Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Challenges and Gifts of New Sobriety

***Submitted by Kim

I recently quit drinking because I knew there was no other choice. I have 3 kids and I would binge drink every other night and sneak cigarettes on top of it. Talk about feeling like shit. Meanwhile I went to the gym 5 days a week and ate very well..go figure..does not make much sense. I also started to get short with my kids because I was always tired from waking up in the middle of th night and mentally beatig myself up for doing it again. I was not being the best mom and wife that I was meant to be because of my dirty little secret and I wanted to make sure that I will be around for my family and be happy and healthy.

I do think however that it is a challenge to stay sober when so many activities involve alcohol and many people can have a few drinks and be fine but not me..I will start with the intention of having "a" drink and once that first one hits my lips I can't get now enough is enough. I am finding it hard to engage in the activities that I used to without the drinks it seems boring, I mean something like going to a ball game or going to a cookout or having one of our many cookouts. Even sitting on the patio on a beautiful evening is not the same without a Bud light in my hand.

When you drink it is easier to talk to people, to be social, to laugh, to tell jokes..but when you are an alcoholic it is also easier to make a fool of have to check you text messages and see who you called last night and it is easier to wonder what damage you did last night in one of your dumb drunk conversations. When you are an alcoholic you think no one notices but they all do and they just don't know how to tell you..for everytime you go to any function you over talk too say dumb things..and you inevitably wake up with a hangover and swear off alcohol only to get right back in within days.

I think if you remember all of the reasons to stay sober it will make it easier..things like remembering tucking your kids into bed at night..sitting with them to read a book instead of sneaking out front for a smoke...getting up in the morning and feeling great that you did not drink last night..getting rid of that little gut that you got from drinking..not having to starve yourself because you drank a million calories worth of alcohol last night..knowing that everyday your body is getting healthier and healthier...not obsessing about the fact that what you are doing is a train wreck in the making....and lastly knowing that you don't have to look in the mirror with shame because you know that what you are doing is totally wrong and could ruin your life and your health.


  1. I loved this. Thank you.

    I'm struggling in the early days, and already so many of the gifts are there for me... especially tucking my kids into bed and not feeling like I have to rush through it get downstairs to my wine. It's hard, though, this time of year (who am I kidding, it's always hard) with warmer weather and BBQs and alcohol everywhere.

    Thanks for the important reminder about the things that matter most.

  2. Just keep reminding yourself that alcoholism (if you are, in fact, an alcoholic) is a progressive disease, and it only gets worse. Much worse. Things will get better, but you need support. Hang in there.

  3. thank you! you said it all -- yep...alcohol is everywhere. and at the beginning social events felt boring to me too. took awhile to learn that i can still have a great time without the booze. and now i also recognize that some activities are just plain boring to begin with and I tolerated them by drinking.

    hang in there's a new way of looking at life -- but it gets easier...

  4. It's a really tough beginning. Eventually you'll find that it doesn't look so fun to be incoherent and puking. The gifts keep coming. I can't imagine going back to it myself. Hang in there it's ao worth it.

  5. Thank you for sharing your story. I am only three months sober and but like other people have said, am already receiving the gift that sobriety brings. I wish you the very best and hope you find some peace from this disease.

  6. This is only the beginning. It gets different and it gets better and you will be amazed at what you begin to think of as a "gift of sobriety".

    There is a great book called "Gifts of Sobriety: When the Promises of Recovery Come True" by Barbara S. Cole.

  7. It took a few sober social events for me to realize I did not have more fun drinking than I did sober. Drinking was just a mental security blanket that was an illusion. The gifts truly do keep coming. it gets more and more astonishing. I can't imagine going back either.

  8. It is an amazing journey, this life of sobriety and the joys are so much richer than my past life. No longer do I chase happiness, it finds me.

  9. I agree! I'm only 16 days sober and I am loving the "perks". I wake up refreshed not hung over. I remember what I did the night before. I don't have to cancel appointments or playdates because I'm too hung over to make it. I don't have to think of an excuse to leave the house in the evening so I can get to the liquor store. I don't have the guilt and shame that I carried EVERY day. My husband is proud of me and I am proud of me!