Five years of not boozing

Holy shit

This is my personal blog. All typos to holden@finledger.com. Thanks! — Alex

I was supposed to write something longer for this milestone, but it crept up on me and I didn’t. Here we are.

Today is the fifth anniversary of not drinking, if I have my dates correct; Liza promises that I do, and some of my favorite humans like Cullen also have it on their calendars. If my dad calls me this afternoon to mark the occasion, I’ll be certain.

Regardless of whether we have the date right or off by a single day, what matters is that I made it. I made it a half fucking decade without drinking.

It’s an unfathomable period of time.

By the end of my active alcoholic period, not drinking during breakfast was impossible. I couldn’t a last few hours without without suffering the consequences. Now I can do five years? Wild.

I’ve written about every yearly milestone since 2016. This might be the final yearly entry in this series, I suppose. Not that I am going to start drinking again; I am not. But instead I might halt the yearly notes as I have sufficiently rebuilt my life to the point that am no longer counting the days, let alone months, of non-boozing time. So these notes have become less celebrations of relief, and more a chance to publicly ruminate. And I do too much of that already.

No longer tabulating booze-sobriety in months, let alone hours, is thanks to a full-life remodel, my incredibly steady, supportive, patient, and brilliant spouse, and a number of other changes (exercise! therapy! anti-anxiety meds! and so forth!) that, in aggregate, help me to stay moderately centered a good chunk of the time.

I still have to keep tabs on myself. But over time my fantasy of giving everything up and moving to a small patch of beach to drink myself rapidly to death has lost more and more of its luster. And spending a bit more time planking after hitting the Peloton has made fractionally more sense.

Maybe part of that is just growing up. Maybe part of it is simply distance from the last time I went through terror-inducing alcohol withdrawal. Whatever it is, I am different than I was, and I get to rest a little bit on those changes as they become more than forced habits.

Keeping brief, it’s been more than a pleasure over the last half-decade to get to talk to so many of you about moderation (hard, not for everyone), quitting (hard, not for everyone), rehab (boring, worth doing if you need it), and balance (hard, good for everyone), and the rest of it.

I am still figuring things out, so regardless of whether you are -12 hours sober or 24 years off the bottle, thank you for the conversations, the honesty, and your patience with, and trust in me.

We’ll get through this together.