To those of you newly sober, I just want you to know that NOT DRINKING gets so much easier. I was at a street festival this weekend with live music and I swear I was dancing the hardest and singing the loudest and dare I say having THE MOST fun?
Plus, I was able to buy something something cute at one of the local boutiques because I wasn’t waiting in line or overspending on cheap booze.
I could not have done this on my first night out sober. Oh no.
I was filled with so much fear and anticipation about how to be social without a drink in my hand.
I was afraid to do anything without the security blanket of a drink. I didn’t know sober people even went out. I didn’t know there were things to do at a street festival that didn’t include drinking. I was only... always... drinking.
The only reason I went anywhere was to drink.
On my first nights out as a sober person, I felt like a turtle wanting to crawl back in my shell. I felt raw, naked, and...
I don’t think anybody wants to get sober.
My (Forever Sober) Day 1, was not met with enthusiasm.
I greeted Day 1 with shame and fear.
I was in tears on my knees in surrender.
Something had to change.
I couldn’t go on the way I was going. I knew I was on an elevator that only went down, and it had started to pick up speed in its fast descent.
To keep riding was to lose everything that mattered to me and then die from it.
I could not go on like this.
This could not be my story.
That is what brought me to Day 1, over and over again.
Quitting was an admission of my failure to be normal.
I failed at being a normal drinker.
I had failure to thrive.
Failure to moderate.
Failure to keep drinking but control my drinking.
Gosh darn it, I did it again. I went ahead and got drunk just because I had a drink.
I promised I wouldn’t do this, and I kept doing this.
I was a big...
I heard quitting drinking is a lot like thawing out.
Its wet and messy and there are a lot of tears. I agree with this statement.
I went through a big thaw myself when I got sober.
At first, it was so hard to not have that drink to deal with the things I had been drinking away. The things I had been drinking at.
I am talking about the injustices in my life. The pain, the trauma, the anger and sadness, that I have felt.
I addressed these issues by poisoning myself. You might relate.
It was the only way I knew how.
Drinking did not start out as the problem. Drinking began as the solution to the problem.
As Russell Brand says, “Drugs and alcohol are not my problem. Reality is my problem. Drugs and alcohol are my solution.”
For me, the solution to a bad day = take 2 glasses of wine and call me in the morning.
The solution to being mad at my husband, = Wine! It takes the bitch right out of me!
Lost my keys? My job? My father? Drink. Drink. Drink.
Last year at this time I was 6 months sober. The longest I had ever been sober before this was 5 months a year or so prior. When I hit the 6 month mark I felt incredibly proud that I had quit drinking for that long. I was also very scared because I hit my goal and everything beyond was new territory. I was afraid of my own self sabotage. I still felt one drink away. All. The. Time.
I was sober, but I still was not good enough. I got sober, but I hadn’t lost any weight. My house was not in perfect order. My family didn’t get the memo about my incredible new behavior and they did not hand me any gold stars. I didn’t have sober friends. I didn’t know how to celebrate myself.
I did feel transformed in a way. I knew I was on a path to changing generational patterns. I had saved a lot of money. I hated myself less. There was much improvement but my emotions were still so intense. I spent my 6 month soberversary on the couch crying.
Today I am a...
You mad, Bro?
I am. I have so much anger. You wouldn’t know this from looking at me because I have a generally positive disposition and a very upbeat personality. I am laughing most of the time. I am known for making others laugh too. However underneath the sweet Pollyanna outside, is a volcano of anger. When I was drinking I knew exactly what to do when it started to erupt. Drink, obviously. Drinking would numb the anger or distract me or allow me to ignore it. Being pissed off was automatic permission to drink more. The alcohol would usually take the edge off for me. So it was an effective anger management tool, until it wasn’t. I started being angry all the time. Then I started being under the influence more often than not. Anger is one big reason why I drank. I didn’t want to be angry. Anger is incredibly uncomfortable for me.
