I am currently 61 days alcohol-free and for the last 58, I have thought about how to tell my story or even if I tell it. I still have only told a couple of friends in person. I have gone back and forth on how many gritty details to share and not to share. Or is it even worth sharing? I don’t know but I am starting before I am ready.
Right now being anonymous seems more painful than being seen for exactly who I am.
About 4 1/2 years ago is when my drinking changed. It went from infrequently to a necessary band-aid. We had a beautiful foster baby named Tippy that we thought we would be adopting, she was with us from 7 weeks old to almost 6 months old. Her leaving our house broke my heart. Two months later our marriage hit the fan. I started drinking more frequently because I was stressed, because I needed to relax, because I was sad, because I deserved it. Through counseling and time and tears and work our life healed but my drinking didn’t stop. It became even more frequent. I NEED to drink tonight because I just went on a field trip with a bunch of 7-year-olds I earned this because Mike has been out of town. I’m an adult and I get to do whatever I want. And all the other reasons and excuses. Eventually, I didn’t need an excuse to drink. I just drank. My justifications ranged from: It’s not that bad, I don’t day drink (unless on vacation of course). I drink when my kids are in bed. I don’t drink if my kids have friends over. I don’t drink and drive. I don’t act drunk or puke. People who have a drinking problem have lives that have hit rock bottom, that’s not me. My life is great.
I had a heart tug for 2 years before I admitted to myself that I didn’t want this life path. I would ask Mike if he thought I drank too much (I drank much more than he knew), I took online quizzes to tell me if I had a problem (I never did), I would make rules for myself around drinking that I could maintain for a couple of weeks, I would give up sugar or dairy or snacks etc for periods of time to prove I had self-control, I did all the things to convince my self that the life I was living was my best plan. Because real change is hard and it hurts and I didn’t want to do it.
In December, I got an email from yoga studio that I never go to but I did at some point and now am on the list and I’m too lazy to unsubscribe from. The subject line had to do with sobriety so I opened it. My life took a different path at that moment. They recommended Hip Sobriety School. I clicked the link. I read all of Holly’s blog posts, I cried and I knew. I brought it up casually to Mike. I kept drinking and every day would just go to the site and try to talk myself out of it. I signed up Dec. 29th with the full intention of drinking until school started on Jan 5th but I just couldn’t. My last drink was on December 29th, 2017. I spilled my guts to Mike on December 30th and there was no going back.
Everything is different in the best and hardest way possible. My word of 2018 is Freedom. Freedom from all the things I allow in my life that don’t serve me anymore. Freedom to do all the things I need to do to be my best version. Freedom to stand in that empty space between the two and just be patient.
Amazing blog posts if you are interested: