This year was quite lovely, I must admit. The previous year was not so great at all. I fucked up last year and I’m still carrying some shame attached to that mishap.

As I was riding home last night I was thinking about how grateful I truly am for where I’m at in life at this very moment.

Last year I was a freaking dumpster fire. I drank myself stupid the night before. Not the typical drink before visiting family style drinking that mostly everyone does before Thanksgiving. No no no. It was a black out and piss on myself sort of night.

Why? Because I was selfish and didn’t care. That’s the truth. I can give excuses and say that it was my anxiety about life, being broke, hanging with a friend who was going through a rough time or whatever other excuse I could tag onto why one might drink a little too much but they are all….frankly….bullshit. The truth is, I wanted to get wasted and I didn’t care if I was hungover the next day.

So I drank…a lot. Woke up early on Thanksgiving morning, covered in my own urine and head pounding. My partner at the time picked me up and I slept at his place for a little while before finally crawling out of bed, late and feeling disgusting.

I puked then downed half a bottle of champagne before having to pull over and puke yet again on the way to my Mom’s house. I could barely act like a human by the time we sat down to eat, I could hardly keep my eyes open and my stomach was still turning. I just sat there and stared at my plate completely ashamed.

I was a failure. The weight of my shame weighed me down so heavily. I could see the disappointment in my Mom’s face as I excused myself from the table, not having touched any of my favorite meal on the planet and laid down on the couch to sleep.

My Mom, being the awesome human that she is, brings me crackers and checks on me from time to time throughout the day.

I slept through Thanksgiving. Yup, that’s me, sleeping through one of my favorite holidays. I didn’t spend any time with family, I just slept off my hangover. The worst part is….my family is incredible and I absolutely love spending every moment I can with them. I DON’T have a stressful home life. I have the most laughs and fun just hanging out and shooting the shit with my brothers. Playing cornhole with my Mom and Step Dad while we all share what’s going on in our lives.

Thanksgiving has always been one of the best holidays with my family. Even when I was a little kid and we used to go to my Grandma’s house – it was always the best. Seeing everyone, catching up, hanging with the cousins and drinking way too much soda and running around Grandma’s big ass yard. Then stuffing our face with the most delicious foods and promptly taking a quick nap before heading on to the next party.

Driving away from my Mom’s house that evening, I felt like a failure. I carried that failure with me. Remembering how my drinking actually WAS affecting those around me whether I wanted to fully recognize it or not.

I missed Thanksgiving because I chose drinking over family. What the fuck was wrong with me.

This was the beginning of the end. I was headed into the next few months that were going to be some of the darkest days I was going to face with my drinking. It was going to finally take a complete hold over me.

I was going to quit jobs, scrape by on very little income, bail on people when they needed me, stop showing up, wake up in random places or worse not know how the fuck I got home at all.

But this year…..I’m sober….and I got to spend Thanksgiving with my family. I wasn’t hungover. I was thankful. Thankful to be there. Thankful to have such an incredible family. Thankful to have incredible people around me all the time now. Thankful to be alive and sober.

This year did not suck, not one single bit.