Tuesday, May 7, 2013

20 Days Sober

***Submitted by Anonymous

This is my 20th day sober.
 
For many reasons I decided it was time to quit drinking. Going to alcoholics anonymous has helped, but this week I've been struggling with the thought of NEVER drinking again. I'm only 21 years old and the thought of saying I'm never going to do something again seems kind of ridiculous to me.
 
I just feel like that just because at this point in my life I've had problems with alcohol, who says that will always be the case?
 
I went through with the first step in AA, to admit that I am powerless over alcohol. But all of a sudden I'm questioning myself. Who says I am powerless? Everybody around me? Am I admitting this only because I feel like its what I'm supposed to do?
 
What if after a year of sobriety I decide I want to drink a couple glasses of wine or a beer? Or what if I end up deciding that I never want to drink again? 
 
All of these questions have been flooding my brain today after meeting with my sponsor. I guess the best advice she gave me was to live for today and in the present moment.
 
So I guess the best I can do is not worry about tomorrow, or where I'll be in a year from now and do what I feel is right for today...
 
For today I choose to be sober. 

9 comments:

  1. Your story was my story when I was 21. I started AA but quickly questioned who I was doing it for. If has taken me many years to come to the place where I am now stopping drinking for me. Pause...you don't have to worry about the rest of your life today. What your sponser said is the only way to handle the issue, but it is hard. It helps me to think about the things I want in my life and the things that alcohol has brought to my life. For me that keeps it in perspective because alcohol doesn't match with the things I want. Thanks for reminding me fo the process...taking one day at a time can really be an amazing gift to yourself for recovery and life.

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  2. It's hard to imagine staying sober for the "rest of your life" at ANY age. I got sober at 55 after a short period (4-6 yrs) of quick progression, I did not drink regularly before the age of 45. It makes me anxious when I think I'll never drink again but I sure hope I don't and that I get the gift of dying sober ... but all I have is the rest of this 24 and step 11 to help prepare my immunity for tomorrow. Many women I know got sober at a young age and have thriving sober families at a young age AND a toolbox of recovery to cope with life (and parenting) on life's terms. Many of them hold 20 year chips. I admire them. Blessings as you continue living o.d.a.t. ....

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  3. From sobriety it's easier for a person to stay that way, if, when they have 'just one' it always goes on to two three four ~ DRUNK every time.

    At 21 you have your whole life ahead of you (I bet you've heard that before) you can still , sober, change your work reputation and BUILD a career throw yourself into it.

    When I was 21 , I gave up alcohol but went back into it , at a young age I went on eventually ( going on and off alcohol bingeing) to have a young stroke , damaging my ability to work .

    I regret so badly not staying sober and leaving the AA ,whom I scorned into the dust.

    When you become happy sober and all your friends (who might be inviting you and tempting you ) understand you can't or won't drink , the pressure eases , they will most probably say 'ohhh Anonymous doesn't drink' and they won't ask anymore.
    Some will stop being your friend.

    Maybe it's THAT , that is frightening you ? That you'll be left out socially altogether? You WON'T but it's a different crowd altogether.

    There IS life sober out there without AA if you want ,( but you need their strength right now,) easier though if you stay with non-drinking friends.

    One day at a time (with a window into the future).

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  4. I never did AA because I couldn't get past that first step. I don't think there's much in this life that I am truly powerless over. I am not powerless. Period. I chose to quit and found support at Women For Sobriety (and online support group that is not religion-based).

    I don't know if I'll stay stone cold sober for life, but I know I will today and tomorrow. It's been more than 3 years for me now.

