This time last year, I was a broken human being. I know that sounds dramatic, but it is absolutely true. I was hanging on to my seventh job in two years by a thread. I had no friendships to speak of. I mostly ignored my preteen son, relying on my aunt to handle the vast majority of my parenting responsibilities. I spent all my money and free time drinking, and that is no exaggeration. If I was awake and not at work, there was an open beer either in my hand or very nearby. My entire life revolved around alcohol, and I could not have been more miserable. I had been on and off the sobriety merry-go-round since late 2011. No matter what I did, I could never seem to shake the alcohol demon. I came close to getting sober once, with a 56 day stretch in early 2019, but other than that I had only managed to stay alcohol-free for a few days at a time before that little voice got too big and sucked me right back in. I knew I had to keep trying, but as I was barely able to manage the simplest tasks, scaling the sheer face of the sobriety cliff seemed completely impossible.
Then something happened. I had my last worst day drinking. When I woke up the next morning, I knew things had to change. I had known that for a long time, of course, but for some reason, the knowing was different that morning. The feeling was different that morning. I felt a lot like I had in early 2019 when I embarked on my longest stretch of sobriety since I was pregnant with my son. For whatever reason, the elevator doors opened, and I leapt through them. That was nine months ago. I have been proving to myself ever since that maintaining sobriety is NOT impossible.
So, what changed? What is so different this time around? Why hasn’t the little voice sucked me back in like it did so many times before? All those questions have the same answer: I found a community. I was maybe three or four days into sobriety and stumbled upon Boozemusings while Googling ‘alcohol withdrawal timeline.’ I read what felt like a zillion articles written by people brave enough to share their stories, and a couple of days later, I signed up for BOOM. A couple of days after that, I wrote my first post.
It has made such a difference to have the support of this community and to be able to offer mine in return. Actively engaging with the BOOM community has helped me triumph over alcohol in a way I never could before, and even though I know that I can never, ever, declare total victory and become complacent, I really do feel triumphant. In fact, I have felt triumphant at least once a month since August 29, 2020 and I would be willing to bet that almost every single member of this community understands that feeling. Whether it’s the triumph of outlasting a craving, of making it through Day One, of tackling your first social situation without drinking, or of reaching a major milestone, most of us know the feeling of wanting to shout it from the rooftops. The great thing about BOOM is that it gives us a place to do just that. We have a place to be jubilant about our sobriety – a place to be noisily happy about how amazing it feels to get those wins, no matter how small. Maintaining sobriety is NOT impossible. There is no time like the present to put that bottle down and walk away from it. Won’t you join me in a Jubilant June? Let’s celebrate those wins together!
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