I would first like to like to acknowledge that today is the one year mark of my Twenty One and Sober blog. I originally started writing this blog for myself–to keep record of my journey as a young recovering alcoholic but then you all started reading. I never imagined that as a result of sharing my stories and experiences about getting sober and staying sober I would receive the letters that I do. Hearing that my words can somehow help someone through their hardship or their journey to sobriety is beyond humbling to me. I truly believe my sobriety, my recovery means nothing if I can’t give away what was freely given to me.
I haven’t written a post in a while and I think it’s because I’ve come to a point in my sobriety where I don’t think about it as much. Meaning, sobriety is just a natural part of my life now. It’s ingrained into who I am today. I don’t have cravings nor feel in danger around alcohol but in that, I know that my emotional sobriety is always going need work and that as I get farther away from my last drink, the more I will forget how bad it was.
I don’t believe it is to necessary to drown ourselves in our horrible and unbearable pasts but to forget is not an option either. I need to remember how bad it was or else I could potentially grab a glass of wine one day believing that I could handle just one or two and soon enough my life would be right back where I was, but most likely worse. As an alcoholic, having one or two glasses of wine just isn’t in the cards for me. I’ve proven that over and over to myself.
The one thing that I run into a lot as a sober alcoholic is the lack of understanding of what my disease is. Alcoholism is such a tough one to understand and even I, being an alcoholic, can lack understanding of my fellows. Alcoholism is the inability to drink normally. For me, it didn’t matter what substance I was consuming, once I had one drink, one hit, one pill, one snort, I had to have more. Lots more.
It’s so hard to explain it sometimes because it’s almost like another being is taking over you. You become powerless over the substance and that is a feeling that is so miserable beyond anything you could ever imagine unless you share this disease with me. With substance comes intoxication and with alcoholism comes extreme intoxication and with extreme intoxication comes consequences.
For me, my consequences were not too visible on the outside. Sure, I became known as “that girl” who parties too hard, who knows all the right drug people, who is easy, and who humorously can’t handle her liquor. My behavior when I was drunk was funny to others, it was even funny to me sometimes but the misery came when I realized I had a problem and just couldn’t stop.
I attempted to quit drinking about four months before I really got clean and sober because I knew that sobriety was my destiny at some point in my life. But I kept smoking weed and shortly became highly addicted to the prescription drug adderall and soon enough my life became so unmanangable that I had no idea what to do. I was beaten down and defeated because how could my life be this bad without alcohol? I thought alcohol was my only problem.
But with my disease, it is a necessity for me to be completely sober from everything because with any mind altering substance, I am at risk for addiction.
I never imagined myself getting sober at the young age of 20. It just seems insane, right? But it was truly my only option because the emotional vacancy inside me, the shame I held about how I lived my life, and the unbearable sense of unhappiness was enough for me to surrender and shortly become a minority of my generation.
It’s not always easy being 22 years old, a 4th year in college, and sober. But a bad day as a sober recovering alcoholic is better than a good day active in my disease.
I’ve run into the problem where people who drink feel the need to defend themselves to me as to why they are drinking and what I tell them is “your drinking has nothing to do with mine” and that’s the truth. This is my journey and it’s a choice I made for me.
There is a misunderstanding to some as to what sobriety really means to me. Sobriety and recovering aren’t solely based on my physical state. Physical sobriety is necessary for me to live the life I want but in that, I had to have a complete psychic change. My physical, emotional and spiritual had to evolve. My entire life had to change. The things I do, the people I surround myself with, the actions I take, the way I treat others, and the way I handle hardships all had to change when I got sober. This is still happening for me. I am still making changes in order to live the life I want for myself.
I’ve written in the past about how amazing my life is (which is it) and about the things that have made that possible. My change in perspective of life, my ability and necessity to be kind to people, being able to make amends to those I hurt, connecting to a higher power greater than myself, ability to meditate, ability to forgive, my ability to be in the first healthy relationship in my life with a man, putting others before myself, and the simple fact that I was able to get sober and have stayed sober for almost a year and a half are things that reassure me that sobriety is the life for me.
BUT, I still have a lot of growing to do. The reason I share this is because I don’t want to portray sobriety as the answer to life or to say that my life is better than those who drink or use. Sobriety just happened to be something I needed to do and it’s just my story and hey, it may be yours too or someday it may be yours.
If I could give anyone advice today, struggling with substance abuse or not, it would be to take the actions necessary in order to become your most authentic self. For me, the start of a new year has allowed me to see some things I need to work on. I turned to eating when I got sober and gained 23 lbs in sobriety. I would like to healthful get that weight off because I know that I don’t feel as healthy as I could and those 23 lbs aren’t defining as to who I am and it doesn’t make me feel less than, but I know I could feel better about myself and when I feel better about myself, I am closer to my most authentic self.
I also don’t work as much as I could. I have a job that allows me to work whenever I want and I have the option to feel more secure financially but I choose to just get by which results in stress and stress takes me away from being the best version I can be.
I am in a long distance relationship with the love of my life and when we are together, it is perfect and there isn’t a problem in our sight, but when we are apart, I allow my perception to become dark and negative which results in me being anxious and on edge when in reality everything is okay. I just have to allow it to be because I truly do have an amazing relationship.
And lastly, I want to have more fun. Having fun, being social has been tough for me being sober. So many of my peers drink and go to bars and for me, that is not my ideal night for fun and I have allowed that to become a sad thing for. I tend to isolate more than I should when I know I can have fun other ways. So I strive to have more my type of fun.
My growth depends on the work that I put into my life and the change comes from me wanting change. If you don’t really want it, you won’t do it. So evaluate what you want, make sure you are willing to work for it, and go for it. I challenge you to be the best person you can be today because today is all we have.
Allow yourself to be the writer of your story and if you want, make that story amazing. I promise you, you have the ability to do this.
I personally thank you for reading my blog and supporting me through my journey. Happy new year NEW DAY :]