2017: A Year of Broken Promises to Myself

As the year was coming to and end, I found it harder and harder to maintain my course. It’s time to do in 2018 what I failed to do in 2017.

I spent much of the last few weeks of 2017 pining for the taps at my local bar. I could not wait for the year to be over so I could end this silly li’l challenge of mine and stumble over a few barstools once again. And then a thought hit me. If the reward for my sobriety was simply the promise of drinking again, then I was doing it all wrong. And then another thought hit me. A hadn’t done shit to improve my life other than exorcizing booze from my diet.

I had all of these lofty goals. I’d take classes. Go on day trips to museums. Nature hikes. Cycling (other than around Hoboken, that is). I’d eat better and get fit. I’d see a doctor about my chronic leg pain and incessant headaches. I’d become a leader in the community thru the success of my business. I’d be financially and emotionally secure. I’d read more, write more, do more. I’d even fall in love.

None of this happened.

Here I am on New Year’s Eve with 2018 lurking around the corner with nothing to show for what should have been a remarkably productive year. I’ve let myself down in more ways than I would ever have thought possible. I’ve let those around me down as well. In many ways I am far worse off now than I was before I stopped drinking. And yet, somehow that fact is having a strange effect on me.

As the thoughts of cold beer and strong whiskey cascaded over my brittle mind, I felt strange. I wasn’t excited. There wasn’t the longing I thought there would be. There was depression. That sneaky fucker who sabotaged much of my 2017. Except now I recognize it. And maybe that was the sole benefit of my sobriety. The first step to a better life that just took longer to happen than I’d expected.

Most of my life has been filled with dreams half dreamt and adventures half ventured. In 2017, rather than spurring me on to do great things, that dreary picture of my life scared me into nonaction. I know I need to break this cycle. I’ve said it time and time again to myself. And now I’ve gone 51 times around the sun and my body and mind are so damaged that the urgency of this need for change is far greater than ever. And I doubt reintroducing booze into the mix will help.

So, it’s with a great deal of fear and anxiety that I’m announcing the continuation of my sobriety into 2018 and beyond. Now all I need is a to do list. Any ideas?

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