6 questions... December 10, 2020
Updated: Sep 2, 2021
Who are you? I am a mother, a wife, a friend, an athlete... and a little bit lost but slowly finding my way.
What brought you to sobriety? I have talked a lot about this already, but it has been years of struggling to get my drinking under control. Years of attempting to moderate it and being unable to control it. Years of lying to myself, my family and friends. Finally acknowledging that there is a part of me that I cannot control - a voice, an urge, an addiction, whatever you want to call it. I can't control it and I am tired of feeling guilty, anxious and scared of it. I am tired of floating through motherhood and being a shell of a mother. I want better for my children and family. I want to feel physically better. I want more purpose in my life, and I don't want to wake up feeling like I can't look myself in the mirror. I want to love myself again, as cheesy as that sounds.
What do you do to stay sober? I am on day 11. So far, I have been reading tons and tons of books, listening to podcasts, and I have joined The Luckiest Club and the Sober Mom Squad, which are online support groups. I workout everyday and eat healthy. I wake up and take the dog for a walk each morning to start my day. I enjoy the fact that I feel GREAT and HAPPY, and I focus on these moments and run with them throughout my day.
What would you say to your drinking self? This is not a healthy life you are living. It can be SO much better. It will get SO much better. You are stronger than this, and you need to dig deep and find that confidence and strength, because it is there. I know you're scared that your social life, your friendships will disintegrate. But drinking isn't all that life is about and the friendships that matter will survive. Your life is about so much more than Friday and Saturday nights of drinking, where people don't even remember hanging out with you, and you don't remember hanging out with them. Your family needs you, and that is your purpose in this world. Your kids and are husband are what matter in life right now, and once you get sober you will physically and mentally feel like a whole new person, better than you have felt in 20 years.
What is the relationship between pride and shame in your journey? I have thought a lot about this question. I am proud of myself for having found the strength to take this step towards sobriety. I do regret so much of what I have done in the past when I was drinking and feel ashamed of many of the decisions I made, because it hurt my kids and husband (even thought the kids don't really realize it, I do.) So there is regret/shame there for the decisions I have made, and it breaks my heart when I think about them. But I need to remind myself that it was the alcohol's control over me making me do these things, and it wasn't really me. It is a sickness, and I was spiraling. On that runaway train. I am proud of myself for making the decision to get off and take control of my life. The shame still exists, for now. I hope that I can let that go as time goes on though. Also, as I begin to "come out" with my sobriety to more friends and social circles, I may feel more shame and embarrassment. I hope that I can rise above that and instead feel proud of these decisions. (See my last post about selflessness!) Because I know there are so many other people in my community that are probably in that boat and struggling as much as I was, and probably need to find the strength to give up alcohol and get the help that I so badly needed only a few weeks ago.
What is a question someone would ask you about yourself or your sobriety? ... I think someone might ask me - How did you find the strength to finally stop and admit you had a problem? I ask myself this constantly. I honestly don't know where this strength came from, because there were times that I never thought I would find it, when I knew I WANTED to stop drinking, but I didn't feel strong enough at the time and I just couldn't bring myself to say I had a problem. There is so much stigma attached to "alcohol abuse," "alcoholism," etc. - I think those words are harsh. After reading a few books over the past year, exploring the topic - I think I was "sober curious," and I realized it's not all black and white. There is so much grey area, and that it is okay to just stop drinking because it doesn't suit your lifestyle. I wish I had done that a few years ago before things got bad for me. There is so much less judgement that there was, say five, ten years ago around those that are sober. And after talking to a few friends about the sober lifestyle, I finally felt comfortable to take that leap. Which is why I feel it is so important to put my story out there for others to see - that it is not so scary, and there is so much more life to live on the other side. Things are SO MUCH BETTER today! Think of how I will feel a week from now, a month from now, and so on...
11 days sober!