I have been sober for five years today. It's kind of hard to believe how quickly it went by, but I'm really happy it did.
Occasionally, my friends will ask why I stopped because they don't remember me as someone who had your typical problems with alcohol or other substances. It comes as a surprise to some that you don't need to be a fall over drunk and completely self-destructive to feel like you need to hang it up.
Right before I turned 30 I was miserable: relationships, career, accomplishments, friends, all of it. I thought about killing myself more often than one should. Drinking, even though it wasn't something I did to a Leaving Las Vegas degree, wasn't making me happy anymore. It was starting to add to my depression and anxiety. I knew if I had to act soon. I wasn't sure I needed AA, but kept my mind open. It has done a lot of good for a lot of people.
I decided to go solo for a couple months. About six went by and I was feeling good. A fog had lifted. I knew I still had to be careful and do a lot of work on myself in order to stay on the right track. People would say it won't work if you don't do the program. Well, for me it is working. For me. There are options.
I've learned over the years firsthand and through talks with friends and strangers is there's a spectrum. There's a huge gray area. Not everyone needs to become the town drunk in order to quit drinking and not everyone needs to be locked down in rehab and attend meetings for the rest of their lives if they do. Some people just need to grow up. Some people need the structure of meetings and programs. Some people need therapy. Some need a combination of all those things. And all of that is fine. We're all trying to get to the same place. Let's show each other there's more than one way to get there.
My life is infinitely better now than it was five years ago. I'm still working on myself every day. And I'm happy to do it.
My dad used to tell me when I was younger and first pursuing comedy: you only get this life once so make sure you live it right. That advice continues to move me in the right direction every day. ☀️✌🏽