Searching for Sobriety

 

I just caught sight of what people are putting into Google this week that brings them to my blog.  The number one search?

please god help me quit drinking

When I first started blogging in 2012 and I was setting up my tags (can’t remember what Blogger called them), I made sure that these six words, in that order, were in there.  I knew I’d get to people this way because this is what I always put into Google when I was desperately seeking an answer into why in the hell I drank so much.  It was part search tool and mostly prayer.

please god help me quit drinking

Now when I see it pop up it makes my heart hurt because I can feel, way down deep in my soul, exactly what those people typing out there in internet land are feeling.  I know the anguish and the pain.  The inability to see your way around what feels like a 2,000 pound boulder.  The humiliation and shame of whatever you did to make you type those words.  The worry about what you’re doing to your children.  The fear of what you’re doing to your body.  The terror of being “found out” and all your lies exposed.  The hopelessness of feeling like this will only end when you die.

The wish to make that happen as quickly as possible.

Or maybe you’re not there…yet.  Maybe you’re just beginning to question why you don’t seem to want to quit drinking when everyone else does.  You’re wondering why, even though you probably haven’t admitted it to yourself, you think about drinking almost all the time.  Why there’s a sense of panic when you realize that you don’t have enough wine to get you through the weekend and they’re calling for snow.  You’re wondering if your kids know why you won’t let them go to their friend’s house after a certain time of night or only if they are going to spend the night…you wonder if they know it’s because you don’t want to worry about driving after “wine o’clock”.  You wonder if the parents of the soccer or little league or dance team can smell it on your breath or seeping out of your pores on a hot day.

You’ve promised yourself time and time again that you’ll quit only to feel the pull, hear the nagging thoughts and stop at the store on the way home to pick up some booze.  Just this one you say…then one turns into two which turns into a bottle and then…

Well…you know the rest.

Guess what?  You don’t have to die.  You don’t have to feel this way any longer.  There is an answer but it means you’ll have to get dirty.  It’s not easy.  In fact it’s probably the hardest thing you’ll ever do.  It will take commitment.  It will take guts.  It will take rigorous honesty not only to other people but to yourself.  You will be left stripped bare and raw.  You won’t know who you are or why you started this goddamned journey in the first place.  You’ll hate me and all of us out here telling you “You can do this!  You’re doing great!  It’s soooo worth it!”

In fact, your desire to kill every recovering alcoholic on the planet will only be surpassed by your desire to kill every normal drinking person in the galaxy.

Because IT’S NOT FAIR!

It’s not fair that you can’t drink like a normal person!!!!  It’s just not fair!

So what.  Grow up.  Life’s not fair.  It’s just life.  On its own terms.  It doesn’t come with an owner’s manual and even if it did it wouldn’t matter because you’re not in control.

But if you can manage 24 and then 48 and maybe even 72 hours, you’ll begin to see how good life can be without alcohol.  You’ll see, probably for the first time in your life, the full and complete meaning of the word JOY or GLORIOUS.  You’ll catch a glimpse of sunlight in the darkness that leads to love and peace of mind.  That leads to family and forgiveness and new beginnings.

That leads to hope.

It’s up to you whether or not you walk toward the light or stay in the darkness.  Just know that if you do, we’re all out here to love you through it.

Namaste

 

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20 thoughts on “Searching for Sobriety

  1. I love that. I don’t have any tags to my blog, because it never occured to me that people would search out sober blogs for help.

    It never occured to me that this was bigger than just my own weakness. My own personal failure to quit drinking. To be a better mom. To be a better person.

    But it is. It is a huge thing and we need support to change our lives. I write my blog to try to spread the word that not only is there life without booze, it is a life full of happiness, joy and meaning.

    And that we all already have that life now. We are just dulling it with alcohol.

    I feel in my heart for anyone drinking now who doesn’t want to be. The answer is just as you put it. Simple, but nut easy.

    Anne

    1. But sometimes the simplest things are the hardest.

      Isn’t it funny how we think we’re so “unique”…so “terminally unique” when we’re all just part of a bigger picture? I find it sad and fascinating all at the same time.

      Thank you Anne for your blog, your comments on my blog and your beautiful spirit.

      Sherry

  2. Does it ever get any easier?? Even with knowing I feel better without alcohol, I want it so badly…all the friggen time. It’s so annoying. 😁. I’m struggling at day 9 here but I won’t drink. I’ll just be in bed very early. 😥
    I think too much!

    1. You’re doing great! From my experience, not drinking does get easier, but being mindful of why you want to drink and taking stock of what you’re feeling when you crave a drink can take a lot of the power out of the cravings, and it helps you build the tools in the long-term to cope with it when the urge to drink hits you down the road. In the beginning, HALT was a powerful tool for me. When I crave a drink, I HALT, and ask myself, am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired? I’d say 90% of the time, I am one or more of those things when I want a drink. Keep up the great work! I’m rooting for you! It’s SO worth it.

    2. Listen to Geek…and you know it gets easier – you’ve been there before. It all depends on your motivation. If this is the time (and why in the HELL would you ever want to go through this again) then it will stick and just get better and better. I slept A LOT in the beginning. I didn’t even eat much in the first month…all I did was sleep. I could burn 8-10 hours and not even know it. That took me that much closer to freedom.

