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It still hurts...
Andrew is a dad of three that lives in Brisbane.
As I sat down to write my mums' story tears filled my eyes,
Even after 27 years it still hurts,
My dad left the family when I was 2. He was kicked out by my uncle for spending my mum's money on booze.
We grew up on a council estate and had very little money, I remember we were the last family in the street to get a colour TV.
My mum had another child after my dad left after drunken fling and along came my little brother
When I was 10 my mum met a guy who looked like Peter Sutcliffe, The Yorkshire Ripper. His parents owned a working men’s club, which my mum and her new partner took over. I liked him.
He became a father I never had.
We grew up with him and respected him.
Fast forward to 1993...
When I got home there was a lot of noise going on upstairs...
I went upstairs mum had collapsed and was been given CPR but her body was lifeless.
I was too late.
I carried her coffin at her funeral.
Several weeks past,
A friend I saw one day asked if my mum had received her doctors’ results?
I was so confused.
I immediately went to see her doctor,
He said mum had been prescribed pain killers for bruised ribs...
‘She was hit by your stepdad’ He said.
My heart sank,
I went to see my stepdad and told him that I needed to talk to him.
‘We had a drunken fight and I hit her’ He told me
‘What’s done is done’
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The man I trusted had hit my mum.
I was left on my own in tears.
I did not blame him, or her, or anyone. I blamed the drink.
I moved to Australia to start a new life.
But no matter hard I’ve tried; I can’t hide from my past.
Andrew is a wonderful Dad that lives in Brisbane. His story represents not only how alcohol can affect your own life but destroy the people you love.
Thanks Andrew x
The Day I Nearly Died...
This is a great place to tell your story and give people more insight into who you are, what you do, and why it’s all about you.
On 22nd October 2004 I met the man that was to become my husband - Woody. I was 29 and he was 34, he was in the army, he was funny and we both liked to go out at the weekend and drink a lot. As he was in the army I only saw him at the weekends and so our relationship was long distance from the beginning. Fast forward to 17 August 2007 - we got married, we'd done 6 months apart due to Iraq and we'd bought a house in January 2006, which I had to move into on my own as he was away in Norway. I'm trying to set the scene that us being apart a lot was what I was used to and in the beginning it worked for us. In August 2008, our first son Stanley was born and in April 2010 Billy was born. The following year Woody had completed his 22 years service and came out of the army on a full pension for what should've been a "normal" life for us. But he just couldn't decide what he wanted to do. He'd had a year of resettlement courses through the army, but he just couldn't make his mind up. So when some training work came up in Iraq, I said I didn't mind if he went. We were used to him being away and I wanted him to be happy in his work - he still had over 20 years left in his working career. What I didn't realise then, and what I've only recently realised was that I was putting everyone else's needs before mine. I'm easy going, peacekeeper, want the easy life - Woody being away and happy made my life easier I thought, even at home with 2 boys under 2. So that has been our life for the most part of the past 9 years. Woody working away for 8-12 weeks and home for 3-4 weeks. Teddy our youngest son arrived in September 2012. So then I was at home on my own with 3 boys aged 4 and under. I thought I was fine, how do you do it? I used to get asked all the time. Well I just do, its what we do.
So I'm not actually sure when I started drinking on my own in the house. What I do know in the past 18-24 months its got bad - I'd buy one bottle of wine, drink that and then when the boys were in bed asleep I'd leave them on their own to race to the corner shop to get another before it closed. Once you've got away with it once, no one has woken up... its easier to do it again. I didn't drink every night but I definitely drank every night from Thursday - Sunday. Probably going to bed so drunk that I would struggle to wake up if any of my beautiful boys woke up.
As my boys have got older and playing on game consoles, I thought actually I could leave them for about an hour and they wouldn't even notice/care. This is where I started to seriously go out of control. My boys are still only 7, 10 and 11 now. What I was thinking I don't know, but I started to leave them at home on their own so I could go to the pub for an hour maybe once or twice a week. Sadly it was probably for more than an hour once I got there and downed 2 pints and started enjoying adult company.
I am so ashamed writing this but this is part of my story and feel I need to get this down so if I get tempted to think I can moderate I can come on here and read my story.
