Lifestyle

Why I Decided To Get Sober

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Drinking alcohol can be a great way to socialize with friends, relieve stress, relax, and celebrate. There are even studies that suggest drinking has health benefits. At what point is your drinking an indulgence or an addiction? Here is a perspective from a woman that recognized her addiction and changed her life for the better.

I don’t know where to start. I don’t know what a good tag line is. I know I better make it interesting fast or you’ll be off on your Facebook for the latest Buzzfeed quiz, but seriously, what kind of apple am I?  Let me begin by saying this is my experience, this is my story, and my shit is not your shit. If you have shit though, I would probably get it.

I am an alcoholic, and I’ve known that since I was 16. I’ve known that I have an addictive personality since I was a child, although I didn’t call it that at the tender age of eight. I grew up in a normal alcoholic, pot-smoking atmosphere. My family loved me and spoiled me within their means. My family likes to party, and once I started partying too, I figured that was how you behave in order to be an adult. I had no idea that I was numbing out my feelings, because I didn’t want to deal with them. I had no idea that I would end up getting sober at the tender (yes, it’s very tender) age of 30, but I did.

I reached a point where I was scared. I had no control of how much I would drink, and what would happen after I started drinking.  Now, I didn’t go to the liquor store nude nor was I ever arrested (I guess one would follow the other in that circumstance). I am a high bottom drunk. Yep, that’s right, high bottom, very classy, thank you very much. Seriously though, I still have the same job, car, husband, etc. What has happened though, is through my sobriety I have been able to come back to myself. I have been able to become the person I’ve wanted to be. My problems today were my dreams last year. I ate dinner, and then tried to do Yoga. I didn’t get up early enough to hike with my dog. I only got up early enough to walk him around the neighborhood. That is success compared to what my days used to be like.

I used to spend my time drunk or hungover, and the only time I felt physically and emotionally okay, was when I was drinking. I couldn’t wait to get off work, so I could drink. I was never a morning drinker, because damnit I was going to have it all!  I was going to be in shape, do volunteer work, get wasted every night, smoke as much pot as I wanted, and be a thousand-aire by 40. I was going to “figure it all out later.” That little phrase is a drunk’s best friend. What actually happened, was my days were full of physical and emotional turmoil that ended in a blackout, pretty much every night. I wasn’t always this way. There were time when I felt I had my drinking under control.

I had times when I would have only a couple of beers. I had times when I wouldn’t blackout. I had weeks where I wasn’t hungover at all. Lordy, I felt like I was on top of the world when I accomplished those small victories over booze. I felt like I had figured it out. I could keep drinking, and I wouldn’t have to go to rehab, or quit drinking for the rest of my life. Here’s the thing, people who don’t have problems with booze don’t think that way. Normal people don’t have to make weird little boundaries for themselves. “If I have ten beers I can be less hungover tomorrow.” “If I drink five vodka sodas it has less calories, and I can still drive home.” Life was so complicated when I drank.

I was also a big stoner. I should probably throw that addiction into the mix. I smoked pot from morning to night. When I first quit drinking, I kept smoking pot, but for some reason that made me hate everything. It’s like my body and mind either want ALL THE DRUGS AND BOOZE, or they want nothing at all. I am an all or nothing person, so that does make sense. I had to quit the pot too.

What else to say about this whole damn thing? You’re probably already taking that super important Buzzfeed quiz, or maybe you’re asking yourself those questions about booze that only an alcoholic can answer ‘yes’ to. If you are in the latter, please know we got you. Keep it real out there friends. If you feel like shit, and you can’t get a handle on it, guess what? There’s beautiful, fulfilling path waiting for you when you decide to make a change. Catch you on the flippity floppity.

– Anonymous, sober since February 25, 2017.

Photo Credit Michael Discenza

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