I still have anger in sobriety and its still incredibly uncomfortable. I have learned some things about anger and this knowledge...
The question is not... How bad does it have to get?
The question is ...How much better could it be?
Its ok to admit to yourself you are drinking more than you are comfortable with.
Its ok to question your drinking before you land in jail, the hospital, or local unemployment office.
Its ok to be afraid of questioning your drinking because you have secretly started to depend on it, and you are not sure you can easily give it up.
I was right there with you on a loop of getting up early, making my kids’ lunches, staying under the radar being average at work, driving carpool and then coming home to make dinner and have a “few glasses” of wine to unwind.
The few glasses turned into me staying up too late for “alone time”, then waking up with shame. I would use the guilt of drinking too much to fuel me to get out of bed early, feeling anxious, foggy, tired, and slightly ill every day.
I’d get the coffee...
Alcohol creates a land mine of workplace risk, yet when someone comes to the hiring table as recovered, we get very nervous. Our first thought is to turn them away. Why is this? We fear relapse, of course, and turnover. We have a hard time trusting them. Plus, how strange for someone to not join in the drinking culture at Happy Hours, networking events, and beer cart Fridays. We don’t know how to handle sober people and it makes us very uncomfortable.
I get it. I was in HR and I understand your fear. Not drinking is a rebellion against the cultural norm. Many companies feed their employees drinks as a reward for good behavior, or a week long all-you-can-drink vacation for really good behavior.
We don’t want to hire alcoholics or people with alcohol problems. We do want to hire people that drink, but drink the right way, and the right amount. People that will drink the two drink tickets they were given at an event, and not get out of hand. We all know the person with a...
I have started a Sober Meet Up Group for women. The goal of the group is to gain support and create a community for people considering quitting drinking, people in recovery, or for people that are sober for any reason. During our Meet Ups we share stories, conversation, support, tears and laughter over a cup of coffee at the back table of a local cafe.
Gathering under the knowledge that we have struggled with our relationship with alcohol creates an immediate connection between strangers. We feel we already know each other and the conversation digs deep right from the start. Thank Goodness because social anxiety and a dislike for small talk are common characteristics of the group.
Many of the women who are brave enough to show up have been in abusive relationships with men. Abusive relationships are the problem, and alcohol has been the solution. Alcohol is the coping tool. Alcohol is the medication to cure the symptoms of dealing with a man who has emotionally and...
I am not only recovering from my alcohol dependence, in getting sober, I have had to address other issues in my life. One issue is perfectionism.
I think having a goal of perfection in all areas of my life, contributed to my alcohol problem in many ways.
I was gladly categorized as the elite “I don’t know how she does it!” club.
My house was clean.
I was running races.
I had impressive sales jobs and a happy marriage.
I made healthy meals for my kids.
I would wake up after a night of drinking before everyone to clean the kitchen and serve breakfast.
This all led to the denial that alcohol was taking over me and becoming a bigger problem in my life.
If anyone dared to mention my concerning drinking behavior, I put up my defenses. I didn’t want to have a problem, so if I didn’t admit a problem, then there was no problem.
The problem was other people. Not me. I’m perfect. I...
On my first Forever Sober Saturday we went to a concert with friends. It was a bit of a mistake. I didn’t know I would suddenly be sober and we didn’t realize our friends actually bought tickets for us, when we half committed months ago. I was kinda pissed at my husband, because he paid for tickets and now we were obligated to go. I didn’t want to go. I probably did when we pencilled it in months ago, but now I had a preparty and a concert with a group of drinkers for my first Sober Saturday. I was scared. I was scared because at the time, being sober meant that I just read my book, washed my face and went to bed when it got dark out, like a pure little angel every night. That was the only way I knew how to be sober in the beginning (and for a long time after that too). Here is what I wrote in my journal at the time:
We didn’t realize someone actually bought us tickets to this live music event and preparty for tomorrow. We decide to go. I am...