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So I’m Sober, Now What?

Lisa McNamara
| May 27, 2015

Really, is this it? Is this what my life is going to be forever? Because really, it sucks! This is how I felt early on in my sobriety.

Yeah, everyone is happy I’m not drinking but me. Everyone else’s life goes on just like before but me. Heck, I don’t even know what to do now. I am bored out of my mind. Actually, I don’t even think I like me! I hated to be alone. Not knowing what to do with myself, I couldn’t settle down. I certainly can’t go to ladies wine night. I can’t go out with our friends on their boat because that’s a drink-fest. Even playing golf, what do I do when we’re done and every one goes in for “just one”? Ha!

Yes, I’m back to work and that’s okay after I got done with the initial questions about the rehab vacation. And don’t forget all the “I’m so proud of you.”  Really? Give me a break, you have no idea how I feel or how this is the pits! You’re still drinking like fishes. Why can’t I have a shut off valve and be normal?

I was miserable. I was going to these stupid AA meetings in areas I didn’t even know existed, areas where I was scared to get out of the car, but I had to keep telling myself that I’m no better than anyone else. I was listening to people whine about all their drinking stories. But hey, this is what they drill into your head at rehab so I’ll keep doing it. I kept going, I even got a sponsor! I went to her house to start the step work I was told to start. So this is it? Here I am 53 years old and I have to call this lady every day? Why can’t I just call you if I have a problem or question? This isn’t going to work. I can feel it. She sensed it too! She even said, “If you do it this way you will fail!”  So this is the only way? Now I started getting my back up!

My daughter was getting married and it was a destination wedding in Mexico! All inclusive! Do you know what that means? Tequila was everywhere, every day, morning, noon and night. But I didn’t weaken. Of course I was miserable on the inside, but I was successful. I did it!

Nine months into this new life and I’m feeling really confident. I got this not drinking thing, I can handle any situation. Mind you I’m still miserable…my poor husband! I thought I could handle the family vacation no problem. Wrong! That again has always been a great summer party, but it was okay it was Summer rules!

Well everyone was down on the beach having fun and I went up to check on my dinner. There it was right there, that beautiful, very large bottle of vodka luring me over. I thought I will just have one drink, no one will know! Ah, it was a very, very large drink. Went back to the beach, all was good. I can probably sneek another drink in, I thought, so I offered to bring snacks down. Well when you haven’t had a drink in nine months and haven’t eaten all day, let’s just say things didn’t go so well to say the least. Within hours I had ruined it, everyone was mad at me. I again just wanted to run away, go home, and be anywhere but there!

Everyone said, “You should have called your sponsor!” But quite honestly he could have been in the house with me and I still would have drunk! Heck, I could have convinced him to join me because that’s how good we are right?

Obviously AA wasn’t connecting with me. I agreed with a lot, but disagreed with more. My outpatient counselor suggested I read a book called Sober Identity. I did and I reached out to the author. She was my savior. She was a Life Coach out on the West Coast. I worked with her diligently every week for about six months. I found the one on one sessions seemed to work much better for me. She made me open my eyes and look into my past.

I started back into passions that I had once loved that Alcohol had slowly taken away from me without me even being aware. I was gardening, building a fish pond, reading, playing golf, running, playing tennis, and even delivering meals to the elderly! Over time I actually found the old me, I had just been swallowed up by a bottle.

It wasn’t always easy because I was stepping way out of my comfort zone, trying to meet new fun, clean people. But I was happy. Today I am comfortable in my own skin. I’m aware that every day is a gift that we are given. I see and hear all the beauty around me that once was all darkness.

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