For obvious reasons people laugh or think I'm lying when I say this is my sobriety date. No, it wasn't some planned event to be able to tout my entire life. Nor is it some joke about sobriety in general. It just happened to be the day I went to the hospital for liver failure. These are just some of the answers I give when people ask me about sobriety. Since Recover Urself just had its year anniversary (if you missed that blog click here), I thought I might revisit some of the most common questions I get asked about sobriety.
Was it hard to get sober?
Sometimes I have to stop myself from giggling at the ridiculousness of this question because it really does depend on you.
The simple answer is, yes it's hard. However, if you are ready to quit and willing to do anything, then it's significantly less difficult. If you drag your feet the entire time, hang out at the bar still, and don't really want to quit, hell yes it will be a struggle every day.
Both ways are a daily struggle, but in the latter form, you are fighting yourself. To answer your question again, there is no easy way to turn your life around; but it's entirely possible and worth it.
Do you ever come close to relapse?
I attribute this only to the fact that my life depends on it. Maybe that's the mindset everyone should adopt I don't know. For me, the threat that my liver will shut down again scares me enough to not pick up a bottle. One can sit in front of me for hours and I would only touch it to move it out of the way.
To anyone who knew me before my sobriety date, you might find that hard to believe. My dad did too, until he realized there was untouched alcohol in the house.
After my mom passed, people brought over alcohol to 'help' my dad mourn. He didn't really want to drink though, and those bottles are still unopened. My life is more important to me than that, even though the wake of my mom passing could have easily been an excuse to drink. I didn't let myself use that as an escape.
I do, time to time, toss around the thought in my head, 'I wonder how much worse this would be right now if I was drunk, or if I picked up the bottle.' However, that's the closest I come to relapse, and even that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
So, what do you do for fun then?
Anything I want, and proud of it! Believe it or not, when you are a black out drunk and your friends and family want nothing to do with you, life isn't really what people call 'fun'. I have more fun than ever before, remembering my time with people, being coherent, and not making a fool of myself in public.
Aside from using and relapsing, everything is fair game and it's all more fun than being so intoxicated you can't walk. Especially on my sobriety date; sober party it up!
...but you can have just one, can't you?
No means no people. With sex, alcohol, drugs, favors; no still means no. I can't just have one, and why do you even want me to? Oh, to join you, so you can have fun! That makes sense.
What if my family all died as a result of a drunk driver and I chose not to drink...would you still tell me 'one is ok'?
If I was a mother identifying the mangled remains of her son who wrapped his vehicle around a pole, would you say, 'it was just one drink don't worry.'
I don't think so, and your 'it's only one' excuse it's getting really indefensible.
As my second year of sobriety comes to a close, and my sobriety date rings in another 365 of opportunities, I can see these questions very differently. Before, they used to trigger my anger and upset the addict in me that was still struggling to find peace with her life. Now though, I see that these people need to ask and the discussion needs to stay open!
If you have any questions for me, drop them in the comments below! I can't wait to answer more of your questions about life on the sober side.