Let’s Celebrate Freedom from Addiction!

Here in Washington, DC we are getting ready to celebrate America’s birthday, also known as the Independence Day, or The Fourth of July. (See more at: DC Guide.) This is the biggest, all day event in the nation’s capital, beginning with a parade, continuing with several live concerts, and a few street festivals, then ending with a spectacular display of fireworks over the Washington Monument.
July4th

And of course, July 4th is a huge drinking holiday and the events will most likely continue throughout the entire weekend. It is quite easy to find numerous places to drink – needless to say, it appears that all the celebration events include drinking, and if you have ever felt like alcohol was absolutely everywhere, well, on this day it definitely seems that way!

Back in my drinking days, the Fourth of July was one of the greatest days for getting totally wasted! With everyone else starting celebrations early in the day it was OK to publicly drink before noon, and get wasted before the fireworks! It was really easy to just blend into the drunk crowd. On this day, no one questioned my excessive drinking, and it was quite acceptable for me to be way out of control drunk! This is what I called having fun!

In all the years that I have lived in the Washington, DC area, I have never actually seen the capital July 4th fireworks, until I got sober. Well… I have seen them, and I have heard them, I knew that they were there, but I have never actually watched them, or enjoyed them, or… well, really cared about them… I just wanted to get drunk and feel like I was a part of some exciting celebration! It did not matter where or with who either, but the more the merrier!

I don’t remember my last drinking July 4th, and I guess maybe that’s for the better! I believe that it was actually some nine years ago, when I was struggling back and forth between sobriety, moderation and pure drunkenness. I do however, have some broken-up memories of some drinking celebration during the fireworks, and getting lost, and having to find my way home alone, in the dark, and drunk. Then having to wait for hours for someone to pick me up from the metro train station – that was not fun at all!

I do remember my first sober 4th and it was pretty bad. I felt really distraught and sad, I wasn’t quite ready to give up my drinking life yet, but I was trying to stay sober thru this holiday. I went to meetings all day long, one after another, just so I would not be tempted to drink! At one of the meetings, I remember quite vividly, being really angry, and complaining that there was no freedom for me! How is this freedom when I can’t drink and party like others!  Yes, that is how felt. I felt like I was the only person in the world that was not going to be drinking on this day! I felt like I was giving up my whole life of the fun and the happiness, and the excitement!

IMAG0267
Waiting for the fireworks

This year again we are going to a sober party, organized by the members of the 12-step fellowship, and then we will be watching the fireworks show at the local community center. I am so very grateful for this amazing opportunity to celebrate America’s birthday, sober and present, with lots of great and sober friends and most of all my lovely family!

Today, my co-workers started celebrating a bit early, then they decided to meet up for happy hour. I am sure they will be continuing on to some club somewhere later. I am sure I will be hearing about this so-called fun on Monday too! This is definitely what I would be doing in the past! I would continue the partying the entire weekend, possibly in a blackout, and by Monday morning I would be deathly sick and the stories of the so-called fun would have been all about how I was totally out of control! UGH.

So on a holiday like this, even though all around me the drinking festivities have begun, I still need to remember how it really was, and how it is now! I have to remain grateful for all that sobriety has given me! Because even after a  few years of sobriety, my alcoholic brain still thinks that the past was oh, so much fun! But the truth is that it really was not. By quitting drinking, I was not giving up my life full of fun and happiness, I was giving up a life that was toxic and made me completely miserable! In return I was gaining a life full of endless possibilities, real genuine fun, and memories to last a lifetime. I no longer have to live in the vicious cycle of alcoholism! Today, I can truly be free!

So this year, once again, or maybe for the first time for you,

Let’s celebrate not drinking!

Let’s celebrate our freedom from alcohol!

Let’s celebrate sobriety!

  • No more being alone and alienated
  • No more cotton mouth and hairy teeth
  • No more disappearing for days in a blackout
  • No more drinking and driving
  • No more endless cycles of guilt and shame
  • No more struggling through a hangover
  • No more missing out on family time
  • No more contemplating suicide
  • No more need for hiding and covering up
  • No more rehabs, detoxes and hospitals
  • No more stealing and cheating
  • No more unsafe and risky behavior
  • No more vomiting first thing in the morning
  • No more pretending to be a normal drinker
  • No more swearing off drinking forever, then to drink again
  • No more _________________________

Sobriety is freedom! How has sobriety freed you!?


If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please click the Find Support link for an extensive list of support groups. Also please check out the links to many useful resources in the sidebar, and always feel free to contact me anytime at sobercourage@gmail.com.

You may also find some great inspiration and support from all the awesome sober bloggers listed in the side bar under POSTS I LIKE and RECOVERY BLOGGERS, as well as Sober Courage page on Facebook and Sober Courage on Twitter.

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. No more rearranging the recycling bin to hide the countless bottles from the nosey neighbors. No more plotting and planning drives to the liqour store.

    Like

    1. Oh, I always forget about the recycling! I think it was because I used to drink out of a box! Lol! But I sure remember the hairy teeth!
      Happy 4th! Hugs!

      Like

  2. No more sense of dread each morning as I tried to remember where I hid my drinks the night before. No more waking up at 2am dehydrated and shaking.

    Thank you for sharing your story of courage and freedom!

    Like

    1. Oh, goodness, I hated trying to piece together the night before! It is so nice to go to bed free and clear of all that crap, and not have to wake up in the middle all dehydrated, isn’t it!? Also hated those mornings when I couldn’t tell what day of the week it was. Ugh.
      No More!

      Thank you fir stopping by, hugs!

      Like

  3. momma bee says:

    Freedom from the vicious cycle~ the hiding bottles (agree w/ Soberlearning) the scheduling of drinking, the promise to self not to drink today which usually is broken, the guilt trips, the unknown of what I said or did, shame & embarrassment that I tried to hide from others…. All of it is gone~ a new freedom this year!

    What a fabulous post!

    Like

    1. Thank you! I think this post really made me feel good, so I just had to share it! Sometimes I like these reminders of all that stuff, all the work, all the craziness, and all the consequences that I had, all this just to drink! Wow!

      Life is sure much simpler now!

      Like

      1. momma bee says:

        Well said, life is much simpler now!!!

        Like

  4. robertlfs says:

    Great post. Freedom from blaming others for my drinking and not taking responsibility for my own actions.

    Like

    1. Thank you! Yep, Oh I know the blaming game too! I truly believed that the entire world was against me! It was all everyone else’s fault and if you had my life, you’d drink like me to! And I drank at people too. Ugh.

      Oh man. Sure don’t miss that feeling anymore! Sobreity is surly freeing!

      Like

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