The Worst Year of My Life

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2020 was in many ways challenging, but it pales in comparison to 2006 and the early part of 2007. In 2006, I was trapped in an increasingly destructive cycle of self-sabotage and increasing psychological dependence on alcohol, combined with acute anxiety, chronic depression, suicide ideation, and a suicide attempt. I could not stop drinking alcohol and I could not stop hurting myself and those I loved. A weekend binge became a weeklong binge followed by days of being physically ill only to start over again.

On April 20, 2007, I drank a pint of vodka in my car in a parking lot, and on April 21, 2007, I went to my first AA meeting. That last year of misery, I’ll never forget for it brought me here. As challenging as 2020 has been, it’s been okay.  Sober a bad day can just be a bad day. Sober I am aware that some days, the best I can do is to not make a bad day worse. Like those days, weeks, months, and years since 2006, there have been far more good days than bad days because I began to see possibilities where once I saw none. That’s true for me as look back on 2020 and ahead to 2021.

The Worst Year of My Life

The worst year of my life I’ll never forget
Trapped in a prison I had made and could not escape
Seemingly endless cycles of starting over again and again
Each day felt worse than the day before and the day before that
Waking with dread and falling asleep in despair
Slipping further and further into an ever so dark abyss
That was then and this is now and I’m here to say
The worst year of my life did not become my best year
But it did become the door through which I escaped
The hopeless prison of being afraid to live and afraid to die

About the Author

Robert B. is a sober alcoholic in Madison, WI participating in AA and AlAnon at Fitchburg Serenity Club. He has been sober since April 21, 2007. He also began writing and sharing poetry on Facebook during his first year sober as part of his recovery from alcohol dependency, acute anxiety, and chronic depression. He has found that creativity expressed primarily through writing poetry and playing various stringed instruments helped him heal and thrive.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Michael

    A year like no other. OF course one can ALWAYS say that.
    You are right, Robert, the magic operating system is to NOT may a “bad” year worse, which self abuse certainly does.
    In my Soto Zen tradition the third line of our vow is “This moment, life as it is, is my only teacher.
    So in 2020 my core learning is that the community of the present moment is my home. Usually I think of community as people. And I feel very sad about all the people (including my two kids and their partners) who I have been cut off from for 10 months. The “this moment” of 2020 has introduced me in an intimate , deep and personal way to community of “just this”. My dog, house, yard have well comed me and it is rich and deeply satisfying.

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