It was ten months ago. Right at the beginning of the high-pressure holiday season. I had poured out the last of my vodka bottle and had finished my last beer. I knew that it was time to quit drinking but I had been denied entry into inpatient rehab. I decided I was going to go sober on my own. I had no other choice. My drinking had finally reached a fever pitch and caught the attention of my husband. His words resonated so deeply that I could no longer deny that I had a problem with alcohol.
The conversation with my husband left me devastated. I went to work that morning pretreated with a couple of beers to calm my shaky hands, and my boss knew something was up. He pulled me aside in his office, asked me what was wrong, and I broke. I told him I had a huge drinking problem, and admitted to drinking that morning. He sent me home. I phoned my counselor and began to get my mind around what needed to happen. Later that day I got a call from my boss saying that I could not return to work without proof of having sought help.
I was ashamed, embarrassed, and demoralized but I was blessed as well. I was blessed with the gift of desperation and a community around me who took that seriously and helped me find solutions. I texted my workmates to tell them what was going on, and why I wasn’t there. One of them responded with a link to the Boozemuzings community BOOM Rethink the Drink. It had never occurred to me that I would need consistent support to quit drinking. It never occurred to me to seek help online. I had never googled “am I am alcoholic” cuz I knew I was. I had never intended to quit drinking, cuz it was just the way things were, and eventually, I would stop…or not….
Little did I know that day that the Boom community would be my lifeline, my phone a friend, my ask the audience! Little did I know that I would win the “who wants to be a sober person?” game!
I had no idea what it took to stay sober. I had only stopped drinking a handful of times and sober never stuck long. All I could think that day was “I am Trapped!”
It has been said that “I am…” is one of the most powerful statements you can make to the universe. Think about it, we say this multiple times a day to express where we are in any moment of any day…
“I am bored”
“I am tired”
“I am angry”…
But these three little letters are also what make up our conversation with ourselves most of the time. In our BOOM community, we often discuss how “self-talk” forms our beliefs about ourselves and can be negative or positive depending on what we choose to focus on.
At the beginning of my alcohol-free (AF) journey, I noticed there were a lot of times when my “I am…” statements to myself included all the reasons I conjured up to drink.
“I am mad”
“I am stupid”
“I am useless”….I might as well just drink.
But as I move forward in this AF journey, I notice my internal dialogue has shifted to a much more positive perspective. I catch myself in the midst of some of what we sometimes call “stinking thinking” – the thinking that leads back to drinking – and can purposely pivot and shift my thinking into a much more productive direction.
“I am strong”
“I am resilient”
“I am clear-minded”.
“I am at peace “
The biggest difference I have noticed in my life since I went AF 10 months ago is the inner peace I feel down to my core, and outer peace I experience in my life. It’s taken me this long to see, as I watch others who drink, how absolutely wrong I was about alcohol. All the things I thought alcohol gave me, saved me from, and helped me deal with were wrong. Looking back, I feel bamboozled, tricked and hoodwinked. And that just makes me mad.
I am mad!
How could I have been so wrong for so long? What was I thinking? Part of me knows I was brainwashed by the media, since I was a kid, all the commercials and advertising of alcohol…it looked so appealing and fun! And my whole family drank and drinks. Our friends and neighbors too! Most social events had alcohol present, even baby showers and birthday parties. It seemed so natural, so benign, just part of life to have an open bar at every occasion. And for some people it really is benign, but for me, it’s not and never has been.
That being said, as I reflect on my relationship with alcohol over the last 30 years, I can see now how I came to believe all those things about it. And I let myself off the hook about that now. Thanks to the Boom community and Boozemusings, I’ve learned so much about alcohol and what it does to the mind, body and spirit for real. And I finally feel like my true self is reemerging. And it’s so much more peaceful, rewarding and steady. The ups and downs aren’t nearly as chaotic, I’m much more in control of my reactions. And I’m starting to become more comfortable verbalizing what I’m thinking and feeling. Being sober is truly a gift, and one that I gave myself without even knowing I was doing it.
I am aware!
I am Blessed!
I’ll admit, when I first stopped drinking, I had no idea just how entrenched my life was in alcohol. As the days and months sober have added up, that list of reasons I had to drink, is steadily being replaced by reasons to be AF. I appreciate life and living as a human being on this Earth so much more. I’m no longer willing to squander my days away by drinking. Alcohol adds nothing but heartache and sorrow to my life, and takes away happiness and joy. Granted, my life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, but it’s no longer storm clouds and scary monsters.
A powerful statement that brings us to the ever most important NOW. Yet another three letters that make up an extremely important word!! All we have is right now, and right now I am clear, I am strong, I am sober!
I am the hero of my own life.
This is my commercial for sober living! It’s so much fun, and so rewarding! Sober living offers everything there is in the human experience, at any given moment in time! There’s never a good or bad time to be sober, there’s just today to live. The options are endless, you can be sober anywhere and everywhere! Being sober is allowed at every theme park and concert venue! At every party and celebration! I much prefer to plan to be sober, than plan my life around drinking. Try it! It’s free! 🥰
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“I AM. Two of the most powerful words, for what you put after them shapes your reality”. ~Gary Hense