Tonight I got my two-year chip.
Two years sober, that is. Two years without a bottle of Bud in the longneck or a shot of chilled Jagermeister while standing at the bar. Two years without vodka tonics, Heineken, or a Bloody Mary. Two years with no buzz; no sensation of my head gently unplugging from my body; no giddy conversations and overeager laughter.
Two years without throwing up. Two years without hangovers, guilt or subtle lies, like putting the beer cans in the recycling bin before the husband gets home. Two years without plotting, in some part of my brain, how to fit my partying in. Back in the day, there were long dusty dry days of wailing babies and a frustrated marriage alleviated only by warm beer stashed in the attic or the occasional legitimate drinking event, always taken too far. There were friends I had left because we drank too much together and friends I held at bay because they didn't drink enough. Bills and dentist appointments and work schedules were held together by the thinnest of strings, a veritable strand of floss called God Giving Me One More Chance.
Finally, finally, I took the chance and left the party.
Two years of genuine friends whom I love more all the time. Two years of recovering health and restored joy. My children do not know me drunk and my husband has managed to forgive most of the cruel bullshit that my drunken mouth had to say. Finances: mostly restored. Daily chores of living: mostly maintained. When they are not, no need to suffocate under a thick blanket of anxiety, as in days of old. I am not perfect and neither is my life. But I'm real.
For two years. And I've got the chip to show it.