So now we get to Sunday 21 July 2019, the first Sunday of the school summer holidays. Its a beautiful day and my friend from work came round for food and a few drinks. I'd probably drank a bottle of prosecco before she got there. My memory is very, very sketchy on this whole weekend. But what happened was we left the boys about 8pm (I think) for an hour, we actually turned into 2. My boys were calling me while I was in the pub to ask me to come home. So me and my friend went back home. I went to go up the stairs in the house to put the boys to bed.... (everything that happened from now on is what I've been told) I fell backwards as I walked up the stairs, smashed my head on the shoe cupboard and was unconscious on the floor. Teddy was the first one to see me, my head wasn't cut but I had blood coming out of my nose. Thankfully Kelly was there, otherwise my 3 boys would've had to deal with this on their own. Kelly called the ambulance and Stanley called my sister Jade.
I was taken to the QE in Birmingham, where I was put into an induced coma due to a fractured skull and 3 bleeds on the brain. I could've died. My boys were told I might not remember them. No one could be certain how I would be once I was brought round, no one could even be certain that I was going to live in those first few days. My husband was home by the Monday evening. I was in an induced coma for 10 days, and came out of hospital on the 9th August. Thankfully I have recovered well.
The reason I'm writing this is that all of this was not enough to make me put the alcohol down. I moderated for about 6 weeks after coming out of the hospital. At my first consultant appointment in September one of my questions was "Can I still drink?" His reply was yes in moderation. Well for me that was the green light. Why didn't the consultant say - "Are you serious? You've just had a traumatic brain injury and you're still asking if it's ok to poison your body???" At the end of September my husband went back to work in Iraq, I said it was fine, but really it wasn't. But what could I do, he needed to work - he'd just had 2 months off because of my accident. Once again I told him I would be fine. Sadly it wasn't, I went completely off the rails.
So I am lucky, blessed, grateful, thankful to still be here and so, so happy I have finally seen sense to give up the poison that was leading me to so many bad choices. I'm sorry if I have gone on but I needed to explain fully the life I had lived for many years. I had felt unfulfilled in my marriage for many years and following this experience I did decide life is to short to keep wondering what if???? Me and my husband separated in November, when he came back from work. The past 6 months have been very turbulent to say the least.
I am now Day 136 of my sober journey and I feel amazing. My boys, family and friends are so proud of me. I am proud of myself. I am looking forward now to making plans, going back to college. I am so much more present with my boys and I am a lot more chilled out without the WIne witch calling me constantly and rushing the boys through their tea and to bed - So I could sit downstairs on my own and drink 2 bottles of rose wine.
You can follow Cheryls story on her Instagram page @soberboymomwarrior
What have you become?
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The Gentle Rhythm of Sobriety
The day I decided for the millionth, and the last time that I would never drink again, I woke up with my usual first thoughts that went like this:
"Did I say anything embarrassing last night?"
"Did I do anything stupid last night?"
"Do I owe anyone an apology today?"
"That's it, I'm never drinking again."
Over two and a half years down the track I still can't tell you how it happened that March 22nd, 2017 became the first day of my sobriety. I have often wondered about that time. It's still a little hazy. Added to the list of those first morning thoughts was a new one and while unremarkable with no emotion attached, this new additional first day of sobriety thought cut through the bullshit and the denial of what my life had come to and landed with a tiny thud in my anesthetised by ethanol heart.
No fanfare, no angels, no parting clouds or harps and no massive gut-wrenching rock bottom moment. I didn’t realise that day that my whole lifestyle in general was my rock bottom. I was alone. My husband had been sleeping in the other room anyway and had already left to work. We were fighting. He hadn't talked to me for days. It was an excruciating pattern. Drunk people are not all that reasonable, even when sober -and that's being very kind.
I got up. I had a shower. I never looked at myself for too long in the mirror. As usual, I didn't want to see the bloated, miserable woman I had become. I went about my day. I wondered at times if I could stick to it – the no drinking thing. I decided I would not drink that day, just that day. Not drinking forever was too much to contemplate, so on my first on purpose sober day I decided to just not drink for that one day.
My drinking buddy (my husband) wasn't playing nicely which made it easier. I told myself I could take a break from drinking for a bit, maybe a week to start with or a month. Whatever happened next I knew whatever I had been doing with alcohol had to change.
