People used to beg me to stop drinking. They just couldn’t understand how someone could keep doing the same things with consequences that got worse and worse over the years. Every time anyone mentioned my drinking, a seed was planted. But I know one thing for sure – when they told me I LOOKED LIKE SH*T , I listened. Maybe admitting that makes me shallow but what do I care? I don’t have spider veins spreading across my nose and cheeks and my hair isn’t dryer than the Sahara. Whatever it takes, do that. And always remember to keep it simple, Sisters. . . .
Some say drunk words are sober thoughts. Mine weren’t. I don’t know who that person was but it wasn’t pretty. And I said it all. Did it all. Didn’t remember it all. Has anyone ever told you that you’re a monster when you get drunk? That they don’t even recognize you? One theory is that alcohol is called spirits to refer to a demon or spirit that produces intoxication. Well. No one needs to see the spirited demon that rears it’s head when I drank. Better to have a happy spirit, soul, mind, and body. Happy Monday, Sisters! Keep it simple today. . . .
We know so many women who stopped drinking alcohol for Sober October or Dry January who decided to continue riding this AF train even after their month was “up”. After recognizing how much better they felt they realized exactly how much alcohol stole from them. Money, time, serenity, happiness, fitness, whatever! Anyway, if it’s your Day 1 or 1001, congrats! Keep it simple today, Sisters. . . .
Not to mention the fact that somehow when I got a buzz on I guess I thought I was #oprahwinfrey because it was “you get a shot! And you get a shot! Sure, you too!” like she used to say on her #favoritethings shows. Though I guess she said you get a car or something. Why did I do that? Well, I can’t answer why I did 85% of things I did after I got drunk. As for the other 15%, I just don’t remember. One thing that helped me to remember was if I woke up with an injury I could probably piece together how it happened. It’s nice to be relatively normal. Only took a few decades and scars that last a lifetime. They fade, though, and people forgive. I don’t forget and don’t want to. Why? Because I never want to be that lost soul again. Happy Wednesday, Sisters! Keep it simple today. . . .
Tonight I could be celebrating an old bestie’s milestone birthday at the cutest getaway cabin, with women I’ve know going on 17 years. But instead, I’m staying home. I’ll go to a recovery meeting, do regular mundane mom kind of stuff, baby my dog who has a little injury. I’ll work, getting my business ready to reopen in a pandemic. I have a mammogram.
I could have ditched it all for a reunion. For sure. But I’ve been trained in sobriety to check my motives before making any decision. This celebration was going to be just girls, in a cute cabin far from home, getting shitfaced. That’s just the kind of situation my alcoholic brain craves. I love these girls, but watching people get loaded isn’t fun. Plus the addict in me could easily cave-who would know? Just this once. No big deal. And there goes years of sobriety, circling the drain. “Staying stopped” is WAY easier than starting over.
I ALWAYS need an exit plan. Sure I’ll go out to a birthday dinner, have a piece of cake, support and love my friends. And then I’ll go on home, sobriety and dignity intact. Any time I go where there’s alcohol, I think it through, and decide if there’s a valid reason to go. And I plan my exit IN ADVANCE. The FOMO will pass. And I’ll be here, strong and serene.
I was just thinking about how giving up drinking was a huge gesture of self love. And that can be so hard, loving myself. My inner critic can be mean. And unforgiving. This was especially true in the pergatory I found myself in- when I KNEW I had an escalating drinking problem and made a decision to stop drinking. A promise I made made single day. And then I failed to stop, over and over again.
So how did I finally succeed? In 2015, I had an alcohol-related disaster that snapped me right out of denial and right into a 12-step program. I stayed sober for a couple years, then convinced myself that circumstances were stacked against me, that my drinking problem was a result of medicating over truly hard life problems. So I drank again. Never mind that drinking always made things worse overall, it still obliterated the pain temporarily. Then I just had to suffer extra when I wasn’t drinking. With real hangovers. And emotional hangovers. And shame.
In early 2018 my kids called me out on acting drunk the night before. And that gave me the push I needed to stop again.
The trick is staying stopped. I’ve quit hundreds of times! But I value my life and what I can contribute to my family and community nowadays. I love myself sober. Until I got to this place, I realized I had to be brave enough to tell someone I needed help. Once it came without having to say it. On account of crashing the car.
There’s a lot of practice and planning and lying that goes into living a double life. For me, it was a relief to finally tell the truth. It helps keep me accountable. I tell the people in my life that I can’t and won’t drink. So that’s the first part. Admitting to myself and other people there’s a problem I can’t fix and I need help.
The next part is just get through another day without a drink and keep up honest relationships. I had to want to do this for me, but I really wanted to do it for my people too, especially my kids.
Even the bad days are much better now. Because if I get through a day sober, that’s something to be proud of.