Just Being Sober Isn’t Enough

There is this app on my phone that beeps at me everyday, it’s not an annoying notification like most of the alerts I get….this one is something I look forward to. That high-pitched beep is a sobriety indicator, firing me a daily message to tell me how many days I’m sober.

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It also allowed me to insert how much I spent (on average) on booze in my drinking days to see how much money I’ve saved over time.

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How ridiculous is it that I’ve saved over $38K??? That’s enough to build the addition on our home! Not like we could actually afford for me to have been spending that much on alcohol in the first place, but this indicator brings home to me each day the reality of how my life has change.

Over the last 4 years I can say that my life has changed but the most drastic change has happened within myself. At first the road of sobriety looked bleak; like staring into a black hole with death staring at me in the face frightening. As I stood at the precipice, one thing was startlingly clear: my life drinking was going to kill me and the road sober held more hope.

Just an inkling, not a beacon of hope….just a little flicker that I MIGHT actually find that feeling of enjoying life which others seemed to have naturally.

My journey into alcoholism was riddled with dark valleys just as my journey in sobriety has been to where I am today. Thankfully I’ve written about it here, it allows me to go back in time and see my thoughts and feelings as I learned how to live and who I am without my best friend (booze) to escape with. Dealing with the bullshit of life ain’t easy and I’ve often wished I could ‘numb’ it all out with just a drink or two but so far I have managed to keep myself from doing that.

So far I’m sober.

Recently I was at my sister’s 25th anniversary party, there were over a hundred people celebrating this union of 2 hilarious, fun and very committed people. I was having a GREAT time when someone walked around the corner and caught my heart. As I stared into this woman’s massive ice-blue eyes, my heart filled with joy and I hurried over for a bit hug. This is a woman whom I’ve known most of my life, someone I hadn’t expected to see in the rooms of my first 12 Step recovery meetings.

She has been with me on the sober road from the beginning, she’s wiped my tears and listened to me rage about my disease, my behaviours and regrets. She is immersed in my memories of recovery and here she stood in person after far too long of not seeing her.

I hadn’t seen her simply because I haven’t been attending meetings. This last year I’ve been attending meetings at a rehab center and a correctional institute, I’ve been helping lead the meetings instead attending my own home group. Leading meetings is a positive, it’s being of service to others but what had I been actively doing to ensure my own recovery is solid?

Not enough.

With just an hour of catching up with my darling friend, I was firmly reminded by her that I too NEED meetings. I need to get back into the growth which I’ve only had when I was regularly attending. For me this works; this practice of listening to the experience of others and sharing my own helps me process my emotions and build up my spiritual strength.

Just Being Sober Isn’t Enough

My blue-eyed friend was placed in my path again by God, to remind me and yes to give me a wee slap.

I’m so glad God will slap my inattentive self into line now and again!

Since the meeting, I’ve asked her to become my sponsor and I’ll be working on the steps with her soon. I’ll be sharing again here on SoberJulie.com….and while I’m excited there is still a part of me which is over-confident and thinks I don’t ‘need’ this. That’s the part of me worthy of ignoring as I walk back into HOPE.

Just being sober through life isn’t enough for me, if I continue like this I run the risk of drinking again. With a constant pursuit of spiritual fitness, I will see my purpose clearly and life improves each day. This year of lackadaisical recovery has been riddled with fears, worries and other negative emotions which I haven’t been dealing with. It’s time to bite the bullet and get back to the place where I’m consciously turning to God for strength to deal with life head-on.

So here we go, into the mire of every-day living with eyes wide-open.

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20 Responses

  1. Hooray for you Julie!! First for your sobriety and second for knowing what you need. My husband did it without AA or any help which had me leary because he would quit for a year and start again, but it’s been 22 years so his is done in a different way, his brother did the same but started again after 7 years because his wife and friends all drank around him, so stupid. I quit having any drinks not that I drank a lot anyway but I don’t need it to smile and have fun!! Look at you, funny, smart, mother, wife, daughter and full of life!! I know how hard addictions are I can’t even quit smoking!You are an inspiration and I love your posts, thanks for sharing :)

  2. For what it’s worth, I’m proud of you Julie. You’ve walked through a very dark valley in life and found your way to light. My father was an acloholic for several years. He too quit. No addiction is easy to overcome, but I find alcohol to probably be one of the worst. It’s legal. It’s so readily available, and so many social settings include alcohol

    I didnt know the person you were then, I don’t know you very well now, but though I don’t comment much, I do read your posts… you are a remarkable woman for what you’ve endured and I do hope you realize that.

    Btw, I love you app!

    1. Thank you so much Darlene, it is SO difficult living in an alcohol-saturated culture, but just keeping myself plugged in helps keep my thinking in line. I truly appreciate your kind words and the fact that you return to read my meanderings.

  3. I’m with Darlene on this one Julie! I too am very proud of you for all the hard work it took/takes to overcome an addiction and even harder to avoid temptation. I also think you are an amazing woman for sharing your struggle and trying to help others. While I never had a problem alcohol I did have problems with hard core drugs and it’s crazy when you think of all the money we could have saved or things we could have bought. Congrats on 4 years :)

  4. This is such a great accomplishment so congratulations! I need one of those apps for quitting smoking!

  5. Congratulations Julie on your 4 years sober. Its quite an accomplishment and know it wasn’t done easily. I never had a drinking problem, I don’t drink but I did smoke and am now going into my 7th year without smoking. I know its different with smoking and drinking but I admire you for coming forward and letting everyone know what you have gone through and are still going through. I know each day must be a new challenge for you. Keep up the super work! You can do this and I know you will!

  6. Big hugs for you!! Little did I know that reading your blog would be such a huge help later on with a much loved relative. You kept me sane. I am so happy for you xo

  7. Congratulations on your 4 years, Julie. You are an inspiration for me to blog openly about my own stuff. I struggle getting to meetings as I have a physical condition that limits my driving. It was easier in Brooklyn!

  8. The steps are such an important part of our sobriety. I am glad you will completing them. We are still very susceptible to our disease and that first drink without them. You have already seen so many gifts that sobriety can bring, just wait until you see the promises in action. God bless and keep on trucking!

  9. Julie, I can only imagine what you have been through but I am glad that you are strong enough to take inventory of your needs and continue to grow

  10. You are an inspiration and a very very strong woman! Congratulations on your sobriety and wishing you all the strength for the road ahead.

  11. Congratulations on your sobriety!! My dad was an alcoholic and sadly attempted and failed at sobriety and it eventually ruined his marriage to my Mom and they divorced way back when, when it was not heard of, kept a secret. Your story made me wonder if in this day and age , if my dad had all the tools available like above, if he could be as strong as you have been or if it is just that, your strength and faith that heals. Congratulations and keep up the Good Work!! :)

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