The night of my first sober day, I had been to yoga, picked up some take away Indian while pretending the bottle shop nearby didn’t exist. I told myself if I really wanted to drink I could. There was always plenty of wine at home. I walked inside the apartment. My husband was still ignoring me. I tried not to think about him or the alcohol that was inside our home. He was watching TV, sipping wine. Situation normal, only I felt completely different. I didn't look at him or the wine. I made my way straight to the bedroom. I ate. I went to sleep. I was alcohol-free for 24 hours.
I did the same thing for the next few days. At times I really wanted to be numb.
I would make myself busy. I had to find a place to live. I had to figure out how to afford things. I had to get out and away from him. This was my life for the first two weeks of sobriety.
Timing is everything right? My husband went away for work. While he was gone, we sorted out who was to live where and how and when. It was not amicable. I did it anyway. One of us had to. It was ridiculous. I moved into a place on my own. I was terrified. I felt weak and pathetic. I was so down on myself. Maybe I was always down on myself and alcohol turned the volume of that down too. I was scared I would drink. I was afraid because I couldn't drink.
What I remember the most about the first few months of sobriety is how tentative I felt and how raw I was. Every emotion was intensified. I felt like someone had turned up the dimmer switch on my life and snapped off the nob and I was always ON and bright, and the intensity stung.
I had trouble sleeping. I cried a lot. I was very lonely. I missed my idiot husband. I didn’t want to see my friends because nearly everyone I knew drank. I was embarrassed about how my life had turned out. Another marriage had ended, and now I wasn't drinking anymore, which of course meant I must have been drinking too much and I had to explain that, and I didn't want to.
I didn't like leaving the house. I didn’t want to go anywhere because alcohol was everywhere. I craved oblivion, but I had no way of getting it. I didn’t want to drink but I just couldn’t figure out how to do life without it.
It was an impossible place to be, but with every millimetre of my being, I could not go back to that life of drunk, numb, cranky, teary, disconnected from everyone and everything, hungover, repeat.
I did a 60 day Bikram yoga challenge where I did yoga 60 times in 60 days. I wanted my body back and I liked the idea of actually wanting to be in my body instead of disconnected from it too.
I didn't realise just how much time drinking helped me waste. I had so much more time since I no longer had alcohol and a husband. I used to spend time in Ubers to and from restaurants and bars where I then talked about nothing in other locations and not just at home with him.
In the early sober days, my days took on a gently rythmn. Thank god, because inside everything was tumultuous. I started going for long morning walks. I did my work at home as usual. I went to yoga. I discovered Netflix. It wasn't so bad. It was actually quite nice at times. It was very different.
I wish I could say it got better quickly. It didn't. It stayed hard for ages. I lost contact with most of my old friends. We just couldn't relate anymore. I tried one more time to salvage my marriage, but it was a disaster. I drank the way I did because I had trouble coping with a range of painful things, namely a traumatic past and an abusive present with him. I ended up in hospital for a while. It was after that stint, when the healing began in earnest.
It is an honourable way to be. I have integrity now. I am real. I still feel everything, but I know how to deal with those big feelings now. Big feelings also mean big love, big warmth, big honesty, big truth, big creativity, big vulnerability, as well as big pain and sadness and grief. I am alive to it all. I would not change one second of it.
I wouldn't be this version of me without all that.
She was a radio announcer for eons in a previous life, and she’s travelled the world and lived a life full of adventure, love and laughter alongside the tears.
If you would like to foloow Melissa's journey you can go to her website...
If you would like to socialise alcohol-free go to the Untoxicated website to find some like-minded people.
or follow Untoxicated on Facebook
My name is Dave and I am proudly sober after a lifetime of dependent drinking.
At the peak of my addiction I was drinking over a litre of vodka a day, my marriage was crumbling and my life was in complete chaos.
My physical and mental health were deteriorating rapidly and the ever increasing lies and deceit around my drinking led to resentment and mistrust from those around me.
I had lost all respect for myself which in turn had me reaching for the bottle even more. It was a devastating and destructive cycle and I simply couldn’t see a way out.
The immense relief and personal happiness I’ve found from choosing a path of sobriety is hard to put into words.
In December 2018, I was in a very different place. My marriage was in a really bad way, my weight had spiralled out of control and my blood pressure was dangerously high. I knew I had to do something. I’d tried moderating and it lasted two days. Hiding alcohol from my wife had somehow become part of the norm and I had virtually lost all conscience about doing so.
I glanced at a reflection in the mirror and spoke out loud, “Who are you, what have you become?”
You see, I had completely lost all respect for myself. I knew I was better than this, yet alcohol took over my thoughts on a daily basis. I began 2019 the same as ever: drinking like a fish and very much still in denial about how serious my drinking was, but equally being aware that it had to end.
I was driving to work on 7 January 2019 with a hangover from hell when I received a text message. It was from a very close friend of mine. It read: ’Do you want to give up alcohol for three months with me, to see where you are with your health and your marriage?’
I chucked the phone on the empty seat next to me and laughed out loud. Three months! I can’t even go three days. However, the message sank in throughout the day and later that evening that friend and I met up, talked, I shook his hand and said: “Deal.”
"I created my Instagram page @soberdave and decided to share my journey, the highs, the lows, the complete truth. I was amazed at the support I was receiving."
I was very lucky in some ways that it was Dry January. I did lots of googling and found the Alcohol Change UK website which had lot of online resources.
I created my Instagram page @soberdave and decided to share my journey, the highs, the lows, the complete truth. I was amazed at the support I was receiving. I could see immediate results. My marriage began improving overnight - the fact we were sleeping in the same bed was a start, rather than me falling asleep drunk on the sofa! My sleeping pattern was all over the place but at least there were no hangovers.
After a couple of weeks, I wanted to be honest with myself. What would happen after the three months were over? I knew I would be right back where I was before. That’s when I made the life-changing decision to stop drinking alcohol forever.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing. Spring was difficult as we had a mini heatwave and it seemed like wherever I looked people were drinking. I had to dig deep and take each day as it came - some were easy, some were tough, but I just knew there was no turning back.
"Being sober has opened up a whole new world for me."
I’ve lost 10kg, hosted two sober events, spoken on several panels about my sobriety and, most excitingly, I’m about to embark on a course to train as a recovery coach. My life has changed for the better in every way. I cannot wait for 2020 - my sober vision board is huge!
Dave is a massive sober influencer in the UK and I am so pleased he agreed to share his story on my site. If you need some inspiration follow him on social media @soberdave or go to his website where you can book an online consultation with him
Update from Sophie
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6 Months of sobriety.
Because one is too many and a thousand never enough.⠀
Once I had that first drink, alcohol had me. ⠀
The pebble that starts the avalanche. ⠀
So without that first drink, there can not be a second, third or fourth one.⠀
Grateful for every morning that I wake with a clear head space. ⠀
Grateful for being able to sleep throughout the night without waking in fear. ⠀
Grateful that I no longer need to rely on alcohol as a coping mechanism to bury my feelings. ⠀
To feel every emotion I have is a beautiful thing. ⠀
Every day I decide not to drink, reminding myself how far I have come and the courage and strength I have had along the way. ⠀
I wear that courage with pride. ⠀
182 days sober from everything I’ve ever done to escape from what I didn’t understand- myself. ⠀
My biggest work- to be kinder to me. ⠀
One day at a time ♡⠀
Follow Sophie's journey on Instagram
Faye is the founder of Untoxicated. A place where people on the sober path can meet and connect.
I admit it, I’ve been an A-grade show pony since I was a kid; a super-social animal who enjoyed being around people and making them laugh. I always had lots of friends, a love of parties and a strong case of FOMO.
And as it happens this was not only part of the reason I drank – to quell my social anxiety and enable me to show up as the life and soul of any party–- but it was also a bloody great humongous hurdle in my mind to stopping drinking, or even cutting back.
I felt sober people were weird, boring social outcasts and not to be trusted, much in the same way as I do about people who don’t like cats.
For years – and by years, I mean decades – I would lurch from thinking I had things ‘under control’ to a crisis of sorts. You know, the ones where you said or did something you shouldn’t; offended a boss, snogged someone inappropriate (I have the most hilarious story involving Spanx – mine) or smashed your front teeth out on a pavement in the Valley during a failed piggyback attempt. Man, that last one was costly.
