve never dealt with lawyers so much in my life. Sorting out the various trusts, deeds, real-estate negotiations and environmental cleanup tasks has been a full-time job on top of my full-time job in infosec.

One of the lawyers repeatedly marvels at the fact that I haven’t been broken by it all. Specifically, he keeps asking how I haven’t crawled into a bottle of Scotch by now.

Mood music:

We laugh every time he mentions it, but I’ll be honest: I ask myself the same question every day.

I quit drinking on New Year’s Eve 2009, and it’s never been easy. I had reached the point where I felt I needed a glass or two of wine every night after work, and that was well before all the added responsibilities.

This past year, I’ve questioned my sobriety every day, wondering if it’s worth it. Sometimes, I reason to myself that a drink every evening would help keep my nerves steady. And it would give me an opportunity to enjoy myself.

But I’ve stayed sober anyway. And with good reason.

I’m an addict. If I start up again, it won’t just be one glass a night. It’ll be all the time, and I may not be able to stop once I get started. If that happens, I’ll falter in all my responsibilities.

My life may seem messy today, essentially managing two work lives. The people I deal with on a daily basis are difficult, to put it mildly. I often come home with raw nerves.

Would alcohol numb the nerves? Absolutely. But I wouldn’t stop there. I’d want to be numb every second of every day, and that would tank my writing and make me an easier target for those in the business world who want to take advantage of me.

I can’t let that happen.

Broken wine bottle

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan O'Keefe September 4, 2016 at 12:52 am

I know this may sound trite but, staying sober is always worth it. I began my journey with sobriety almost five years ago and have encountered a world of struggles since. Still, I keep that bottle away. My life has just been so much better without it and I don’t think I could survive adversity with that type of crutch. I have become a so much stronger, wiser and more compassionate person than I used to be and I’m sure you are also.

Cee November 3, 2016 at 5:28 pm

So I’m sitting in a bar… was going to have 2 PERFECT MAGARITAS and OVER.., even paid the bill!!! But surprised myself and ordered a 3rd PERFECT MAGARITA… but you HELPED… read you and LOL’ed and ordered #3 so THANKS

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