Recovery Elevator is excited to offer a new type of blog experience to our readers! We are reaching out to our Café RE members and giving those that are interested the opportunity to be guest bloggers for our site. Think of it as a podcast interview in written form. You will get parts of their story along with tips and tools that they have found beneficial in their own recovery journey. Please let us know what you think, or perhaps topics you would like to see covered, in the comments.
Today’s blog entry is from Adrienne, who has been a member of Café RE since July 2022. Adrienne has been alcohol free since July 31, 2022 and is very active within her Café RE GO community.
Living on Sobriety
By: Adrienne (Café RE GO)
I sat down at the computer today and wondered what would my sober crew like to hear about; my past or my present?. I decided to give you a little bit of both; along with what has gotten me through a lot of the obstacle course known as alcohol (thank you Clare Pooley, The Sober Diaries for this analogy).
I got sober for the first time in 2005 when my husband (then boyfriend) got his second DUI. His experience with rehab and counseling lent itself to a lot of education surrounding alcohol. So much that when he came home from his seven day stay he had made the decision he needed to quit drinking, and thought that I might have some of the tendencies that he had learned about…to go from cucumber to pickle.
I was resistant; but after some time I quit with him. This lasted for 7-8 years. Our marriage, buying a home, and starting a family were some of the beautiful fruits of that decision.
Eventually we decided that we could start drinking again, here and there. I don’t remember the exact thing that prompted this, but what I do know is that it went from ‘here and there’ to full bore very quickly. Life went on like this for years. All of our friends with kids drank, all of my family still drank, so nothing really was amiss (that I knew of) to anyone outside of our home; we just appeared to love partying.
DO I HAVE A PROBLEM?
Do I have a problem? I would ask myself this question regularly searching for any answer that would allow me to maintain my lifestyle.
The 2AM heart palpitations, anxiety, depression, drinking every day after work or when I didn’t have to go to any function for our son, day drinking (even during the week when my son was at school). Everything revolved around drinking, and eventually I didn’t want to go anywhere because I could just stay home and drink and not be judged.
When there is alcohol in my life, there are no other activities.
I finally decided that I needed to stop drinking. This prompted a lot of day ones, 30 days here and there. I told my husband that I couldn’t live like this anymore. He continued drinking which made for a lot of internal confusion for me and so many questions.
Would our marriage survive if I stopped drinking? Would we grow apart? What will it be like?. I had a lot of anger toward him and was doing a lot of finger pointing; “I can’t do this if you don’t do this” and “why won’t you help me to do this?”.
These were valid questions, but what it really came down to was what kind of a life do I want to live? I had to look at things from an independent perspective rather than a “we” perspective. It was a do or die moment.
FORGING A WAY THROUGH
I started my sobriety journey for myself about 3 years ago. I started by reading quit lit and of course googling if I’m an alcoholic 100,000 times at 2AM. What I realized is that the label is irrelevant; the real question here is; Is alcohol causing problems in my life?
The answer was YES.
With the help of reading a ton of quit lit; specifically Annie Grace’s; This Naked Mind (which I’ve read at least 7 times) and an online group entitled One Year No Beer; I was able to quit for 18 months, but I still wasn’t sold that I could never drink again.
Somewhere there still remained this idea of myself as a normal drinker.
A weekend away with my husband was coming up. I was scared. What will it be like? We hadn’t been away together without my drinking in a long time. So I searched myself for the answer of if I could moderate; maybe I could just drink while on vacation together, and not drink at home.
That thought was all I needed to give myself the go ahead. As you could imagine that plan failed; and I continued drinking for about six months right back to the level that I had been before.
Somewhere in this time frame I came across Recovery Elevator podcasts and began listening, relating, and learning that I am not alone. There was something so intimate about the testimony people shared that had me nodding my head in total agreement. I knew that if I wanted to succeed I would need to connect with a community of like minded people; because friends, we cannot do this alone.
Today, I am 333 days into this journey; approaching my one year again. I’m coming to it from a stronger, more settled and balanced place. My life is fuller and happier. Life is still ‘lifey’. It still has its ups and downs; but I’m present for it all; making the sweet that much sweeter.
I’m excited for the future, to see what year two will bring, and to be there with you guys.
If I could leave you with two final thoughts: Connection is the opposite of addiction and pineapple does belong on pizza!
***Adrienne; Café RE Go Group