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  5. I was 23 years old when alcohol and prescription drugs became a problem. Initially I obtained my drug of choice legally, so I wasn't at risk for legal problems. I drank for many reasons. I was clinically depressed, and felt overwhelmed with life.
    After a year or so of heavy drinking and prescription drug use the consequences started. I now had things happening in my life that I could directly link back to addiction. Of course I questioned if I was truly addicted. I told myself I could stop at anytime, and I did occasionally stop, BUT everytime I picked up again the consequences became much worse. I sat in AA and listened to the stories of much older people. They described the horrific details and destruction that alcohol brough into their lives. BUT they aren't me, those things wouldn't happen to me because I believed I could stop when I needed to.
    You started your post by saying you stopped drinking for various reasons. And throughout your post you question if you are truly powerless. I think we MUST get very specific about the effects that this drug has on our lives and the lives of those around us. We need to recognize those consequences and evaluate the risk involved in continuing to drink.
    Finally I needed to understand clearly that I could/can drink whenever I choose to drink. No one can tell me I cannot drink. No one can choose for me. I hold that power, I make that decision. I can pick up when ever I want. Knowing that was a huge key to my long term sobriety. For many years I thought I couldn't drink, I couldn't drink because I'd get in trouble, I couldnt drink because someone might see me. I couldn't drink because a relapse is embarrassing. The reality was/is none of that will keep me sober.
    Today I'm sober because I decided to grow the heck up. Today I'm sober because it's the right thing to do. I've made a commitment and I intend to keep that commitment because that's what life is about, honoring our commitments to ourselves and to others.
    I spent many years feeling sorry for myself because others my age could drink, I was angry that others could self medicate when they were nervous or angry or anxious. What about me? It seemed unfair. I have to straight up deal with life when everybody else gets to have fun, let loose, relax. The only way for me to get past that was to remember I too have the option to use alcohol anytime for any reason. And the only way I could stay sober was to choose not to drink. One day at a time, not for the rest of my life. I will not drink today.

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  6. You are young and at that time in your life when there are so many things to sort out, about who you want to be and where you want to go. During one of the Bubble Hour shows someone shared about their lightbulb moment of the concept that "you can always change your mind". That is a very freeing thought, and can help alleviate the knee-jerk resistence to superlatives like "never", "forever" and "powerless". The idea of never drinking again was/is a tough thought to wrap my brain around too. It's been three months and I still can't quit latch onto it, so I tell myself that when my kids are raised and out of the house I can change my mind and drink as much as I want then...my youngest is only 10, and by the time she is grown I'm sure I'll be looking forward to grandkids and other great stuff that's worth staying sober for. You sound like you are smart and intuitive (and do I sense a stubborn streak :-) ?), and every sober day will bring you more insights and perspectives to ponder. Don't worry about forever, goals can be short term, like one day at a time.
    Take good care of yourself, and be well!

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  7. 'Take Control of Your Drinking...And You May Not Need to Quit' by Michael S. Levy
    Also try a therapist - we all have underlying issues why we become dependent on a substance and choose to self-medicate with it when triggered. Self-awareness and mindfulness (being present in the moment so you feel/know when you are at risk and so are able to take action) are vital. I realise AA et al work wonders for some but I don't believe in being powerless and am an atheist - also believe that we must get past thinking we are something..an alcoholic, drug addict etc - those are victim words. Also with institutions such as AA - you are never free of your dependency/addict label - they keep one locked in a relationship with it for life = personally, I don't subscribe to being limited, confined and defined by a former label/the past - I'd rather work towards being free. Re the book - those who are able to moderate drinking fair just as well, sometimes better, than those in AA or similar but of course we must choose what might work best for our own situation.

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  8. Wow! Good for you! Stay sober for today. I'll be thinking of you..even though this entry is now a bit old. I'm 55 and at your age it never would have occurred to me to not drink... that there was a problem. Still I had thrown up enough, had enough hangovers, and had been through enough embarrassing situations.

    I'm going to be sober today. Wish I had been as mature back then as you are now.
    Stick with the people here. Look up BFB and WFS. There will be lots of people rooting for you.

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  9. I envy this right now. Over some recent relationship issues and instances in the past I have decided that I need to remove alcohol from my life. I was 20 when I got a DUI that almost killed me. I found out later that I had been doing between 60 and 70 mph when I passed out and drove my truck into a large oak tree. I have had it destroy my search for higher education as drinking took precedence over learning, and the times I used it as a crutch in relationships have only resulted in nothing but pain and misery. After a while I even began mixing my prescription medications with my drinking with has greatly affected how I interact with others and also how i treat myself on a daily basis. On top of it I am epileptic and have had alcohol induced seizures on many occasions, which is not something you want to put family, friends, and yourself through. I' surprised i'm not dead. I feel very confident in my abilities to accept a sober life style and find it fantastic to see other my age out there doing the same thing. Definitely good to know I am not alone and hope I can be as successful at sobriety as you all have.

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