Congrats, Greta! Not an easy path.
I'll be sober (had to count on my fingers here) 19 years in May. I did do the whole AA thing. Tried enough times on my own to realize that having "just one glass of wine with dinner" resulted in me waking up in a strange bed/town/country with no idea of how I got there. A friend of mine dragged me to a meeting and I spent the first half dozen years heavily involved in AA.
Being a drunk was fun at times ... lots of good memories and heard lots of stories about things I have no memory of. Unfortunately the flip side got more play than the fun side and I crashed and burned.
Took me a while to realize I could have just as much fun sober ... without all the unpleasant lapses in judgement to follow me around after each episode! Once I realized that partying was a state of mind, not a state of intoxication, I ended up having way more fun with life. And remembering it all.
For my 2nd AA birthday, I bought myself a Harley. Later I went skydiving, white water rafting ... and a host of other adrenaline junkie activities. Used to believe that "if you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much room".
Thankfully I've kinda settled into a pretty much straight john life. I really enjoy where I'm at and don't miss the booze very often. Now and then, on a really bad day (or even sometimes for no reason at all) I get the yen for a nice vodka or scotch (with ya on that on WC!) straight up, but so far haven't given in to the temptation. And even after this many years, still dream about drinking occasionally. Weird.
There's few things as unattractive as a totally juiced human being. To a point it's fun to go out and people watch, but when I see people totally blotto, it loses all its charm. Don't have a whole lot of patience for that these days. Specially the ones who get all mushy and affectionate once they get smashed. Ack ... git offa me!!
Seems that social drinkers managed to get a lucky gene. Some of us missed out. *shrug* Luck 'o the draw. Social drinkers never bother me. I can be around them and never want a drink. In general terms of health, I figure people would be better off with a joint than a drink, but it's none of my business what others do.
It is interesting to hear that there are a few of us here that have given up the joy juice. And good to hear that people have pulled their lives together. I always love hearing those stories. I lost my brother to herion OD, so it's always good to hear the opposite.