Staying on Track – How I Stopped Drinking with the Help of an Online Community

Hands Reaching Out How I Stopped drinking and Stayed sober with an Online Community

I realistically started my sober journey in December of 2019. It was then that I realized that my drinking was extremely out of control and that it had progressively gotten worse as last year came to a close. When I admitted this both to myself and my psychologist, she got me in touch with the addiction centre that I became an outpatient at. She did the legwork for me, organised appointments ect. because she knew if she didn’t- that I wouldn’t make the step for myself. I’ll be forever grateful to her for that. I’ll be grateful to her for that, and also for sharing this article with me, The Fuckit Bucket. An article that lead me to find unexpected help to stop drinking from an online community.

Towards the end of December and early January, I was having alcohol funerals basically every day. Between the treatment centre, myself and my psychologist we decided that I would begin the outpatient detox in January because I wasn’t going to commit to going sober over the Christmas period. Stopping drinking in December was pure insanity to me. I was drinking as much as I could because I knew that there was an expiration date on my drinking and I was panicking. I could not imagine a world in which I didn’t drink. I could not imagine one day much less a life lived sober.

Hand reaching for help to stop drinking and stay sober with an online community

I found the BOOM Community during this time. They witnessed several of these alcohol funerals and were supportive throughout. In this online community, I unexpectedly found a home. It was a home that I could keep in my back pocket when needed. I found people that understood exactly where I was at, people that didn’t judge me, people who wanted more for me yet knew that I would first have to want more for myself. I found people who gave me tough love when I needed it, people who actually helped me decide my quit date and who are still around ten months later to cheer me on, help me pick myself up when I fall, and vice versa.

Woman with phone I Stopped Drinking and Stay Sober with the Help of an Online Community

In so many ways, this year has been the best year and the worst year of my life. I know that quitting alcohol is meant to be the best thing for your life, and it was. It was the best decision I have ever made, outside of marrying my spunky husband. However, drinking as it does- covered up a plethora of issues that I have been wrestling with for the last 10 months and this has been difficult. However over the last 10 months, I’ve realised things about myself that I couldn’t have realised when I was a drunk.

I’ve realised that I don’t need alcohol to gloss over the bad parts of my life. That alcohol only either makes them worse, or covers them up and drops them all in my lap wrapped in barbed wire when I’m least expecting it. Since I stopped drinking I’ve learned that I do have a good character and that I am a ‘good’ person. This was really hard to reconcile with myself when I first stopped drinking- the damage that I had done to myself and my family vs, I am actually a ‘good person’. I’ve realised that I can give grace to parents who brought us up in the only way they knew how and at the same time, recognise that I was brought up in a really horrible way. Since I’ve stopped drinking I’ve learned that it is possible to have healthy boundaries with people, although it absolutely sucks trying to create boundaries when before, there were none.

Since I stopped drinking I realised that sober fun is still fun, even more fun when you don’t wake up hungover. I’ve realised that the sun is really pretty, and the blue skies make me feel wonderful on the inside. Since I stopped drinking I’ve realised that grattitude is something that I need to practice, and when I do actively practice it- my mindset completely changes which is something I absolutley scoffed at when I was drinking. 

I’ve realised that I am now one of those people who I thought was a boring loser, and that I’m happy to be in the ‘losers club’ because what I’m doing is actually the opposite- drunk me was the loser, sober me is not. I will most-likely continue on-going therapy to deal with my childhood, because it wasn’t a nice childhood and there are still a lot of issues there; this has been one of the more painful aspects of quitting drinking. I’ve realised that with or without alcohol – I’m still pretty bats and well, there is nothing wrong with medication and I’m entirely unsure why I thought there was- this was a very hard lesson to learn.

Since I stopped drinking I’ve realised that life is still life in all of its beauty and all of its pain, and that there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it except live. I’ll will most-likely need to keep checking in with the online community that helps me stay sober and helps me remember that it is a choice to drink. That I had lost control because drinking was a choice that I made time and time and time again, until I felt like it was the only choice I had. I know different now, and now I choose not to drink.

Hands of woman painted with positive things that she's found since she stopped drinking with an online community

There are two key things that I’ve learnt are important to maintaining my sobriety. That is to ask for help when I need it, and that I can’t do sobriety alone. Both of these keys I find in community.

Asking for help is difficult for me because it feels pathetic but what I’ve found to be more pathetic is wallowing in my bullshit when I know that if I ask – people will help. The key is that people aren’t mind readers – if you don’t ask – you don’t receive. Everyone needs help sometimes, I’m not special – I am everyone.

As for stopping drinking and doing sobriety alone, that is a hard no from me. I just can’t. I’ve tried it and failed it multiple times. I don’t particularly want to have a bash at it again. Posting in my online community, asking for help, and giving that help back to others, is really important to my sobriety. I also think it’s really important to give back to a community that has done nothing but give to me. There’s something beautiful to being part of the solution.

The solution for me.

The solution for us.

More from this author :

Alcohol Takes – Thoughts on Fear, Loneliness and Living Sober

It’s Simple but not Easy – Perspective from 165 Days of Sobriety

Shattering the Toxic Cycle of Alcohol Abuse

If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break…or if you have stopped drinking and are trying to stick to sober! Talk to Us.  Start with 30 days. Try a Dry JulySober October, or New Year’s Dry January Challenge.

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