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Drink up baby: 7 years sober

Seven years ago I woke up with a killer hangover, full of shame and desperation. Enough was enough. I had to get sober.

This morning I woke up tired and hungry. It is my step-son’s first day back at school full-time so this morning was all about sending him off. Every year I’ve bought myself a piece of jewelry for my sober anniversary. This year I actually forgot – not that it was my anniversary, but rather that I buy myself a present every year. How bizarre is that? I popped something onto social media and on to a few of my “support” Whatsapp groups – basically outsourcing the joy that I wasn’t managing to feel myself. It’s helped.

Where did it go wrong?

I’m not sure when I started drinking alcoholically. I didn’t really start drinking until I was 18. I only got my drivers license at 21 so I didn’t have the responsibility of driving until I was out of varsity. Getting drunk in one’s early 20s is pretty socially acceptable.

I had my first blackout at 21 and was determined to enter a 12 step program. Maybe I wasn’t that determined because I listened when other people told me I just needed to be more careful and that they didn’t think that I had a problem. Nice years down the line they were saying the same thing, but I think with a little less gusto.

I was know as a girl who liked her wine and was a really comedian after a few glasses. I was also sometimes a moody, crying bitch sometimes. In my final few moths of drinking my tolerance was all over the charts. One drink could make me tispy, the next night it would take a bottle to get me tipsy. My moods were all over the place and I felt a desperation to drink.

The last (drinking) straw

Last week I mentioned some of this in my Oh sugar sugar post. I’d been able to take a break from drinking for a month at a time, but 7 years ago, I failed at my one month challenge and all hell broke loose. The last 2 days of my drinking were miserable and lonely. I was at a music festival, which should have been a total party, but I was desperate to drown out the noise of my own emotions. Things got very messy, too messy for me to excuse. I was in a pretty unhealthy relationship at the time, but that boyfriend did call my bluff when I said I was going to sober. To prove him wrong, I went to a 12 step meeting a week later.

That decision saved my life. I was about to turn 31 and didn’t want to be a drunk mom one day. Facing life without my crutch was difficult and painful, but so worth it. The 12 steps work for me so I’d always suggest that route to continued sobriety. But bottom-line is that it’s better to have some like-minded people in your corner.

In closing, here’s a song that always catapults me back to the desperation of active addiction. I don’t ever want to feel like this again.

Photo by Cody Chan on Unsplash


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