The Real Question Is: Do I Want To Stay Sober?

The world is hard

Life sucks sometimes, and I question what the hell I’m doing more often than I’d like to admit. Recovery is even harder, the kids are hard, and my marriage is hard. If I let the disease of alcoholism have its way, I will find more reasons to drink that not.  I have these moments when I hate myself for allowing my addiction to have control. It’s a crazy tug of war inside my head between what I want to do, and what I should do.

Alcoholism is relentless

I can’t ever say I’m 100% positive that I will never pick up a drink again, and it’s absurd to assume that I can make that kind of promise, even to myself. People new to sobriety often make this mistake. I had a woman come to me with a week sober and fierce determination in her eyes asking how working the steps can guarantee she will stay sober. My response was…it won’t! There are no guarantees, I told her, so don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself.

All we have is today

I made a commitment to myself when I was a few days sober. Sick and tired of the life I was living and desperately wanting to be one of the ones who “make it.” I promised myself that I would NEVER drink again. I wholeheartedly wanted to believe that I alone could take on the evils of addiction and all its might. I underestimated the magnitude of my disease.  I spent 21 days in a drug and alcohol facility getting sober and learning the tools to stay clean, and I drank 30 days later. 30 days after the car accident that put me in there.

There are no guarantees

The simple truth? To stay sober YOU HAVE TO REALLY WANT IT! I don’t talk much about the first time I drank after rehab, the memory is still very sharp and the wound is deep. It angers me that I was so reckless. I had been given all the tools, knew all of the steps to take yet, I still drank. I drank because I was scared. I was afraid of what my life was going to be like, and who was left in it to share with me. I let my fear consume me and it totally swallowed up any confidence I had in myself that I could live a sober life.

My fear and my ego took the wheel and before I knew it, I was sitting on the floor of my dining room gulping from a bottle of Captain Morgan. My fear was just as menacing as my disease.

I took a deep breath, thought about my life and what I wanted, then made the decision to turn my will over to a high power, something greater than myself, whatever was out there and was willing help me, guide me, save me from myself.

I didn’t get all of the answers, and I still don’t have them, but I have today. Four years sober and living a life I love being present in.  My fears of the “what-if’s” or the “what-now” are gone. My perception of my alcoholism has shifted, and I am willing to give up the booze for every other wonderful gift life has offered me.

I am proof that a sober life is a great life; even when it sucks!

This post was submitted by Amy B.

A Sober Mommies Contributor is most often a non-professional – in and out of recovery – with reality-based experience to share about motherhood & active addiction, the multiple pathways to recovery, or a family member’s perspective.

4 Comments on “The Real Question Is: Do I Want To Stay Sober?

  1. The idea of quitting forever was a big stumbling point for me early in sobriety. I thought that “forever” was too long, and I couldn’t imagine that working out well. Luckily someone told me that you don’t have to quit forever, just quit one day at a time and before you know it you’ll be working towards forever.

    baby steps!

    Good luck and have a great 24 hours!

  2. that’s been my experience as well! when i thought i was just gonna give it up, i really told myself it would be forever. yup, i drank and used for 17 more years and 2 rehabs plus a stint in drug court before i got it. i don’t look for guarantees anymore; simply enjoy today and putting in the important footwork my higher power shows me on my path. its Her will, not mine, that keeps me sober. but the work i do is how i connect from moment to moment.

  3. I’m in the early stages and this has really helped me. I am in an intensive outpatient program 6 days a week and after 5.5 hours in the rooms going home to my kids and the stress of everyday life makes me feel that this is impossible. I’m lucky that ppl told me early on that I should never put the pressure on myself to say never again. One minute at a time is how my days go now. I’m waiting for the happiness and freedom sobriety is supposed to bring, but I still feel extremely lonely and sad sometimes… Ok most of the time. Thanks for the post, it helped.

  4. Hi, I’m 21 days sober, after 15 yrs of 1.5 litres of wine per night. What I can tell you is I’m off my blood pressure meds, I look better, feel better, have learned that weekendss don’t end at noon (stretched to noon) when I can start drinking and let the world stop. I can’t fix the broken people in my family, and have accepted the appolgy I’ll never get, opened the door, stepped through and closed it. The next time i see them will be for the casket call, and I’m ok with that. The best part, is my daughter saying, “mummy, I like that your awake when I fall asleep as it makes me feel safe.” Done deal, it’s all about being real for my family now.

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