Tuesday, June 7, 2011

1,000 days sober

It seems like only yesterday, but it was 1,001 days ago that I had my last drink. September 9, 2008. Four days after my son entered rehab for heroin addiction. And the day after my 47th birthday.

I don't remember what my last drink was. Probably a glass of white wine, which I was drinking pretty heavily at the time to try and help me "cope" with the fact that my then-18-year-old son was a heroin addict in a residential rehab facility.

I've told the story many times. During a family therapy session at Brighton Hospital, the therapist told me and my wife: "Be the change you want to see in your son." She said it was crazy for us to tell our son not to self-medicate with heroin or marijuana or pills, while at the same time we were drinking alcohol. Even if we were just drinking socially--and I confess, at the time I was probably a borderline alcoholic--it was still self-medication.

That made perfect sense to me. It seemed like quitting drinking was the least I could do to help my son, and it would also set a good example for my youngest son, who was 12 at the time. So on September 10, 2008, I began my sobriety.

It's kind of ironic that I'm celebrating 1,000 days sober while my son's living in a three-quarter house his addiction doctor made him move into because he tested positive for pot. Sometimes I wonder how much influence my sobriety actually has on my son. It's hard to say if it's had any effect at all. But I feel better since I quit drinking, and I definitely think having parents who don't drink is a big plus for my youngest son. So, 2.75 years later, I am committed to staying sober.

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