This would invariably lead to a period of immense shame and an attempt to ‘sort things out’. Sorting things might involve going to see an alcohol counsellor or going on medication such as Naltrexone or turning up at an AA meeting full of remorse, never to go back because ‘I wasn’t like those people’.
I’m sure many of you can relate to the situation where, on the back of a mortifying episode I’d convince myself after a few days that it wasn’t really that bad after all. I mean, c’mon it’s just a bit of a laugh, right? No big deal. Then I’d be back on, big time, by the weekend. Rinse and repeat for at least twenty years.
By the end in all of this, I’d stopped even pretending that this night out would be different because I’d only drink certain drinks. Or that I really would stop at five drinks, or by 9 o’clock. Or that I’d definitely come home with my keys, my wallet and my phone this time.
Who was I kidding? I couldn’t even fool myself anymore.
No, I knew after about the first half an hour to an hour that sense of blissful ease would come over me, that sense that all was actually ok with the world after all, and I wouldn’t give AF. Not about myself, not about my drinking, not about anything. I’d have lost control already and that would be that; I’d have no idea about the latter part of the evening, how I got home, the money I’d spent and how I’d behaved. That’s just how it was now.
By the final time I reached out for help to stop drinking in 2017, there was little, if any, fun in any of it. I wasn’t even enjoying it anymore. I remember one night near the end where I was alone on my deck, crying, not even wanting to drink the drink in front of me but I just couldn’t stop. I didn’t have the strength. Even then the alternative – not drinking – seemed worse than this abyss of despair and unhappiness.
Still, the survival instinct is strong. I knew where this was headed if I continued and it wasn’t a happy ending. I wanted to live. Thankfully with the aid of a stint in an inpatient detox unit, I was able to.
My next challenge when I got sober was, or so I thought at the time, reinventing myself or at least discovering who I was. I mean, who the hell was I without booze? I had no clue. I’d been a big boozer for three decades, my whole adult life. I didn’t know how to operate in the world without it. It was terrifying.
And, what was I going to do now, socially? Would I be a social pariah? I didn’t want to ditch my old friends as they were my mates, with or without booze. Would they ditch me though, now I could no longer come and party? If I’m honest I avoided non-drinkers like the plague, assumed they were beyond tedious and would never in a million years dream of dating one. And here I was, one of them. Ugh, these were massive concerns of mine.
My plan was to continue to see my existing friends in a different capacity, like coffee or brekky or a movie instead of dinner and drinks or a day party that would turn into a 16-hour smash fest.
But this left a big gaping hole for me – Friday and Saturday nights. When I quit, I don’t think I knew a single person who didn’t drink and certainly not one I’d actually want to socialise with. But here I was sober, so they couldn’t all be awful, surely? I was absolutely committed to my sobriety, but I didn’t want to be a lonely, Billy-no-mates or feel like I was missing out. I wanted to focus on what I was gaining on this journey, not what I was ‘losing’. And my social life wasn’t going to be one of them, dammit.
So, I set about hunting down a new tribe to hang with. I googled and searched and yet I couldn’t find anything. I found AA useful as a tool in the first few months, but it wasn’t for me longer term. So that left me with … a fairly lacklustre social life.
And that’s when I decided to start Untoxicated (Booze Free Fun and Friendship); ultimately I created what I needed. An option for normal(ish!) people to hang out together socially, have a laugh and do some fun things together, mainly on the weekends. Movies, picnics, dinners, bars, art galleries, bushwalks, roller discos – you name it, we do it.
It started slowly and some weeks only one person would show but it grew and grew and now we operate in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, hosting events weekly and fortnightly. We have grown into an awesome tribe of people, over 4,500 of us, and the team of us who run it are all volunteers.
We welcome anyone, you don’t have to be sober 24/7 – the only stipulation is no drinking at the event. We offer a space where people can catch up, put their problems aside for a hot minute, have a laugh and feel like they belong somewhere – whether they are sober or sober curious. Many members do still drink but have a wide range of reasons why they want to socialise sans the hard stuff.
We want to help break the stigma and pressures of choosing to socialise without alcohol, by showing it is possible to have a fun, social life with great people who are just like you, without booze.
