I love counting days, months and years of sobriety, and I especially love when others share their numbers! I especially love seeing people announce their milestones – 1 day, 1 week, 1 month and on and on. Because no matter how many days you have managed NOT to drink, we all know, that for us who have an addiction, every single day without a drink is a BIG F-ing deal!
That said, I often feel a bit sadden when people don’t feel excited about their days and they just dismiss it as an ordinary event. Why is that?
I think that often we feel shame about being sober, because by being sober we admit that we have a problem – we admit that we are alcoholics. Yes, it sounds kinda rough, leaves a bit of a bad taste in the mouth, huh? It’s hard to fathom that we are not able to drink “normally” like other people. Why us? I know this feeling. But in the reality it’s not just that we can’t drink like others, we have the disease of alcoholism, and no matter how we phrase, it is there and there is no way around it.
For me, acceptance was the key; we are all exactly how we are supposed to be, we are all exactly where we are supposed to be, and we all have issues to deal with. Trust me, I didn’t want to be an alcoholic either, and I am sure none of us did! But I am and that’s OK. It doesn’t make me a bad person. It just makes ME.
I also understand that many people out there still believe that it is a lack of self-control and no moral standards that cause our addictions. But you know what, that is just not true, you know it, and I know it! If I could have just controlled it away I would have!
Another belief is that non-drinkers are lame and boring! Well, that’s not true either, I certainly did not get sober to live a boring life! There will always be something that someone will find to talk about. But what other people think of me is none of my business; I am no better or worse than others! And today I’d rather people say, oh there is that boring girl who doesn’t drink anymore, than, oh there is that drunk girl again, wonder what fiasco she will cause tonight!
Today I am a sober alcoholic; I did not take a drink! That is huge for me and that is huge for you! It’s time to spread the word and feel good about being sober! And spread the hope so that others will also find the strength and courage to do the same. We don’t have to suffer alone! I spent so much of my life in shame, and fear, and secrecy, but being open and honest with people about my recovery feels really good, because we can and do recover!
Of course, I wish I felt this way in early sobriety, so this is why I wanted to write about this now! Maybe if I did, I wouldn’t have done so much research relapsing, and questioning it as much: am I? Am I not? In the end, who cares, really? I knew the answer long before my last drink.
Maybe if getting sober seemed like an amazing thing to do, like running a marathon or climbing a mountain, maybe I would have gotten to it sooner! And maybe if you hear it from me and from others, that this is an amazing and inspiring journey, maybe YOU would find it a BIG F-ing deal too!
So, I think it’s very important to deliver the message that sobriety is amazing and attainable! And it definitely comes from us not being ashamed and being proud and hell yeah, bold and loud! So you may not be quite ready to shout it out from rooftops, that’s OK too, it may take some time, but please, feel proud about being sober!!! It is a HUGE accomplishment!
Sobriety is not shameful! We who find sobriety have worked our asses off and continue to do so to stay sober! That is a lot of work and perseverance! Getting sober IS amazing and for me the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. If everyone out there understood how horribly difficult it is to deal with this cunning and baffling disease of addiction, they too would be proud! And maybe the people still struggling with their addiction would find it easier to raise above and get sober! And then we all can run a marathon or climb a mountain too! We really ought to be proud! I AM proud!
BE. PROUD. AND. CELEBRATE. SOBRIETY.
What day are you on?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.