Eye Openers

I read Oh for the love of…me’s post today and it reminded me of my own “epiphany”. So I thought I would share.

All of 2013 I planned to quit drinking. I felt it was impacting my fitness, my diet and more importantly, my weekends. I would swear I was going on the wagon, only to fall off. It never occurred to me that I was an alcoholic. Or that I was addicted to alcohol. I had a great job. I worked out every day. I volunteered and dressed well and took my kids places. I just drank too much wine sometimes.

Events conspired in December to give me the opportunity I needed to quit drinking. Thus started my white knuckled grip on sobriety. I emptied the house of booze, told everyone I was giving up drinking for my 42nd birthday and that was that.

I immediately felt relief. Relief I had finally followed through with something I had been planning and thinking about for a long time. I was free.

But life was EXTREMELY chaotic. Apparently I had pretty severe anxiety and depression that I had been drowning in booze. Both became overwhelming. But I stayed the course of sobriety because I could see that there might be some relief if I just stayed away from the booze. I was doing it alone. No support, expect my therapist. No blogging world. No AA.

I was adamant that this was just a bad habit. I wasn’t an alcoholic. I would just not drink. Things would be better.

Then I read Caroline Knapp’s book Drinking:A Love Story. My eyes opened and I fell apart.

Here was me. Trying to do things my way. Always relying on myself. Starving myself, drinking, self destructive. Desperately waiting for someone to notice I needed help. But covering it up so well no one ever did.

That book changee my life. Instead of just not drinking I chose to recover. I found Unpickled and emailed her. She led me to a bigger sober community. I went to an AA meeting. I stopped trying to prove how I wasn’t an alcoholic and decided I would be open minded. To try it all. Therapy, medication, AA, online, blogging, Buddhism, church, yoga. Anything and everything.

Recovery is beautiful thing. It is a chance to regain myself. An opportunity to have true and deep happiness. To live.

I tell my story here because maybe someone else will hear their own story in mine.


21 thoughts on “Eye Openers

  1. Well said! 33 days here. I too have a great job, kids, nice house, work out. So hard on myself! Thank you for putting your story out there!

    1. Yes. We are all hard on ourselves. Surrendering to the fact that not only can we not do it all, we really don’t want it all, has been a huge part of my recovery.

  2. I was the same way, I would admit it inwardly, but not out loud. It took me a long time, a lot of booze, and my husband calling me a drunk to wake up and be realistic. Recovery is hard, but so worth it.

  3. Lots of resonance for me from your post. I tried a few times before to “white knuckle” this whole sobriety thing with no support. Finding like-minded people out here in blog-land has been awesome. Great post – can’t wait to read more!

    1. October 10th is my 47th day. Looks like we are on the same journey. I too could have written this post. I am truly amazed at how not-alone we really are! Hope you are still keeping on. 🙂

  4. I can relate to this – I had no idea how anxious I felt about it all until I stopped, and then, the relief! I thought that stopping drinking would be terrifying, but now it seems a lot less scary than going back to drinking. I think it’s really hard to get to grips with the true nature of a “bad relationship” with alcohol while you’re in it, and it’s only with the benefit of some distance that it becomes clear. I certainly wasn’t ready to call it an addiction while I was in it, but then, that is the nature of addiction. Loved your post – recovery is a beautiful thing. So uplifting to see you reaching for it with both hands 🙂 xx

  5. Caroline knapps books changed my life too. Appetites especially. I never though drinking: a love story would apply to me. And now here we are. I love your posts and your comments. You are so confident in your sobriety unlike many of us and that is refreshing and inspirational.

    1. I am confident because I had way too many days ones. For years I hid my attempts to quit so that I never had to follow through with them. I truly thought I could just find a way to drink less.

      The mental shift that came after a period of sobriety was so intense for me.
      My husband mentioned he was having one of those days, when everything seemed to happen at once and his thoughts were anxious and scattered.
      I told him-that is what every day was like for me before. Stopping that incessant chatter of criticism has been so relieving that I just can’t imagine going back.

      I like your blog a lot. I was just going to comment. Lol. I think it’s a great way to reflect.

      Thank you for the nice words!

  6. Anne, you are very inspiring to me. I love hearing the honest recovery stories and all that it took to get you to where you are now- which seems to be a very healthy spot. Inspiring and brings me feelings of hope. Little by little I keep adding more recovery tools, and hope that I will feel at a sturdy place in the future. Looking forward to getting back into my yoga practice and excited to see how this will help my anxiety- you’ve helped me think a lot about the importance of this in my life and I want it back:) xo

  7. What a lovely, hopeful post. You put it so well. I’ve not had a drink for five months which I realise is something to celebrate and be proud of, but I know that real recovery – if that’s what I choose – is going to take a new level of effort and thought. Your post is encouraging me to commit to recovery, so thank you very much for sharing your story x.

  8. I just ordered Drinking: A Love Story a couple of days ago. Now, I am even more excited to start reading it! Your post truly resonated with me. My head feels so much clearer lately, and I feel like I am just starting to learn about who I am and how much potential I have. I will be 40 soon, and I am so excited to be hitting that milestone sober. 🙂 Today is day 61!!!

  9. I am reading your blog from the beginning. I think it was you that wrote about “Instead of trying harder, try something different”? I am struggling, but your blog really resonates with me, so thank you.

    1. 💖finding a way to be more open minded is hard, but it’s what helped me.
      This is a hard thing, but sobriety is so worth the effort. You deserve to be happy and free.

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