Sober

The last of my wine collection before I sold it to a friend

The last of my wine collection before I sold it to a friend

It’s 6:00 a.m. on January 1, 2019 and I’m making a pot of coffee that I plan to drink in its entirety. I just finished feeding Ellie and decided I had too much energy to go back to bed. I have energy because I made the decision to quit drinking 6 days ago after coming to terms with the fact that I had a problematic relationship with alcohol, always have, and that I was unwilling to let it continue to hurt me and those in my life. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Harder than pregnancy and birthing a child. That was natural and beautiful, this is an ugly ugly thing. My decision took a lot of people by surprise since I was the wine girl. Well, as much as I loved learning about and drinking wine, it was a great way to cover up a drinking problem and not get too many questions. If I wasn’t fooling you, then congrats, but no one really wants to hear that when they are getting sober and just trying to make it through the day without their drug of choice. So if I always knew I had a problematic relationship with alcohol, why did I continue to drink? There is a whole body of literature explaining that addiction is a disease and not a moral failure, you can look into it if you wish (I recommend the book Clean by David Sheff). Maybe drinking was a choice in the beginning but it quickly became a compulsion, an unhealthy coping mechanism I used to get over traumatic events that have happened (though it didn’t get me over them at all) and to assuage social and generalized anxiety. I never envisioned myself as a 30 year old with a seemingly great life, drinking multiple glasses of wine each night to numb the pain and self-hatred I still felt. I never would have chosen that. So here I am, in the new year (though my decision had nothing to do with that!) leading a new life and feeling better than I remember feeling in a long time. I’m not deluding myself into thinking this will be easy-- I had to fight like hell to make it this far, but I believe that I can do this, with a lot of support. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to lend support (so many strangers!) and tell me their stories and thank you to Holly Whitaker of Hip Sobriety, who gave me the courage to take the leap into sobriety. I’ll be back soon to check in.

Love,

Sarah

Resources that have helped me thus far: