When I stopped drinking, I thought that life was going to become blah. I thought that I was going to become a rather dull, uninspired individual and I honestly had no idea how I was going to get from 5 pm to 10 pm without pouring a couple of bottles of wine all over my pain. I found rather quickly after stopping though that the pain was caused, not cured, by those bottles.
I was having a bit of a mother-daughter clash with my 18-year-old last week that was surprisingly undramatic. Even when we have the inevitable clash these days things get cleaned up pretty quickly.
Hugs all around, “I love you” – “I love you too”
The most important lessons I’ve learned in sobriety are to listen to myself and speak from my truth. Sober clarity brings a quick resolution to most conflicts and even the inevitable mother-daughter flare-up is calmed quickly.
But I asked her if she remembered why I stopped drinking four years ago and interestingly, she remembered it wrong. My daughter remembered me stopping for the reason that I have ultimately Stayed stopped. She remembered me stopping because drinking made me feel like crap and I wanted to feel better. She remebered me stopping because drinking was causing me more pain than pleasure.
When I stopped drinking I was so used to feeling like crap physically and emotionally that I had NO idea how crap I felt. I thought that feeling like crap was just part of middle age. I bought into the idea that aging was the boulder I was pushing up hill and had no idea that the boulder was actually alcohol.
I didn’t stop drinking for me I stopped for my kids. I stopped drinking because I was screwing up my daughter and beginning to screw up my son. I did not WANT to stop. I dreaded sobriety. I LOVED drinking. Drinking was my escape/release/entitlment/ Joy. I didn’t know how to function without it.
Falling down the stairs in a blackout with my 11-year-old son around the corner did it for me. My husband covered my tracks. Tucked me into bed before my son could see how wasted I was but it had to stop. It was getting worse and worse. I was spiraling down… and I knew that my inability to remember what I’d talked to my daughter about at night when I was blacked out was making her feel increasingly insecure.
For the first three weeks and a bit I was really quite lost. I held on for dear life because I had been trying to stop for 6 years and the blogging was somehow finally making it stick. The metaphors I read on Belle’s blog Tired of Thinking About Drinking were helping. But mostly it was FAITH. Not faith in a higher power but faith in the people whose blog posts I was reading. People who at 3 or 6 or 12 months sober were feeling so empowered. People who took time daily to generously share their experience because they were grateful, deeply grateful, to be free.
That’s what sobriety is all about really, FREEDOM.
Have FAITH that if you put down the bottle and leave it you will be EMPOWERED because you will no longer be stuck in the same cycle you were stuck in last year.
Over and over and over again.
Wash Rinse Repeat. Drink Drunk Shame.
Wash Rinse Repeat. Think Feel Evolve. Keep going…
You make the choice of course. It’s up to you. But I sure as hell don’t want to wake up back were I was four years ago, because that bottle of wine made me drink it …. because it chose me and I let it, I knew I needed to stop drinking when my daughter was 4, by the time my son was 7 it was getting pretty serious. By the time I finally did stop they were 11 and 15 and it has made a world of difference for both of them.
BUT what I didn’t realize when I began my community blogging practice was that sobriety was the most amazing gift I could give myself . It was for me. I had to have faith to get there. The faith came from the community.
Maybe do it for your child or partner right now. Stick to it for them . And before you know it it’ll be for you.
If You’re Drinking too much too often come join us in the BOOM Community and Rethink the Drink.
We’re talking it through there everyday. Privately, anonymously and away from the busy commercial noise of social media.
Talk to us here
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