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Finding My Sober Self

I am finding that one of the biggest challenges I face in my early sobriety is dealing with my identity. When I was a drunk, I was just that, a drunk. I found out that it’s pretty difficult to be a mom and a wife while drinking myself into a blackout every day. It was difficult to be an employee, daughter, sister or friend as long as I had that bottle to keep me company.

It has been a long time since I had any form of identity. Once upon a time, I was a great mother to great kids and a great wife to an adoring husband.

Once upon a time, I excelled at every job I had ever had and I was everyone’s “go-to girl”.

If you needed anything you could always count on me.

Then one day I woke up from a six-year alcohol- and drug-induced coma wondering just where in the hell I was. What had happened? I realized that I knew nothing about myself. I was almost 35, and I didn’t know my likes or dislikes; my needs or wants. I realized that for my entire adult life I had been making decisions based on what I thought other people wanted me to do or what would make other people happy.

Now, with a new outlook on life, eyes wide open, and free from the bondage of that bottle, I set out to decide who I want to be; instead of a drunk. I had to take some drastic measures but knew that fear was not an option. I started to put some distance between myself and the things that triggered, manipulated and oppressed me. I was going to any length to keep my sobriety.

I knew that if nothing changed, nothing was ever going to change.

Over the last few months, I’ve learned a lot about myself. Some are silly things; like the realization that I actually like the color pink. I spent years thinking I hated it, but according to my collection of pink things, I was wrong.  HA! I’ve learned that I was on autopilot for a very long time and that it is time to start going in a different direction. It is time to let my higher power take the wheel. I’ve learned what I like to do in my free time, and what hobbies I enjoy. These things are not based on some image that I am trying to uphold.

Who am I today?

I am a strong individual who can handle way more than she thought she could.

I can go after my happiness, and not settle for what isn’t working. I am a caring and compassionate person that believes that helping others is the only way to live a happy life. I am a person that is constantly looking for ways to keep my sobriety in check and not let anyone or anything stand in the way.

This wonderfully thought-provoking post was submitted by Heather and originally printed in April 2014.

photo credit: fortinbras via photopin cc

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 “Finding My Sober Self

  1. WOW, thank you Heather for sharing This is amazing b/c this is really how I feel. I look back at the last several years and nothing stands out as if I was in the haze with you. It is sad really and I don’t want that anymore. So I hope putting my faith into my higher power along with a 12 step program, I can escape the vicious cycle and let the real woman inside of me out! Thank you!

    • Momma Bee, It’s wonderful that this connected with you. It’s getting better for me and I’m certain it will for you.

  2. oh my jimminie , wow yes yes and yes . i know this feeling i feel it all the time who am i now . two and a half years sober and im learning who i am and it is defently not always who i thought i was . thank you so much for writing this.

  3. Heather, this is such an amazing post and I’m so glad you submitted it. It took me YEARS in sobriety to even ask myself these kinds of questions, and it has taken me years to answer them.

    You are an amazing inspiration.

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