Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
This day every year reminds me of the end. The end of my drunken debauchery. The end of the life that was the only one I knew until the day that I knew something different. Drinking was part of my life, always. I loved it. It solved all my problems (it also created a great many of them but that was besides the point). I led the drinking life. And for alcoholics everywhere, this day, more than any other is when drunks everywhere can celebrate and raise their glasses to, well just about everything.
Everyone is Irish today. And while there are many fine things to celebrate about being Irish, today is the day we celebrate the long touted love of booze. And I was a true believer.
28 years ago today, I was stumbling drunk through the streets of Savannah at 9 am. Already well on my to total inebriation. I was a mess and the sun was barely up.
For years after getting sober, I hated this day. I ignored it so directly that I would be totally shocked when I saw people in plastic green hats stumbling through the streets of DC. I would think, “What the fuck is wrong with them?” Then I would remember what day it was and also, quite painfully, remember that I was one of those idiots not so long ago. Then I would go home and nurse my emotional hangover.
Today, I have rekindled my love of St. Patty’s Day. The regret and remorse of decades ago debauchery mostly gone. Instead, this day has become a benchmark for progressive analysis. Today, this many years ago, I was a completely different person. I was a mess. I was angry. I was pissed off. I was wasted. And that was who I was pretty much every single day. Incapable of showing up for life in any manner other than drunk and messy. I was trying my best, and failing every single day.
So in my annual St. Patrick’s Day review, I find myself immensely grateful to not be the young woman drinking her way through life and Savannah. I love the life I have today and mostly love the person I have become because five days later I was struck sober. I wasn’t planning to get sober. I wasn’t thinking that drinking was really my issue or problem. But on this day, 28 years ago, I set into motion a string of events that would later become my bottom.
And from this bottom, I grew a new a wonderful life. One that I am incredibly grateful for. One that I love. One that I cherish. One that I would not have but for all the decimation I delivered to my life and the lives of those about me.
So on this day, I say to you, “sláinte is táinte!” Which means Cheers to health and wealth. I didn’t know 28 years ago that my life was about to take a dramatic turn towards health and wealth. I just knew that I was tired. So fucking tired at 25. And I am grateful for all of it. Every single minute that got me to where I am right now, sitting in my bed, writing, sun shining through the window. Cat purring next to me. Boyfriend scrolling through the news. Coffee on my bedside table. Dogs not barking outside. Children still sleeping. In a home I have been blessed with. And the emotional result for me? Tears. Tears of gratitude and love and grace. Today the tears flow which is yet another gift of sobriety, to feel my feelings. To believe that my emotions are not trying to kill me.
May you have whatever St. Patty’s Day will bring you the most peace, love, joy and health. It was a turning point for me. I pray that others may find their way to a better life today as well. And if your life is confirmed to one of hard drinking with no way out, reach out. I have been there. I know the way out. And if you decide to persist, I am sending you love and light. Cheers to your health always!