Thursday, June 30, 2011

The No Drink Club

*** Submitted by Susan, who blogs at Writing My Way Sober

I'm fortunate to have magnificent role models for sobriety. People in the "No Drink Club" (as my friend's son calls it).

My older brother, my only sibling, is numero uno. He just booked tickets to come visit me in October for the Balloon Fiasco. He and his wife have two wee boys - sweet, sweet, sweetie pies! My brother, a great big bear of a guy, has been sober for over twenty years. He was horribly abused by my father, so of course he was lost and wounded for years. He has finally made some happiness, and a family, after decades of fearing he would never find it.

But I still haven't told him I am an alcoholic. I think I will sob when I tell him. For he was there too, when my dad did the terrifying things he did. My brother and I shared that horror and the scars we bear have the same shape. And yet, we are both pretty remarkable people.

Next comes my friend Gratitude Girl, who I have written about before. Over 5 years sobriety under her belt. We were drinking buddies in college. She sent me my first chip. She tells me about her meetings, about how much she loves them. She's a force of nature who has not been dealt an easy hand but she spins life into magic every chance she gets.

Then there is my father-in-law. Starting using at age 13. Grew up in San Francisco in the 60's. Mother was a severe alcoholic. Guy barely had a chance, and yet he got out. Took him several decades. But he got out. Now he hikes, backpacks, and built a frickin' cabin with his wife, with all repurposed materials, from the ground up. He supports a boatload of people in recovery in his community.

And then, there is even my Dad. A curious case. My father is a "quit cold turkey" kind of alcoholic. He did the same thing with smoking in his 20's. Once he makes a decision that's the end of the story. He's done. While this can make him incredibly intolerant of those who struggle, he still is a role model for me and I am grateful.

One thing I have begun to notice, is that people in recovery are pretty amazing people. Now, everyone is wonderful, but people in recovery, man, they "know" something. Not quite sure what, but we do.

Feel free to comment on this "something."

(As an aside. I know someone who doesn't even drink or do drugs of any kind, but she goes to AA meetings because she likes what she learns there. Is this allowed? I think it's really cool. She just really likes the wisdom of alcoholics. She's a wanna be No Drink Clubber.)

After I told my father-in-law I was an alcoholic I gave him a fist bump and said, "Hey, I'm in the club now too." Some of my favorite people are in the No Drink Club: my brother, my best friend, and of course, Robert Downey Jr.

And then there are all the women from Crying Out Now. And Dawn and Dawn again. And Guinevere. And Heather, and Julie, and Sharry and leapyeargirl, Marcia, Cadan, Anonymous, Harma, and everybody else in the No Drink Club.

We're Sober Ordinary People. There's something really special about us inside our sober ordinariness.

The password? Simple. Please help.

That's probably the best password I've ever heard.

I can't seem to stop writing about how spectacular it is to be ordinary and sober. I need some new adjectives.

Here's the deal ---- this is what is fueling this. Someone I know is struggling right now to detox from severe alcoholism, for the second time, at least. This person may have finally hit bottom after his family has pretty much given up hope. His mother's heart is breaking and she is hoping, while protecting her heart from being smashed again by his disease.

There is a small chance he is reading some of writingmywaysober and cryingoutnow. How do you let someone know they are not alone? That sobriety is worth it beyond belief? That life after recovery can be so incredible that even people who don't drink want to go to meetings to hear these wise people speak about life?

Just pray. Hard. For E.


  1. I think that the adjective you are looking for is...EXTRAordinary. Because you are. Amazingly extraordinary. Lovely post. Thanks for sharing.

  2. for you and for E and for the other souls who hunger for another life.

  3. E is doing well! Thanks for prayers!

  4. I love how you say ordinary and sober. Sometimes we alcoholics call non-alcoholics "Earthlings." I think that is because we have a program of recovery that leads us on a spiritual path. I also think we've been to hell and back and somehow landed in what Bill W. calls the 5th demention. However you want to look at it, we are still just garden variety drunks trying to live another day clean and sober. Not much special about us except that we are everyday miracles !
    You know our parents were right when they said to teach by example. That is the only way to help your friend. E. has to want what you (we) have. So hard to do yet so easy to attain once you begin the journey.

  5. Is just that - being sober is near normal and we have to recover all those lost years...