The Evolution of Birthdays – From Drinking to Sober

Thank you Google!

My birthday! Whoot whoot! How amazing it is to be sober on this day, especially knowing that there was a point in my life when I just didn’t think that this was ever going to be possible. Tonight I was thinking about how my birthdays have evolved over time.

The first birthday I drank was 16. Well, I tried to drink… I have never had more than a sip here and there till then. I was just to petrified to try it, not wanting to become like my alcoholic mother. But 16th birthday? Well I just got dared… So I proceeded to chug straight out of the Jack Daniel’s whiskey bottle and promptly vomited all over while running to the bathroom. I didn’t drink again for several years.

My next great memory was my 21st birthday, and the year one becomes the legal drinking age in the US. I proudly marched myself with my shiny ID down to the convenience store to buy some beer and wine coolers so I could proudly be able to smack my ID on the counter! Well, I didn’t get IDed, very disappointing, and I got very buzzed off of 4 pack of wine coolers! Hmmm.

Then my very memorable 25th birthday, which I remember completely even though I drank everyone under the table and did so very proudly, except for the few episodes of vomiting. But… I just got right back to it until wee hours of the morning. All my friends showed up, each bringing another exotic bottle of my favorite elixir. That was a grand birthday – I remember thinking.

30! What can I say about it? I started with a few shots of tequila and a friendly game of quarters – that’s a game in which you try to bounce a quarter off the table into a shot glass. If you missed then you had to take a shot. I was losing. I don’t remember much, just bits and pieces: loud music, many people I didn’t know, vomiting, trying to walk thru the house and holding myself up with the walls and passing out on the floor. I don’t really remember having a good time at all. I do remember waking up with a horrid hangover and just chugging a beer to get rid of it!

By the time my 35th birthday came around I was in an outpatient rehab. I was sober but only to get the law off my back. I had several serious consequences that had stemmed from my drinking and the rehab was court ordered. I was a mess. I had nothing. I just got some little job because the told me too. I was not able to see my daughter but only every other weekend with what they called an unannounced supervision. I hated being sober and I hated spending my bday sober and alone! It completely sucked. No party. No celebration. Just another ordinary day. Deep down I couldn’t wait for all the legal crap to be over so that I could drink again, and that hope alone kept me going! Pretty messed up, huh?

Oh and then 40… Forty was amazing! I was sober for 2 continuous years. My whole family showed up and all my sober fellowship friends. It was the biggest party I had since, well, maybe that party I had at 25. I remember it all. I now I have a family! And a house and a job. And no law in my life! There was no alcohol served – lots of coffee though! I got hugged more than ever. We danced, ate cake and laughed till my cheeks hurt. I have many pictures of that day. I have great memories and all warm and fuzzy. I felt loved. I felt whole. I couldn’t believe that all this was possible in sobriety.

And now today – a great day with family and friends and the fellowship. Lots of hugs and tears of joy. I just could not ask for more! I am sober and grateful!

How have your birthdays evolved?


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15 Comments Add yours

  1. We are one day apart in birthdays – I am Nov. 9th…yay Scorpios! And of course, Happy Birthday to you!

    As for birthdays past…I wasn’t one of those drunks who got hammered on holidays, birthdays, special occassions, etc. I usually cut down on those days, to be honest…left it to the “amateurs”…ha ha. It was the other 350 days left in the year that I would hit it hard. Leave it to the pro here…

    But no doubt that I had some doozies in my day. I can’t recall like you can, just because who knows what happened on those days. They were often just another day for me – pushed enough people out of the picture so that only those very close to me remembered or commemorated me on that day. Sad, but true…the life of an alcoholic, yes?

    Anyway, thanks for sharing, and so glad you could show the funny and also ugly side of this thing. Funny how things progress downward, don’t they??

    hope you had a fun and groovy day 🙂

    Paul

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    1. Hi Paul! Happy belated! How cool is that! Scorpios… Love deeply, bite deadly! Lol! Something I read once, but I try not to bite deadly anymore!

      When I sat down to write this I was actually on the pity pot about getting old and blah blah blah… And then this came out! What a journey! And you know I usually disinterested know many people at “my” parties, isn’t that bit odd… Hmm. And in many ways just like you it was just another day to get drunk, nothing else. So glad I am sober. I hope you had a wonderful sober birthday too! Hugs.

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  2. craycray48 says:

    Happy Birthday! For me, birthdays haven’t ever really been fun, party times. I hate having parties where I am the centre of attention. Hate it. I used to think the best birthday present would be a day alone in which to drink my wine! Now I’m going to have to come up with a new birthday plan…
    Congratulations on your sober birthday!

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    1. Thank you! I can totally relate, I much would have preferred to have a party to myself, but in hopes to not appear to be an alcoholic, the party seemed like a good cover up, and if I vomited or passed out or made a fool of myself, well no one cared, it was my bday after all, right?

      First sober bdays can be tough either way, make sure to have a plan and don’t spend it alone – just a suggestion, something I learned to do to make sure I keep safe and don’t place myself in slippery places.

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  3. Amy says:

    My sober birthday this year was my best one yet. I’m glad you had a good one too! 🙂

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    1. Yey! That’s awesome! Thank you, glad to have a sober birthday once again 🙂

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  4. Karen says:

    Happiest of birthdays to you Maggie! What a wonderful evolution to celebrate. 🙂

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    1. Thanks Karen! It’s been quite a journey, I can’t believe how things have changed and the fact that I am able to actually enjoy my bday – that’s really cool!

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  5. Great post, Maggie, and the happiest of birthdays to you! We are close, mine is tomorrow (the 12th), no wonder we get along so well!

    Josie

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    1. So cool Josie! And Paul is the 9th! Happy Birthday! Yes, I agree, I can hear myself in your posts often. I hope this is your best birthday ever! Sending many cyber {{{HUGS}}}

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  6. Lisa Neumann says:

    A belated happy birthday … AND I loved the post. This is incredible how you went back and can see it so clearly. The wonderful word “evolution” in the title, because next year it will be even more evolved. I can hardly wait to watch you grow this year (me too, because I plan on growing too) with love, lisa

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    1. Hi Lisa! Thank you so much! Yes, I am willing and open to evolve even more! Lol! I am laughing because that itself is growth there, just to be willing and continue to be willing, big stuff for me. We’ll have to see what next year brings! Hugs.

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  7. byebyebeer says:

    Another belated happy birthday to you! It sounds like a truly wonderful one. Oh how grateful to celebrate living a healthy year and with your family close by. So much to celebrate.

    Like

    1. Thank you! It truly is great. I have to say that after reading the Rob Delaney article you shared, I feel even more grateful. This morning I was thinking how lucky we are, the ones that make it and how many even I know that did not. It IS a miracle. Thank you!

      Like

  8. Reblogged this on Sober Courage and commented:

    Birthdays seem like a great time to reflect back on how things have changed over the years in my life. I often get so overwhelmed with the daily tasks of living that I don’t see the progress that I have made, and I feel like I am just treading water. However, when I really take the time and look back, I am truly astounded – the changes are beyond any of my expectations! What I thought ten years ago that my life would be like is nothing like how it is at all – and I mean the good and the bad. Most of all, I think that sobriety and recovery helped me to be the person that I was always meant to be and for that I am eternally grateful!

    So please do not lose hope! Keep moving forward and sober, and before you now it, you too will be astonished by your progress and your new life!

    Accordingly, today I would like to share this little post with you, straight from the Sober courage vault – The Evolution of Birthdays!

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