This Could Be Your Best Year Sober
I woke up today, like many other sober people, well… happily sober. But I don’t mean just happily sober, I mean wonderfully, amazingly, ecstatically sober! I had an overwhelming feeling of joy! But I remember the days not long ago that this was not possible. I remember the days when I was overcome, and in deep throes of my addiction.
If you are reading this then you have most likely struggled with alcoholism/addiction in some way. And if you are anything like me when I am trying to figure something out, you have been looking for answers everywhere!
Have you taken the quiz? Have you read the definition of alcoholism? Have you Google “How do you know if you have a problem with alcohol?” Have you compared yourself to your friends, the ones that seem to drink way more than you and still seem OK? Have you ever woken up feeling ashamed and swore that you will never ever drink again?
Most individuals with alcohol problems do not resolve to make a big change out of the blue or transform their drinking lifestyles overnight. Recovery is usually a more gradual process. In the early stages of change, denial is a huge obstacle. Even after acknowledging you have a drinking problem, you may make excuses and drag your feet. It’s important to acknowledge your ambivalence about stopping drinking. If you’re not sure if you’re ready to change or you’re struggling with the decision, it can help to think about the benefits of this choice. Maybe then you have at least been pondering the whole sober idea right?
Quitting drinking today can change your entire future!!
When we are in the midst of the addiction, days just melt together and become one big, gigantic dump. That’s how I felt at the end of my drinking – like I was stuck in an empty life. The shame and the guilt kept me locked up in my apparent, just drinking – alone, depressed, hopeless, lost, and angry – that is no way to live!
I know that coming to terms with this malady is pretty scary. I am pretty sure that no one has ever said that they wanted suffer with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)! As a matter of fact, I probably tried everything imaginable to prove that I was not, AND, I was not going to let anyone label me as an alcoholic either! But in reality, no matter what I tried, no amount of will-power could help me control my drinking and my life was just falling apart!
I was embarrassed, and I carried with me the overwhelming stigma associated with alcoholism and other addictions – the belief that the addiction is caused by low morals, or personal weakness or lack of self-control. Some people believe that only weak and bad people get addicted; only undesirable persons are alcoholics; addicts are unkempt, uneducated, and often add no value to society. For the same reason, getting sober didn’t seem like an option either because if I was going to get sober that would mean that I was also admitting that I had a problem!
But the truth is that I didn’t choose to have this disease, and all kinds of people, the well-educated, the rich and the poor, and people from any racial and socioeconomic background have the potential to have AUD. Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a disease and it usually starts very innocently. Most people in our society can go out and have an alcoholic beverage or two, and then stop. But for the person AUD, they cannot stop with one or two alcoholic beverages, and it is that inability to stop that causes so much pain and suffering. Many never talk about it or seek help based on their own, as well as society’s assumptions and shames.
I still remember being in rehab and feeling totally depressed, and still suffering from the preconceived notions that I was weak, a failure and a worthless human!
But life doesn’t have to be that way. You never have to feel this way again! You can change it; you can get sober! This could be your best year sober. You can have a life with millions of moments that fill your heart with joy. When was the last time you felt real joy, or happiness or even noticed that the sun was shining?
It took me a while to understand that getting sober was going to be an amazing journey, and that admitting that I have a problem and need help gave me the courage and the power to change my life! Believe me, everyone who has attained sobriety, has been able to defeat one of the greatest life’s challenges, despite all the odds! Sobriety should not be kept hidden like a dirty little secret, instead we should CELEBRATE SOBRIETY, each and every day!
Today is the day you can make a decision to get sober! Today can be you’re start! It only takes one decision and one day. Stop thinking about yesterday and pondering the tomorrow, and make the decision today!
You have the CHOICE! And it is all yours! You can choose to get sober.
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)*, please check out the Sober Courage menu at the top of this page for an extensive list of support groups and recovery related articles.
*Problem drinking that becomes severe is given the medical diagnosis of “alcohol use disorder” or AUD. AUD is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using (Ref: NIAAA).