If I had made it to July 8, I would have celebrated one year of sobriety.

But I didn’t.

My downfall actually happened about three months ago, after I finished training for a half marathon. I was in pain and needed something to put my mind and body at ease.

It was a cold something I don’t remember. It led to drinks the next day and several days after that. I even had a few beers the night before — Heineken.

My alcohol consumption isn’t what it was. But I broke my promise to my kids. Again. And they’re accepting it like breaking promises is a normal thing.

I’m disappointed. At this point, for some odd reason, I’m not beating myself up about falling off the wagon as I have so many times before. I’m kind of numb and just trying to try again now instead of waiting everything to be perfect.

But really, the kids’ “whatever” attitude bothers me. Either I’m making too big a deal out of it, or this trend of not keeping promises is expected. The idea of the later being my household norm is disturbing.

Here are some things I know now that I didn’t know when I started my first sobriety streak on July 8, 2018:

  • I don’t have many tools at my disposal to help me relax. I am not wired for real relaxation. I have laughed a lot more recently, because I took time to stop and be present. It’s hard to do all the time, especially dealing with three kids who want to beat each other up constantly.
  • I have not properly implemented the tools I have to break my habits. All the calendar reminders and sticky notes in the world won’t help if I ignore them. Sometimes, I just get caught up in other things. Other times, I just want a break. I’ve buried myself into my smartphone, rather than taking true action to end my habit.
  • Home and work can be a big poop-fest. They say that if your home isn’t a place you can relax at — a safe haven — you become more stressed. See the first bullet coupled by fact that they are messy kids. There is no safe haven right now where I can truly just take a break and not feel guilt. I need to find one of these places ASAP.
  • My priorities don’t jive with the other people in the house. I seem to find temporary support until sobriety messes up the family dynamic. My least favorite is trying to express my feelings but coming off as a crazied banshee. I’m different when I’m sober — more self-aware, more willing to speak my mind rather than drink my feelings away. Sometimes people don’t like that. These not so fun times are moments I used drink out of memory. Coming back to alcohol is easy when it’s all you’ve known as coping mechanism.

When I was sober, I looked for every reason to drink and talked myself out of most of them. But toward the end, my reasons to drink became bigger than my reasons against it. Without a proper support system and tools to curb my cravings, I caved.

So today, on Independence Day, I declare, yet again, my independence from my dependency on alcohol.

I don’t like having to get up in the middle of the night. I want a good night’s sleep, where my belly isn’t sloshy and I awake up energized. I want to be able to show my kids how to be able to relax without a legal drug in their cup.

I need structure. I need to formulate a plot, to quote Eminem’s “Loose Yourself.” I have to own this — good bad and everything in between.

Let’s go, again. Let’s get this right.