Yesterday, it was exactly two years since I last had a drink. I can't quite believe it. In fact, I completely forgot about it until lovely J, a reader who's only three weeks behind me, sent me a congratulatory e-mail.
How extraordinary that not long ago I could tell you exactly how many hours it had been since my last drink, and now I even forget the years.
I looked back at the post I wrote on my one year Soberversary (click here).
Year One was all about re-discovering the person I used to be.
I learned what it's like to sleep like a baby again. I rediscovered a sense of wonder, of self respect and self confidence. I, eventually, lost the wine belly, and was reacquainted with all the skinny clothes in my wardrobe.
I re-learned how to deal with fear and anxiety and how to form, and nurture, proper relationships, not just ones built on idle gossip at drinks parties.
Year Two has been very different. It hasn't been hard, in fact it's flown by in the way time only does when you're having a great deal of fun.
I started Year Two feeling like I'd got myself back, but I had this nagging sense of time wasted and opportunities lost. I wanted my life back.
So this was the year when I decided to chase my dreams. The same dreams I'd had at age nineteen, when, more than anything else, I wanted to write. I wanted to be an author.
But I put that dream on hold for decades because I was busy doing other stuff (drinking) and because I was scared of failure. And if you don't try, you can't fail, right?
Only now I realise that the only way you fail is by not trying. After beating the booze, and then cancer, I've lost my sense of fear and I feel pretty invincible.
So I wrote the book proposal and, miraculously, I got the publishing contract. And now I'm being paid to write, which has been my dream for thirty years.
Truthfully, I still miss the booze from time to time. Every once in a while I'd love to be able to blur the edges. I'd love a glass of champagne on a birthday or at Christmas. I still worry, sometimes, that people will think me boring, that maybe I am boring.
But then I remind myself that that one glass is a fantasy. I've never been happy with just one, of anything. And one glass now would just re-awaken that nagging voice that would constantly be asking "am I going to drink tonight? Or maybe tomorrow night? Just one glass? Or maybe two?"
And the very best thing about the last year has been the peace, the simplicity, of never having to ask myself "am I drinking tonight?" or "shall I have another one?" because I don't drink, not one, not two, not anything, and that makes life so much less complicated.
So, if you're still struggling with the early days and thinking why am I doing this? You're doing it to get yourself back. Then, once you've done that, you'll get your life back. And that's awesome.
Love SM x
P.S. Huge congrats to LushNoMore, who's held my hand since the beginning, on her two year Soberversary last week, and to Ang75 on ONE HUNDRED DAYS. Great work, girlfriends.