Socialising in early sobriety can be really hard to do in your old social circles. Sometimes you may just need to pause it for a wee while until you gain a bit more sober muscle. Now, over 2 years in for example, socialising in bars doesn’t phase me, but that wasn’t always the case.
Our social events help people get used to being in social settings like restaurants, around alcohol, but in our own little tribe where it is literally and metaphorically taken off the table.
And so it turns out that without the booze, I’m pretty much the same person, just a much better version. Fundamentally I’m still a social butterfly, the person who brings others together socially, the life and soul. To my surprise, the booze didn’t define me after all.
And it doesn’t have to define you either.
Find out more about Untoxicated by visiting Faye's website
or follow Untoxicated on Facebook
Over and over again...
I have high expectations of myself and have done since I was young. I always wanted to do the right thing, both in my personal and work life.
At 36 my drinking was bad. I drank so much in the evenings. I used to walk into work thinking, “can they smell the alcohol?” I would have the feeling of dread and shame where I would feel it in the pit of my stomach. A feeling that at any time you are going to get into trouble. But even knowing this I continued to do it over and over and over again.
The addiction was definitely taking over. The after-work celebration (or commiseration) of going to the bottle shop and getting two bottles, sometimes three to get my fix. My mind was always thinking, especially when I was drinking…. how much can I get away with? I was never a risk-taker, so confused why I thought this. The mornings after though, that’s when the real me took over. The guilt and shame of what I could remember that I’d done and for hours thought about whom I may have offended and how sick I felt. It wasn’t me; it was the alcohol.
I thought I was invincible there. I thought I could get away with anything. What had I become? Where did the person I used to be, disappear to? I don’t think I can remember where the cross over from being nice, respectable girl that got drunk to have fun, to this horrible person who would do and say anything when drunk. Surprisingly, this is not when my drinking was at its worst.
This is just ONE of my stories…
I have now been alcohol-free for almost two and a half years and I will never go back to the person I was when I was at my worst.
Living an alcohol-free life is hands down one of the best decisions I have ever made!
Mary is a writer that is currently writing a book about her sobriety. You can follow her on Instagram
So I’ve taken the decision to tell my story as unfortunately, it involves 2 relationships with alcoholism. The awful co-dependence that you don’t even know you are in, the want to save someone, plead with them to stop drinking, if they really loved me they would stop.... they don’t.
My first experience was with my first proper love, he was older and wanted to settle down so after 2 years we ended and he met someone, had 2 children and I thought I would never see him again. Years later he got in touch, a marriage in ruin from alcohol, 2 children and he had moved back to Somerset to live with his mum.
He had been through rehab, I went through rehab with him twice and when I picked him up, he wanted to go to the pub. Nothing could stop him. He died nearly 8 years ago. I cried every day for I can’t remember how long, I was inconsolable. My lasting memory is him in hospital, yellow with kidney and liver failure. My love for him never went, but he went.
My second was 6 years ago in a relationship that lasted 4 years. We had met online, I didn’t know he was an alcoholic as he said he didn’t drink etc. I discovered it 6 months into the relationship. If I’m honest, I’m still scarred, the memories are frightening, vivid and emotional. The 4 years were a rollercoaster and when he didn’t drink at all, I was permanently on edge, waiting for the moment it would change, the fight to cause an argument, when he couldn’t drink, I later discovered he used tramadol as a non-prescription drug. It was hell, if he started to drink, he would give weeks, 2 bottles of vodka, 3 bottles of wine was the norm a day. He would pass out, wet the bed, need help to the toilet and going to the toilet, he would fall over, break things, injures were normal and then he would get up and go and buy more if I refused. I pleaded, cried, shouted and then the recovery would start again. He would lose jobs, get a new job, the stress of a new job would set the process off again. We had police, we had ambulances, we had everything but I still thought if I loved him enough he would stop. It’s been nearly 2 years since I walked away..... I’m still dealing with the demons he left.
Thank you to my very brave friend Vanessa for sharing her story. Losing people to alcohol is common and the fall out left behind is as terminal as the illness itself. We often forget about the people affected, the ones that are helping and worrying Alcohol damages so much and it breaks hearts too. Sometimes the only thing to do is walk away.
