My Sobriety Date
I had someone ask me yesterday if I "picked" a particular date to quit drinking. I hadn't thought about that in a while and here is why. I had "picked" several dates throughout the end of my drinking career to quit drinking. My husband would be on my ass and angry with me for again getting drunk and out of control and I would say to myself, "Ok Annette, starting July 25th, you're NOT gonna drink anymore." I did that so many times I've lost count.
I can honestly say that on December 16, 1990, I woke up after once again drinking too much the nite before....felt like shit, shame, guilt, sadness, worthlessness - just like all the other times, but something was different this time.....I was completely and utterly broken - I had finally reached the point of complete desperation....I was willing to do whatever it took to get sober and end my miserable drinking life. I had tried so, so many times to do it on my own, my way, and it never worked. I had finally received the "gift of desperation".
Now, I conveniently "forgot" about that gift of desperation when I relapsed on 10/17/10, 11/2/10 and 12/21/10.....but I received it AGAIN the morning of 12/22/10. Again, this time was pretty much the same with one exception - I had gotten sober for 10 months before I relapsed....and the way I achieved that was through my recovery program. I would have never been able to string 10 months together on my own, doing it my way. All "my way" got me was 30 days of sobriety with no peace but anger....and that's not how I wanted to live life.
No, this time (12/22/10), I was a member of a group that accepted me for who I am, didn't judge me and supported me no matter what. So my feelings waking up on 12/22/10 were different this time in that "I already knew the answer" - I "knew" how to stay sober and be happy and at peace. So I went to my recovery group and shared with them my relapse - once again - and I knew that this is where I needed to be in order to maintain my sobriety.
I just celebrated 7 months of continuous sobriety Friday and I feel mentally, physically and spiritually fit. I'm in a good place right now :) If picking a date to stop drinking will work for you - terrific!....but some of us just need to receive that "gift of total desperation"...that day when you feel deep down inside, "I cannot do this any longer - I've got to reach out for help - I have to get sober - I don't want to live my life this way one more day". And you might screw up and relapse - that's ok, this is progress, not perfection. As long as you learn from your mistake and get back to sobriety as soon as possible - that's what matters. I pray each and every day that those still struggling will receive this "gift of desperation" and reach out for help. You really do not have to live your life with alcohol controlling you :)
I'm off on a plane tonite to Phoenix, AZ for family vacation. In addition, I get the long-awaited honor of meeting Emily in person, face-to-face - I am soooo excited and cannot wait for tomorrow to get here! For those of you that aren't aware, I was in the bowels of my drinking back in Nov. 09 and I happened to read Emily's article in People magazine. I found her blog and began asking lots of questions. She and mommaof3 were so welcoming and supportive - they showed me much more love than I felt I deserved at the time. Em's blog was the very 1st time I admitted to another human being that I was an alcoholic - it was in a comment to her and mommaof3 - and it felt so freeing to finally admit it to myself and 2 other people. I am forever grateful for Emily and all that she's done for many by reaching out, putting herself "out there" in the media (magazine & TV) in order to help others. I know she helped me and continues to do so every day. Love you Em!!!
Hope everyone has a super week and I'll be back next Sunday - and will hopefully have some pix of me and Em to post with my Sobriety Sunday topic!
Hugs to All-
Guest blogging for Emily