I’ve been thinking about recovery and the stigma that still surrounds it. That stigma almost kept me drunk. When I began to notice that my drinking was increasing and verging on abusive, I became curious. Curious about who chooses recovery. I started looking for inspiration, motivation and understanding. Most of my friends drank like I did, so they weren’t curious – at all. I started buying books about drinking and recovery. I read one of them and got nervous – like I had to make a decision right then to quit, so the rest went on the shelf for a few more years while I did a little more “research” (code for drinking). My intuition was working well – I just chose to ignore it. “It’s not that bad”, “I’m fine”, “I don’t have a problem…..” The closer I got to my bottom, the more curious I became, my intuition was getting stronger and stronger, much to my dismay. I knew something needed to change, I needed to quit, but I couldn’t imaging my life without chardonnay. My hands shook so bad I had one hell of a time putting on my eyeliner – but by God I was not going to have a drink in the morning to calm the shakes, that would be, well, alcoholic behavior for crying out loud. I just couldn’t face the disgrace of admitting I had a problem with alcohol. I never had a DUI or an accident while drunk. I hadn’t lost a job because of my drinking (most of my colleagues drank like me too). My father died an alcoholic death-and I wasn’t anywhere near that bad – or so I thought. Then, I heard Paula Robbins, whom I liked and respected, talk about how she helped people with recovery in her practice, Sunrise Hypnotherapy. My ears perked up. Later, when I sought her services-when I was one week into my recovery, she told me she was twenty-one years sober and living a happy, purposeful life. She gave me inspiration and hope. I love learning that some of my favorite authors chose this path on the way to their notoriety – like Glennon Doyle, Jen Sincero, Anne Lamott, Brene’ Brown. These amazing women continue to inspire me.
The reason I open up and share about this is that maybe, just maybe, my words will resonate with someone who may be curious about what it’s like to quit drinking. I am so grateful to be sober. I’m also very lucky. I have met some of the most incredible people that have chosen a life of sobriety. I’ve learned how to live life on life’s terms – one day at a time. Some days are better than others, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Without contrast, how would you know what happiness is? I’m closing in on ten years of sobriety (March 14, 2009) and I’ve never been happier. I have a husband who loves me and I adore him. I’m working on my dreams. I have a good life.
I read these two books the day I decided to choose sobriety. I highly recommend them both: Drinking-A Love Story, by Caroline Knapp and Gifts of Sobriety-When the Promises of Recovery Come True by Barbara S. Cole.
I’d love to hear your comments or let me know if you have any questions.