Even though I tried to quit many, many times over the last 10 years, there are only 2 times that have left a lasting impression.  The first being September 18, 2013 to April 1, 2015.  My first big step into the sober arena.  It was where I met all you wonderful bloggers.  AA is/was not for me, the SMART meetings were too far away and I didn’t know where to turn. It occurred to me to browse the web.  It took a number of tries to find what I was looking for, then BAM – I was here. I found Fern, Lily, Kristen, Christine, Belle  . . . .  It saved my life and I hope that those of you just beginning your journey (or just finding us here), will read those blogs that resonate with you and begin writing for yourself.  It’s amazing the support you will receive.

I learned during my first long attempt with sobriety to find things to do to stay busy; to change my routines and habits; to take a different way home. I tried to do the soul searching thing to find out why I drank in the first place, or why I used drinking to self-medicate, or why the hell I was self-medicating in the first place.  So many questions, so few answers.  I knew I was lonely so I joined a number of groups in hopes of finding women I could relate to and enjoy spending time with.  (I am quite the recluse.)  It took 3 years of being with the same group doing cool stuff until I finally felt like I was a part of the group; that I was liked and they enjoyed having me around.

The second try with sobriety this time started 40 days ago, February 4, 2016 and will go on indefinitely.  There is something completely different about this time around.  The leading up to quitting as well as the first few weeks are a 180 to what I experienced the first time. Quitting drinking this time was much harder and I drank way more.  But once I had 7 days behind me, it’s been like I just picked up where I left off the first time.  Also, the group I’m in does so many things that I have something fun to do every weekend.  This includes making a drum (drum birthing), going to movies, snowshoeing, hiking, book club, board games, spice jar painting, glass blowing, trips to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, Zombie escape rooms, breakfasts and bike rides.

I look at things differently than I did even 2 years ago.  I like myself better for one thing.I’m certainly not 100% or anything close, but I am making strides in the right direction.  Again, I’m not saying it’s been easy but it has certainly been easier. Sure I have moments during the day where I would give anything to have a drink, but with focus, I just shut it down.  Whether you use willpower, your faith, your belief in you, or whatever, just use it. It may not be easy, but it IS worth it.


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17 Responses to thoughts

  1. thenewnewguy says:

    This post totally made my day. Keep going and good luck!

  2. ainsobriety says:

    Anyone who wears such an awesome hat must be a fun person!
    I’m glad you are back. Finding that unconditional self acceptance isn’t easy, but it is where the joy is.


  3. Raymond says:

    This resonated so much with me. I’ve been sober now for going on 10 years and it will be an indefinite sobriety. I don’t have the will to drink. The AA didn’t work for me either. I felt a failure. I drank myself into oblivion thinking they were the only hope. But there is so much more out there, and like you I found my true calling. Writing! 🙂

    Oh, I also did all that soul searching! Quite interesting what you can find in the hidden depths of your mind 🙂

    • Debbie says:

      Hey Raymond, thanks for finding my blog! And kudos to you on 10 years. What’s your secret? 🙂

      • Raymond says:

        No secret! I had a traumatic childhood, which led me off the rails into young adulthood. Got myself involved with a lot of shady people in a lot of shady places. It wasn’t until I was sitting in my house, out of electricity, out of food and yet all I could think of was my next drink. I decided it was time to stop.

        But it wasn’t easy. I had to do a lot of counselling, a lot of psychotherapy and a lot of analysing myself. I’m still learning now to be honest.

        My steps to recovery were to tackle the iceberg underneath because I was using Alcohol as medication to soothe the hurt. So I did it like this.

        Decided to give up and immediately undergo counselling.-> made new friends -> tackled childhood issues -> tackle adult issues -> learn -> joined a group or five -> learned to enjoy my own company -> learned to communicate effectively, on and off the web.

        And that sounds quick but that was a 10 year process and still going. Although I don’t “want” to drink any more.

        I also volunteered my time to a few Mental Health charities – that was a really positive step in my opinion 🙂

  4. jmcraig2014 says:

    So positive and uplifting

  5. furtheron says:

    I tried giving up so many times – at one point possibly daily and failed repeatedly. When I got sober this time the difference was that I was just totally beaten by it – I readily accepted my powerlessness over it which was obvious from the mess of the year before when I’d gone from daily top up drinker through a variety of controlling/stopping episodes to a dangerous binge drinker back to daily drinker as that seemed safer but I was just so sick and tired of it all. I get the same feeling from you here – good luck with staying on the path this time

    • Debbie says:

      Thanks for sharing your story. I so admire your strength. Understanding that you were beaten by it and making the resolution to quit. Amazing 🙂 And yes, I was just sick and tired of it all – all those decisions and calculations about drinking. What a waste.

  6. There’s a reason for the saying “timing is everything”. Glad you’ve got it this time, Deb.

  7. byebyebeer says:

    I love that you joined the meetup group and stuck it out and found such a great group of women. Understatement of the year, but loneliness is the worst. So happy you’re feeling strong and good.

    • Debbie says:

      It’s been great to be a part of a social group again! I am so glad I found this group! And so glad to have you as part of my sobersphere! 🙂

  8. Pingback: thoughts | fightorflights

  9. Love that you are taking time to learn about you, what makes you tick and how to connect with other women. It’s so important to pick ourselves up and step forward. When we are in the trenches, it stinks and it seems hopeless. You’ve done it and have done it well. I, too, dig the hat. Hugs, Linda

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