After 19+ years sober I got smacked between the eyes with why I became a drunk to begin with...
I was a functional drunk for probably 25 years. With patient encouragement from a close lady friend, I quit without too much trouble when I was 47. It wasn't until after I became sober that I figured out why I used alcohol to begin with, which was I wanted something that would numb the constant 24/7 irritation I was getting from certain people around me who I couldn't easily escape from, as well as from my own unresolved earliest childhood. Fortunately, when I quit using alcohol, it was after my circumstances had gotten better and I no longer had to deal with the nasty people and as many nasty things going on. Another nice thing happened, too, which is I found that the problem-solving abilities of a 47 year-old are very much greater than that of a 22 year-old. During those 25 years of using alcohol I was fortunately not in a continuous drunken haze and was able to mature reasonably well, and when I became sober I realized I could handle situations that at age 22 I couldn't. The old saying "rank hath priveledge" is pretty true as well, the kinds of people who gave me a hard time years earlier now left me alone. Young people who are greatly lacking in sophistication such as I had been, do have it tough simply because they are young. Anyway, from October of 1997 until early this February, 2017, I enjoyed sobriety without too much initial craving or hardly ever looking back wanting to drink again. The few brief occasions when I did get a craving, I took it one day at a time and got through it. After maybe three years it just didn't happen anymore, and at ten years it just never came to mind again. I want to add that during these 19 years I just haven't sat here twiddling my thumbs, I did work hard to discover and resolve problems from my past so they wouldn't re-fuel a desire to drink in the future. At 19+ years sober I still never have any further cravings to drink, BUT lately I sure got reminded of WHY I was a drunk! What happened was some months ago I got tangled up with some potential new friends my own age who I discovered, shall I say - - - , were not as mature as they seemed to be when I first met them. After a time they began to play the same social posturing head games that high school and college kids did back when I was in college. Not having experienced that nonsense since I was in my 20s, this caught me totally off-guard, and brought back the kinds of memories best left alone from my long-ago youth when enough of the people in my peer group engaged in that kind of purposely hurtful social-snubbing and put-downs to make me think twice about dating and otherwise interacting with them. Some people just never grow up, sadly even beyond 65 or 70.
Don't worry, I have no desire to take a drink, dealing with things sober is so, SO much easier than NOT dealing with things drunk!
And the point of my essay is that even those of us who may seem to be at an extremely low risk of ever becoming a practicing drunk again, every once in awhile stuff does come out of left field to bite us in the butt that we never even dreamed of!
Somewhere around October 25, 2017, I'll be sober for 20 years.