On January 1, 2020, I launched my Sober Gratitudes Podcast. I am really excited about it. I mean, REALLY excited about it. Each week, I get to speak with a different guest about how their lives improved when they got sober. For me, it feels like I am a kid on Christmas morning each time I talk with another person in recovery. Everyone I have the privilege to speak with, shares about what it was like in active addiction and how their lives have turned around completely after they got sober.
My mission for this podcast is to show the hope in recovery, and that living a happy and more comfortable life is possible without using drugs or alcohol.
For my first episode, I share some of my story, because I am a recovering alcoholic and I felt it was important to qualify myself as a host. I wanted to share some of it in on my blog.
I fell in love with alcohol at the age of 14. It was the best feeling of my life at that point. Thus began my passionate love affair. I drank for 25 years of my life and finally called it quits for good in May of 2012, when my lover turned against me. When I first quit, people in recovery meetings qualified themselves as “grateful recovering alcoholics”. This made no sense to me. No sense at all.
I felt I was cursed. The reason I felt cursed is because I could never have just one drink. Often I would tell myself before drinking to “just have one!” I would have one drink (or just 1 sip!!) and all of a sudden, I felt obsessed to have more, and more, and more. I had no “off button” when it came to drinking alcohol. I was angry about this- angry that other people did not seem to have this problem. During social gatherings, I would be distracted by other peoples’ wine glass that sat half full for hours. Why did I obsess over how other people drank? Why did I obsess over why I obsessed with how other people drank compared to me? Why couldn’t I be more like these normal people?
I would learn why much later in life….
From the first time I got intoxicated, I was in love with drinking because how it made me feel. As the first sip slid down my throat, I had an immediate sensation of warmth and comfort. The tingly sensation gently glided through my veins, numbing the things about myself that felt wierd, (I always felt like a wierdo), or anxious. Oh, how I loved this drug. I knew I had found my life long friend after the first time I got drunk. Oh my God- it made all the icky thoughts in my head disappear. It was magical.
Deep down inside of me, I knew I enjoyed it a lot more than everyone else. I never confessed this to anyone. Even though I felt it was the right thing for me to do to help me feel more comfortable in my skin, I was equally ashamed. So, I kept my love affair a secret, and pretended to be a normal drinker.
Drinking became an ever constant in my life. I didn’t just enjoy it, I came to rely on it. Alcohol was the solution to all my problems in life. It made me feel more confident in social situations and ease my depression, anxiety and low self esteem.
I excelled at keeping my love affair a secret. It was important to me that others were not aware of the fact that I had to drink to feel normal. Nobody could have figured out what was going on inside my head, nor did people realize just how much I was drinking. I was very good at hiding my alcohol consumption- I was a Master Secret Keeper.
Over the next few decades, my relationship with alcohol became torrid and manic. It was negatively impacting my undiagnosed depression and anxiety. It was making these mental conditions worse.
Towards the very end of my drinking career, I felt very alone, depressed and was full of self – loathing. These negative thoughts about myself were trapped in my head. I had to drink much more now to quiet these ugly thoughts and get the same numbing effect. This unhealthy coping mechanism that worked for a long time, was now, turning against me.
For the last several years of my drinking career, I would try and take measures to control my drinking or stop altogether. The more I tried to control my drinking, the more it controlled me.
I was at a place of how could I live with, or without alcohol? How could I live with out my best friend ? How could life be easier or better if I quit for good? I was sitting at a place of complete and utter confusion. I was totally baffled, irritated, confused, scared, anxious and utterly exhausted from daily hangovers. I felt completely trapped. It was an absolutely horrid place to be.
Then, one day in May of 2012, something miraculous occurred…..
To hear what happened, listen to My Story