      Also, ever time I thought of drinking I would distract myself. I’d read blogs or sober articles. I’d jump into chat rooms for online AA meetings (they exist and they’re pretty good). I’d go for a walk or do yoga. Anything to take my mind off the craving.

      Once it passed I would pat myself on the back and say a mental woo-hoo because I knew I was BAD ASS.

      Hang tough girl –
      Sherry

  3. I remember all of this. I didn’t think I could or would want to live a life without booze. But I can…I am. And it’s awesome. Thanks Sherry. I love your writing.

  4. “It’s not fair that you can’t drink like a normal person!!!! It’s just not fair! So what. Grow up. Life’s not fair.”

    So true!!! When I wanted to throw myself a pity party over never drinking again, I had to put on my big-girl panties and get over it. It’s not about what works for others. I know drinking wasn’t working for ME anymore, and I have worked for the last 4 months to make sure I stay sober. No excuses. Tomorrow is day 120 for me.

    1. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! 120 days is EPIC! No…seriously…it really is epic.

      You know what they say about pity parties…no one ever comes to them but you. How sad is a party where no one shows up?

      You’re on the absolute right track!

      Sherry

  5. Like no doubt the vast majority of people who’ve walked the path of abstinence as a way out of a drinking hell-hole I also felt that being unable to drink normally was vastly unfair. However I’d rolled up at rehab after 13 months or so of trying to control my drinking and drinking normally and simply… It hadn’t worked one iota! If anything by then my drinking was worse, each period of abstinence or control had invariably ended by a worse relapse. By the time I gave up giving up I was resigned to having to drink abnormally as I simply couldn’t see a solution. I was even planning how to shield my family from my death which I felt was the only obvious way to end all this. Madness! So then I dry out, learn a lot about the conditional of alcoholism and addiction in general and find a potential alternative solution that seemed to be working for a good number of people. Still my brain said “But it isn’t fair I can’t have the occasional drink like others do”. Luckily at my rehab they ran some sessions on relapse prevention as part of the aftercare. I wasn’t the only one who raised this concern. The counsellor asked this question. “Who hear has an allergy to something or knows someone who has?” I think everyone put their hand up – he asked some of us about it. Mine was a lady who’d worked in my team a few years before – she had a severe nut allergy – to the point where one day the caterers cocked up and she entered a meeting room where there were peanuts in the bowl. In seconds she collapsed and was gasping for breath and the allergy made her wind pipe close up – just from being in the same room! We grabbed her pen thing – injected her and got her out the room. We reprimanded the caterers too!

    But then he said “So do you think she would ever consider it unfair she can’t eat a peanut? No she accepts that is who she is and that for her own health she has to treat them like poison to her. Why can’t you do the same with alcohol?” BOY!!! Food for thought. I still can’t deny that the thought crosses my mind when some ad or something in a film or I see someone having a good time sipping a wine (when did I EVER sip wine! I hated wine anyway!) So I just remind myself – I have a condition that means I cannot drink alcohol – simple…. that is now the simplest part of my abstinence!

    1. I love this thought process. Think of it as an allergy and just accept it. I’m allergic to pollen. I don’t think it’s unfair because it just IS. I just roll with it.

      I also think it’s important to focus on what we DO have rather than what we DO NOT. I can’t drink but I have my family, my health and my peace of mind – none of which I would have if I had continued to drink.

      Thanks Graham – as usual – genius.

      Sherry

  6. Thank you for this Sherry – as always, a great inspiration for all of us! Our experiences really are universal, not terminally unique :). Well into Day 4, feeling good about just not drinking (as opposed to feeling that I ‘can’t’ drink – perspective is key. Got a biz trip tomorrow (gonna go get close and personal with the polar vortex…not sure why we have to go to CHI, but whatev), and am thinking positive about getting thru that. Some of your older posts involving biz travel are a helpful reference. Thanks for being here!

    Hugs,

    SR

    1. Yeah…those business trips can be a bitch. BUT – not spending all that time drinking allowed me to enjoy the benefits of being alone in a beautiful hotel. Quiet, reading, listening to music or watching TV at a decent volume and going to sleep REALLY early. Oh…hotel gyms too! So convenient.

      Good luck and email me if you get stuck and need to “chat”.

      Sherry

  7. Graham beat me to the punch on that allergy thing. Yeah, it’s not fair, as you said. And yeah, we gotta suck it up! Not fun at first, but that’s the deal. And yeah, wouldn’t it be nice to have a beer after mowing the lawn? guess what, it ain’t happening. But iced tea tastes pretty damn good too. There are so many things that we need to shift in our thinking to have a successful recovery. And by successful I mean that life will still hit us with shitty stuff and we gotta deal with it without our chief coping mechanism.

    i could go on with what you wrote, but I would just be reiterating all that you said.

    Wonderful stuff – every newcomer should be reading this.

    Blessings
    Paul

    1. What a lovely compliment (about the newcomer)! Thank you!

      It’s funny. I never really liked beer but one of the best beers I ever had was after cutting the grass. I thought it was just me!

      But sweet iced tea (I’m here in the south you know), it’s pretty darn awesome after a day of yard work as well.

      Sherry

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