Four months ago, I attended my beloved niece’s wedding. Before attending, I had been challenging myself, once again, to moderate my drinking. All was going nicely at the start of the wedding weekend. I had navigated a bridal breakfast featuring mimosa followed by a lunch by drinking sparkling waters. It was the wedding where things went a little off the rails.
During the reception, alcoholic drinks were available in a back corner of the room. I assumed since no one was actively pouring while we were sitting for dinner, I would be ok drinking one glass of wine. Moderating is a fallacy, I knew this, but always at the moment, I forget.
I look back at that evening embarrassed by how I must have come across to my family, my son, my extended relatives. At one point, I was yelling and cheering so loudly during the toasts; my sister-in-law had to turn around and reprimand me in front of all of her friends, including the Minister. I barely want to think about how I behaved on the dance floor, forcing poorly timed swing dancing moves on my husband while spinning uncontrollably out of reach. I was a drunk that evening, and I am a drunk when I drink. Alcohol is not my friend. Drinking alcohol diminishes who I am.
So, on July 19th, 2017, I quit. At 50-years old on about my 100th try. Gratefully, something had finally shifted. I realized that I was at that proverbial fork in the road. If I didn’t make sobriety my number one priority, I would live out the rest of my life as a woman who had succumbed to alcohol’s vicious cycle of misery and defeat. I could not let that happen. And I admitted to myself I couldn’t do this alone.
I made an active effort to get myself the help I needed and will continue to need for the rest of my life. I required hand-holding first. I know there is a beautiful group of people in this world who do this in local meetings but even getting to that step was a challenge for me, so I decided to release my therapist and hire a sober/growth coach. It was a far better fit to share weekly with a woman who understood my journey. I also joined a private online forum where I felt safe to share and learn about how other people were managing day-to-day. These two supports have become integral to my recovery and are the reason I’ve made it to four months.
What I’ve learned so far:
I am free.
If you’re out there wondering if you can do the same, YOU CAN. Truly you can. And it’s so worth it. It’s not easy. You need support. Fortunately, there are a lot of us out here available to meet on Twitter, FB, Instagram, in private online chat groups, in-person meetings.
Reach out and begin today.