You're a super star Vanessa. x
My unhealthy relationship with alcohol was sneaky…it literally crept up on me. There was a time when I would have a glass of wine on the weekend and that would be that. It’s funny how your journey in life can send you on a tailspin. I’m a wife, mother, and dog mom. I have a job that I love and a beautiful home…but the stress of life and my need for everything to be perfect and carefree led me down a dangerous path. Alcohol propped me up and I relied on leaning on it as much as possible. It took me being tired of being tired, as cliche as that sounds. Toward the end of my drinking career I walked around with a slight buzz all the time.
Let’s go back to July 2019. I started drinking a bottle of red wine just about every night. Vodka was my weekend jam, white and sweet wines weren’t my jams! It was normal for me to start drinking at 5pm and stumble upstairs to my bed around 11pm. I started noticing the cycle that summer, and it was so exhausting. I would wake up EVERY morning feeling like pure death. I’m not a morning person, but still, I was a pure monster every morning. Each morning I’d literally wake up, feel an incredible weight of guilt and shame, promise myself I’d stop, go about my day in full struggle, and drink later that night. WASH. RINSE. REPEAT! I was making it exhausting to be me. The constant red stained tongue, mystery Amazon Prime deliveries showing up, the nights of the room spinning which I knew were the precursor to a night running to the toilet to throw up were just getting old.
Around September of 2019 I started getting aggressive with myself. I had a plan! I was only going to drink on the weekends! Sounds good right, stay sober all week…drink myself to oblivion on the weekend! That lasted about 1 week. Ok, ok back to the drawing board because I just knew I could come up with a master plan that didn’t involve me living this so called - sober life! November 2019 I came up with a new strategy, I’d drink a glass of water in between each glass of wine or cocktail. I knew I had arrived! This strategy would revolutionize my struggle. I only became drunk, and now I had to run to the bathroom and pee every 5 seconds. All of that water and the fact that alcohol is a diuretic would prove to be a recipe for disaster for my poor bladder. Back to the drawing board. Then it dawned on me, January 21, 2020, at 8:53am, “Sis you’ve got to be done with this”. I was going to nurse my last hangover. This one was particularly dreadful and pathetic because that morning I had to muster all my available strength to get my mom to a medical procedure.
Oh no, that’s not the end of the story! A few days after my declaration…7 days later to be exact, I took another drink. I was stressed about something and just made the decision that I was going to open the final bottle of red wine that was in my house. I drank half the bottle (can we say improvement though) and dumped the rest! My sober date is January 29, 2020, at 5:43am.
Each day I gain a little more clarity, a little more strength, and a little more dignity. I’m finding my new normal. I’m finding ways to cope with stress and disappointment. I’m finding ways to celebrate the wins. There are good days, and there are dark ones. I’m no longer coming home from work wondering “what the heck did I order this time”? I’m navigating my new sober life, one day at a time. Sobriety has been the best gift I could’ve ever given myself. I’m better for it. I’m a stronger woman, I’m a better wife and mother, and I love my new life.
You can follow Kirstin's journey at Soberbrowngirls.com.
I am Grateful...
This is a great place to tell your story and give people more insight into how alcohol effects your life.
124 days of sobriety 💛
A small milestone, but a milestone nonetheless.
I finally stuck to my word and proved myself wrong. I have learnt so much about myself. I have accepted how much I was using alcohol as a coping mechanism. I accepted that I never had that switch off button and that ‘one drink’ was never going to be possible.
And so my mess is now my message of gratitude.
I am grateful for the clarity of mind that sobriety has given me.
I am grateful for 100 days of making better choices.
I am grateful for actually being able to sleep through the night without waking at 3 am with ‘the fear’ of what I had been like the night before and trying to piece the night together.
I am grateful for 100 days self-harm free. The guilt, the apologising, the tears, the embarrassment, the arguments and the blackouts would all contribute to my heightened anxiety and the lowest of moods. The regret and the worry led me to some very self-destructive behaviours.
I am grateful for every hour of the day that isn’t wasted being hungover and throwing up.
I am grateful for the motivation and energy I now have for the kids.
I may have permanently changed my lifestyle but I am still me. I can still enjoy the fun things in life. The difference is I am now more present and able to find joy in the smallest of moments that I didn’t realise existed.
And that has got to be the most beautiful gift I could have ever given to myself.
Here’s to the next milestone...
Sophie x x x
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