After completing one month of sobriety, our 10-year wedding anniversary rolled around. It would be the first time in a decade that the night wasn’t spent using alcohol as a celebratory tool. I could see that Brenna was proud of me, and although I had nearly caved a few times in the month of March, I was determined to make it through April without wavering. Within the “Quit Drinking” app, I used the Buddy feature to anonymously track and chat with other people who were trying to quit drinking as well. I quickly saw how difficult it was for most people to get through a few days of sobriety. My phone would light up with every new notification that came in, telling me that one of my buddies had caved to temptation and had restarted their sobriety count. It was bittersweet to witness. While I was proud of myself for holding out and using the counter on the app to fuel my motivation to continue forward, it broke my heart to see people struggling the way I had struggled for so long. I drowned myself in work, looking for any creative outlet to take up the time that would have otherwise been dedicated to getting hammered. I felt optimistic about the kind of husband I could be for Brenna, the kind of father I could be for Alenna, and the kind of man I could become. I gravitated to the words I heard Ky-Mani Marley say during an interview I attended back in my Purfek Storm days. “If I did every day what I did today, what kind of future would I have?” I realized that I was an alcoholic and would be for the rest of my life. There would never be a time when I could have a drink and not fall backward. So, I woke up every day and said, “I’m not having a drink today,” and focused on being present instead of worrying whether or not I would ever cave to temptation. We spent our anniversary evening reminiscing about the past decade together. We laughed, we cried, and we held each other tight, grateful for the love we shared and the challenges we had overcome. And for the first time in years, I was truly present, experiencing each moment without the haze of alcohol clouding my mind and emotions. As the night drew to a close, I looked into Brenna’s eyes and felt a renewed sense of commitment, not just to our marriage but also to my own sobriety. I knew that if I continued on this path, I could become everything I thought I would become. Every morning, as I repeated my mantra, “I’m not having a drink today,” I could feel the chains of addiction falling away, leaving me with a newfound sense of freedom and possibility.

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