I read a lot of sober blogs…it’s part of the reason I’ve been so successful staying sober for the last 35 months…a very BIG part. In fact, the only thing bigger is God so that should give you an indication of what I mean when I say BIG.
I love reading about others’ reasons for staying sober. For example, an overwhelming number of people stay sober just so they never have to experience another hangover. Oh yeah…that’s a biggie. To wake up every morning and just feel whatever way I feel is such a blessing. No sour stomach, no fuzzy head that aches, no sweaters on my teeth…no overwhelming shame.
That’s another big one – never having to wake up either ashamed of what occurred the night before or wake up wondering what happened the night before. In some ways I think the latter is much worse. Tip toeing around friends and family looking for an indication that they hate you, still love you, pity you…whatever. That is just humiliating and ugly and I hate it.
Rest assured there are as many reasons for not picking up again as there are alcoholics. You do the math…that’s a shitload of reasons.
But for me, the biggest, baddest ass reason I stay sober (apart from my children) is to quiet the noise in my head. To finally experience some peace between my ears, or, at the very least, make room for other noise that occupies any mom’s day, is such a blessing that it could only be accomplished by faith in a God who always has my back.
THE NOISE is what went on in my head from the moment my drinking career began at about age 17 or 18. Noise about when I would be able to drink again. Noise about what other people thought about me before, during and after drinking. Noise about what I was going to drink. Noise about what other people were drinking (not drinking). Noise that rationalized my drinking. Noise about how much I was drinking – was I an alcoholic or not; what did it mean if I was; what did it mean if I wasn’t; could I moderate; could I abstain; would I or could I go to AA; how was my health; was my liver getting fat; were the whites of my eyes turning yellow; was this starting to impact my work; what example was I setting for my children; was I chasing my husband away?
And let me tell you, it didn’t stop the day I quit. Some topics were quieted but some tuned up and shouted even louder. For the first year I think the noise was actually worse. No…I know the noise was worse. But as the days, weeks and months passed, it slowly began to ebb until, for a while, it was just a whisper.
The other day I was looking in the mirror as I was getting ready for work and I stopped to listen.
There was no noise (at least not about my drinking). It was quiet for the first time in as long as I could remember. I almost started to cry…first because the silence was so wonderful but then because I realized that I never would have to listen to it again.
I was free.