Firsts.

It’s freedom – that’s the word I have been searching for. And the feeling I’ve been aching for.

The freedom I have felt in the last five months is incomparable to anything that I have ever felt. The only frame of reference I can imagine it feeling like is what it was like when I was a child – free from the burdens and obsessions of unhealthy addictions, and able to wake up every day without (for the most part) any regret or pain.

This blog isn’t for anyone else, right now. I am starting this, I suppose, as a type of journal for myself. I haven’t had much luck writing in one physically so perhaps the online version will prove itself a little therapeutic. Maybe it will lend in connecting me to like minds and possibly even unlike minds, to stimulate some interesting conversation. I am open to all potential outcomes of this blog – even if that is absolutely nothing and the only page visits I get are from myself.

I don’t know, truly, where to start. I imagine there are so many people out there feeling the way that I did for the last 8 or so years. I was lost within myself – sure of nothing except that I was not able to cope with the way that I felt when I was sober. I wanted the escape, I longed for the warmth and comfort of my friend, Alcohol. It was such a good friend to me, eventually, that I wouldn’t need or want anything or anyone else. Certainly I chose to partake in the exciting and new partying that high school brought on. I participated in a way that only my native countrymen could understand. I was always proud of the fact that I could “drink with the boys” and found myself often (eventually, always) in the company of those who felt and were looking for the exact same escape that I was. Partying was never something I did to escape, at that time. It was fun! I loved letting loose and having a good time – of course, the lack of inhibition, freedom from control and incessant desire to laugh and love through it all didn’t persuade me otherwise.

I remember my first drink: a Smirnoff Ice at a New Year’s Eve party .. probably the first real party I ever attended in my youth. I was 16 years old and the warm burn of the sweet alcohol was not something I would soon forget. I wasn’t immediately enamoured – but I knew that I liked it. I don’t believe I got drunk that night – I only had one – but I knew that I liked it. At that age, that was all it took. I wasn’t shy or reserved, I wasn’t self conscious and I certainly wasn’t quiet. I had found my way in!

Throughout the years alcohol has been by my side and certainly been the fuel for many, many firsts of mine. Some of them I would like to forget – and many of them I am sure that I can’t remember. Those aren’t the ones that I am focusing on today.

This first blog post is one of a few delightful and sweet firsts that I have experienced within my few months of sobriety. A first without regret. Sobriety itself is a first for me, since that age of 16 some few years ago and it truly does feel like an absolute gift.

It’s like I can finally breathe, for the first time.

(Written March 18, 2016).

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