***Submitted by Anonymous
Today marks 4 months sober. If you would have told me 6 months ago or a year ago, that I would quit drinking, I never ever would have believed you. In fact, I would have laughed at you and opened another beer. It was a part of me. Sometimes I thought it was my better half. But I had to exchange my better half for a better life. This exchange for a clean life was one that was long time coming. I knew a year earlier that I had a problem. But I talked myself out of it. I rationalized my drinking with the best of them. I had never had a DWI and was completely functioning at work, so there was no way I had a problem.
But there was a major problem.
I had gone from drinking excessively on the weekends to drinking every night. One or two beers was never enough.
Once I had that first taste, I needed at least 6 or 8 or 10. I used it as a way to handle my anxiety level which was through the roof.
As a Mom of young children, a wife and a full time employee, I had a lot on my plate. And the alcohol made it all better.
Or so I thought.
Slowly but surely I was addicted. I needed it every night to manage the night time routine. I needed it on the weekends to make it through and the time to start drinking slowly got earlier and earlier in the day. I convinced myself it was ok for the short term but that I would quit eventually but I really didn’t want to quit.
I started forgetting things that would happen including discussions with my husband. I was waking up every morning feeling incredibly sick. I couldn’t think or process anything very well. I was struggling to get the correct words out sometimes. I was not present in my kid’s lives. I was there alright but I couldn’t enjoy the moments laughing with them, reading a story or playing outside because I was thinking about that next beer. All because I had exchanged my health for alcohol.
So I made the decision to exchange my crutch, alcohol, for health and happiness with my family. I knew if I kept drinking, something bad would happen and I was killing my body little by little with each drink. I wanted to be a mom and wife present in the family. I wanted to be healthy. I wanted to find other ways to manage my anxiety. And I didn’t want to be the “drunk” to my family and friends.
Most people in life exchange a shirt, exchange a car for a new one, exchange one house for another and so on. I had to make an exchange that got me back my life and health. It would be life changing and huge.
I don’t know how I got the strength to stop drinking that Sunday in March. But I did. And I haven’t picked up alcohol since.
And I’m a better wife, mom and human being for it. My mind is clear. I’m working out. I am present in the moments even if my anxiety level is at an all time high.
I can tell you it’s not easy.
And many times I get angry that I can’t have one or two drinks with friends or go to happy hour and connect with everyone over a pitcher. I’m mad I ruined my relationship with alcohol so that at 34, I had to put it down for good.
I never thought I would be here but here I am. And It makes me angry. But I know I had to do it and my anger will be out weighed over time by an amazing life with my family.
And I did make one more exchange...I traded in alcohol for coffee.
And now going to bed after a warm cup of coffee and knowing that I’ll wake up with a crystal clear mind is one of the best moments of my day.