As some of you may know, I had 5 years of solid sobriety starting on 2009.
However, in 2014 I drank again. My relapse lasted a very long time. A long 2+ years, in fact. As difficult as it was to be stuck in those 700+ days of hell, now I know that every day was needed. Every single one.
Why do I say this?
Well…my story today comes from getting down and dirty with my disease during that time. As hard as I tried to get sober again through meetings and my beloved 12-steps, I could NOT do it. I tried everything. I KNEW I had to let my Higher Power do what I couldn’t do for myself, but it was just not happening. I would go to meetings, call my sponsor, do the steps…and I could only score a month of sobriety at a time.
I felt ashamed – not just for relapsing, but for “not doing something right”. I kept thinking that...
This is a guest post from one of my online Sober Sisters, Michelle Caron.
I see hundreds of posts on my FB and IG groups daily. This one, however, was so wonderfully en pointe with what true recovery sounds like...that I could not help but share it through a post. Thank you Michelle, for this simple and beautiful description of your journey.
"If I always did what I felt like, I would've never gotten sober. I always felt like drinking. Bad day? Drink to forget about it! Good day? Drink to celebrate it! Irritable and anxious? Drink to calm down! Happy? Drink to feel even happier! Sad? Drink to feel better! Drink, drink, drink for ALL the reasons.
Except drinking NEVER made anything better. When I drank on a good, happy day to celebrate, it ruined everything. When I drank to calm my anxiety or to make me feel happy when I w...
The first time I got sober in 2009, my concept of recovery was only pertaining to my alcoholism. I did not see any other issue to personally recover from, other than alcohol addiction.
I recovered using the 12-step program straight out of the book containing the directions in its original form. To me, that was (and still is!) the only way to get my crazy head out of the way and experience a spiritual transformation which has sobriety as a result.
However…while at the time I did not realize it, my recovery was completely black and white. If a principle or person fell in line with that book, it was ok. If recovery or ideas about recovery were NOT found in that book, I scoffed at them, or tossed them aside as a meager opinion. I rolled my eyes slightly at ideas like codependence, anxiety and depression. I thought if yo...
Today is a bittersweet day. It is Father’s Day. And while I am so very grateful to have a living father, he is in a different country, and I can’t do much other than make a phone-call.
With no celebration to have, I decided to make my day a productive one and work on my She Recovers Designation. I like working from bistros and coffeeshops, so I took myself to one of my favorite places to eat and work. I silently congratulated myself as I walked past the bar to a small table. There is always a little spark of pride when I walk past the wooden stools that speak of obliterated hours and large alcohol tabs. I have to admit I feel a little thrill when I realize it wasn’t that long ago that I sat there, and it hits me that today my life is so different.
This is one of my favorite blogs from G´s 2011 archives. I remember reading this for the first time and bawling. It was amazing that somebody out there “got me”. Alcohol broke my heart every night and every morning I wanted to leave it… and couldn’t. And the next night, alcohol would break my heart again. Over and over again. And so that is why now I write about this. You find out what breaks your heart and then you find your life mission there. At least that is how it is for me.
Here it is, Glennon, writing some thoughts on the first morning of sobriety.
I hope you enjoy every word as much as I do every time I read it.
Today I beat my drinking demon to a pulp. I fought my illness good and hard on the wrestling mat. It was a terrifying match. I finished bloody, messy and exhausted…but I won. Against all odds, I won.
What this means is that in the middle of an otherwise ordinary workday, smack in the middle of solid months of sobriety, I suffered from a very acute and sudden craving to drink; to sit in a bar and just…DRINK. I call this a Deep Craving Episode. It is powerful and real and hard as hell to go through. And today, it almost took me down. Almost.
It happened suddenly. I wanted to drink. Hard. I ached for the sharp hit of alcohol sliding down my throat. I yearned for the rays of sunlight traveling down my veins. Slave to this thought, I sat at my office desk and started to crawl out of my skin. I was craving with...
Life is a little shitty and somehow, I survive + my sobriety grows muscle.
*I am getting divorced. – This week I am in the very last leg of my divorce. My second divorce, mind you. And while every ounce of my brain tells me that this is a VERY good thing – my heart somehow is hurting like I will never know love again. Ever. #fear
*My parents just got divorced – No matter how old you are, this still hits the heart. My parents, who are in their 70’s and live in a different country, are themselves going thru the messy reality of divorcing. It seems to be the trend of this year. A month ago, my mom visited me for 3 weeks, followed by now a visit from my dad. While it is joyful to have my parents, it is also stressful and sad, and I become co-dependently bound to their every need. I want to fix their live...
I am here!!!! Wheee! I am in NYC and sat in fascination as my favorite author shared a slice of life with me. Glennon Melton is greatness.
Greatness, all rolled-up in a 5-foot uber-petite frame. Greatness in high heels, sassy blond hair and black leather pants. Greatness. And badassness. And raw-truthness (yes, I make up words, live with it).
Glennon looks like a suburban mom (and frankly has a hotness that makes me want to be a lesbian). But when she opens her mouth she sounds more like Russell Brand had a child with the Dalai Lama. Her thoughts are like recovery fireflies in a very dark night. She gets it. She really does. She captures the essence of every addict’s truth, and sheds some light on it.
I found a video in which she rolls the same concepts that we heard from stage. The jewels of recovery / pain /...
The She Recovers NYC weekend came and went like a loud storm and a soft whisper. It danced through me, sometimes slamming messages of “elevated consciousness” that were loud and boisterous; and sometimes delivering whispered jewels of truth which felt were made just for me.
I am struggling with what to say; I am overwhelmed in a way that makes me want to turn on a mind-numbing Netflix series rather than write. My technique of escaping what’s hard is a li’l demon – ready to jump from shoulder to hand and shut down the laptop screen.
Like a good alcoholic, I am a freaking master at escaping what is hard and painful. And this weekend was hard. Beautiful, but a little hard and a little painful. Hard to meet your “heroes” in the flesh – to hear them speak, be in their same space, and wrestle with feeling...
About 3 months ago, while wrapping up my 6.00 a.m. daily meditation, I posted something to my SoberMami Instagram feed. A second later, my eyes fell on an photo of my 4 favorite authors (and she-heroes) – all of them would be speaking at an event in NYC named SHE RECOVERS. Gabby Bernstein, Glennon Doyle Melton, Elizabeth Vargas and Marianne Williamson.
By 6.30 a.m. I was fully registered to the conference, plane and hotel booked. Leaping into the journey. I decided I would LEAP this year, and I am freaking doing just that.
And today, She Recovers NYC started. I am here. Gathered with 500 women who have recovered or are recovering from something. Alcohol addiction, overeating, bulimia, drugs, love addiction, codependence, workaholism. You name it, we are all here. My tribe. And truth is, I am a bit scared. Scared because...
I don’t have a lot of time for a wordy blog today. Just want to write a few lines of gratitude. I find myself so busy this Easter that I barely have time to sit in front of my computer. My sober Easter included a beautiful morning at Church, errands, shopping and a fabulous seafood lunch with mom.
I was busy doing life all day because that is the gift of sobriety. There were a few shameful Easters back in my drinking days in which I woke up to the panic of knowing that I was supposed to have done something (er…hide Easter eggs for your child, genius) and could not remember. I remember my head swimming in between dragon fumes of alcohol, that even I could smell on me. I remember the panic gripping my throat as I knew that my then 5 year old son would wake up in excitement to find… nada. Bottles of wine, empty and sad, al...