Today I choose not to drink.
I’ve been making that choice for the last 6 months (happy half-birthday to me), and you know what?
It feels good.
It’s shocking news to some of you, I’m sure; I haven’t shared about my sobriety here on the site, and off-site I’ve made a point to avoid discussing it on venues where the majority of my “real world” friends and family frequent. Why?
I suppose I was afraid it wasn’t going to stick.
I’ve traveled this road before and dove straight the fuck off the wagon on day 145, telling myself I could obviously quit drinking any time I wanted. Hell, I’d made it 145 days. “I’ve got a handle on this shit.” (I actually remember saying that nonsense to Amelia; how far back in your head did your eyes roll during that conversation, I wonder?)
As it turned out, in the following months I learned that I did NOT, in fact, have a handle on it.
My last drunken episode—a 3-day periodic binge of “I found a liquor store and I drank it (bonus points if you understand that reference) ended with me waking in the morning hurting in places I’d never hurt before. And it terrified me. I can’t keep doing this. I’m fucking killing myself.
And so I’ve come to accept the fact that when it comes to booze, I lack self-control absolutely. I know that now (and it only took me nearly two decades to come to that brilliant conclusion, y’all; fucking genius).
Am I talking about my sobriety now and low-key celebrating my 6 months of the booze-free me publicly because all that bullshit’s in my rearview mirror? Because I have no worries and everything’s puppy dogs and rainbows in life?
No. Fuck no.
I still think about drinking nearly daily. It’s hard not to think about it. Between the COVID-19 fuckery and all the changes that have come about with it (K is not thrilled with mom as her homeschool teacher/SLP/OT), the regular day-to-day stresses of life, and having a partner who drinks nightly, yeah, the thought of Damn, mama sure could use a drink pops up quite a bit. My baggage is right there next to me in the passenger seat. And it smells like bourbon.
But I’ve got a badass support system riding along with me now, too, and they help me haul that baggage around.
My Shiny Diamond Friends, most of whom I connected with on account of a show called Supernatural and my peculiar creative fascination with an actor named Mark Sheppard (sorry to fan-splain, but this is for the half who hit the site for reasons outside of Sheppard), are MY PEOPLE. Over the years, I’ve grown so close to these fabulous mammals; they’re amazing. Truly. There’s rarely a moment in any given day that I can’t reach out and be met almost immediately with an overwhelming abundance of love and support. It’s…humbling. I don’t deserve them, but I cherish them.
Recently, two of those gems conspired in a most delightful way to congratulate my sobriety. Amelia provided the proper pronunciation of my name (very much appreciated; I REAAAAALLY dislike being called “Stacey”) and Ingrid funded the venture, and together they commissioned Mark Sheppard to record a Cameo message for me.
BIIIIIIIITCH. (It’s me, I’m the bitch—as in I cried like a little one when I watched it LOL!)
I waited to share about it until I officially clocked my 6 months sober (in about 10 minutes from now as I’m writing this I’ll have made it through the day). This video is my 6 month chip.
And it’s fucking outstanding.
I mean, I’ve been following this dude’s career and his happenings for like 10 years. (Please don’t read that as stalker—I swear it started as a writing thing and it just kind of snowballed from there because he’s just so damn cool.) He’s an amazing talent, a pretty damn decent mammal, and he’s clocked 30 years sober himself. Impressive. And I wouldn’t have this fantastic group of friends and what I feel is—for the mostpart—a pretty damn solid bedrock of a support system if not for him.
And they hooked me up with what’s basically the best damn mini-AA Speaker tape EVER featuring him.1This post originally contained a link to the video, but after some consideration I’ve decided to remove it; I would switch it to a private video over on Cameo if I could, honestly. Still love it. Still grateful for it. Still damn proud of both it and of my recovery, but some things aren’t for everybody (if that makes any sense).
WHAAAAAAT?! MARK FUCKING SHEPPARD! How fucking cool is that? ???
I don’t generally stan over people,
Have you heard the Good News about my Snark Overlord Mark Sheppard?
I don’t care what he says. I work for him now2 Wait, now that I think about it, I’ve essentially been handing out digital pamphlets on his behalf for a couple years now already. Huh. That whole slow learner bit comes back to mind. Guys, I might’ve joined a cult. No regrets.
Ingrid. Amelia Sue. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I could thank you 1,000,000 times for this amazing gift and it still would never be enough. I love you guys.
And, of course, a precisely measured fuckton of thanks and love to Mark Sheppard for taking time out of his day to hit me with his beautiful brilliance regarding sobriety and recovery, his kind words to yours truly, and for a brief moment there freaking me the fuck out.
Don’t worry, guys—Sheppard says, “It’ll be all over soon.”