What I’ve Learned In Six Months

Six months ago, I took my last drink.

I didn’t really believe that it was going to be my last drink, since I wasn’t yet fully on board with the idea that I am an alcoholic, and occasionally when I’m feeling really sorry for myself, I fantasize about all the different ways I would have done my last one differently.

Sometimes I get the feeling that people who aren’t in recovery think that sobriety is something that just happens to a person. It does not just happen.

Getting and staying sober is the hardest, most painful work I’ve ever done. It’s harder than all of the other hard things I’ve publicly written or privately whispered about. It is an exhaustive shedding of my former self, a dissection of every component of my personality that makes me want to reach for a bottle of whatever will drown out the thoughts echoing through my brain that tell me I AM NOT ENOUGH.

It is a systematic dismantling of what I believe to be true about myself.

It is complete surrender to an unfamiliar way of life.

It is saying, daily, “I don’t understand why I’m like this, but I want to be better. Help me be better.”

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Six months.

Sometimes I really resent the hell out of my situation. Cramming recovery into an already overflowing schedule can be very difficult. Sometimes I get mad at my best friend when I’m ranting to her about how stupid everyone is and she responds with, “Have you meditated today?”

INFURIATING.

But also, she’s right.

This process isn’t just about putting my sobriety before everything else and learning how to cope with the stresses of life in a healthy way. It’s about learning how to stop myself from boarding the crazy train. The things other people do or say that have always made me inappropriately upset? There’s a reason why! And guess what? I CAN FIX IT! I can re-train my brain not to immediately jump to irrational conclusions (my favorite is “Robbie thinks I’m boring and regrets marrying me,” or, “I am not and never will be good enough at anything I try to do.”)

There is hope.

All of us struggle with some kind of sickness. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be terminal.

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9 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned In Six Months

  1. I effing love you and love that you share your story so openly! I work at a mom and baby centered boutique and while we sell a lot of truly essential items we also feed into the mommy wine culture selling wine glasses with phrases like “To Reset Mommy, Fill Glass” and, while it’s good business I don’t necessarily feel good about it. I am not an alcoholic but I have friends and family who are, not all of them have acknowledged it and only some are sober. I loved your posts before you worked to be sober and I love them even more now! I have trouble expressing to others how I feel that we shouldn’t push alcohol onto moms like it’s a magic cure-all for the super tough job of raising tiny humans..there is no cure…they get bigger, and you’re still their mom.

    Anyway- you are awesome and I feel a sense of pride for your success. Keep on it momma!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Going on 6 yrs now. It’s still a daily struggle and it sucks!! But I think of the destruction it cost in every way of my life. I don’t want to go back there ever again. And how clear my mind is now. Congratulations to you. Keep it up. Once you figure out your triggers, it gets better. 😉

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  3. I just discovered Kathy Bates’ new show on Netflix, Disjointed. In episode 3 or 4 (i was tired last night) one of the characters said “I don’t know anyone on Earth who isn’t using something or someone to cope with other somethings or someones.” And that really resonated with me. We all are using something, whether it be alcohol, or pills, or the internet, or sex or whatever, to cope with the situations in our lives. Everyone is medicating in some way. So maybe don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re one of the brave ones, that admits it and is actively changing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m trying to resist commenting on every article you have written on this subject, but I have poor impulse control. The simple “program” that is hard, but simple, paradoxically speaking. Is it simply hard to do or hardly simple? Some say the difficulty is inversely proportional to one’s IQ, however, if it seems really hard I’m usually making it harder than it should be and if it seems easy I will assume I’m doing something wrong so I will make it harder. So, if it seems really hard to you it’s because you are smart–just sayin’.

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