Ready to quit?

from my inbox:

Rambling Rose (penpal #2512): 

"So something has been bothering me for a few weeks on the issue of readiness when it comes to being sober. I've heard on a number of occasions "in the rooms" that you just have to be really ready to quit drinking before you stay with recovery. I have heard it mostly in the context of people relapsing. It almost comes off as an accusation that he/she just didn't want it enough (recovery). Another thing I hear often is, "In your heart of hearts, do you want to quit?" UGH. YES.

There's something very flippant to me about this. I know people, myself included, who have wanted to quit for years - sincerely, in our heart of hearts - and hate being in addiction/excessive drinking limbo. It hurts. It isn't even enjoyable. It's not to "feel better" - for me, it was to feel less bad. But, of course that less-bad feeling starts to turn into a consistent and repetitive horror.

Drinking is the worst kind of hell, and it isn't that I (the true me) wanted to keep drinking, not when it got bad. I just didn't know how to stop it. I think that's why we surrender or reach out, because of course our brains will want booze.

I've brought it up to people (sponsors, sober women, etc.) before, and I usually get the same answers about not wanting it bad enough or not having some God moment where all of my sins, er, sorry, cravings (hah) were magically lifted.

It scares me when people say things like this, because I do want to stay sober, with all of my heart. But there hasn't been some God moment or change in my thinking. Not yet. Isn't that where the work and the supports come in?

Anyway. What made you know that you were totally done for good?

Do you think it is different for everyone?

Thanks. Whew, good to get that out of my head. It was upsetting me today, and kind of freaking me out."


me: I think that the idea of readiness is sort of like the idea of willpower. it’s assuming that the tool is in us. I think that the tools are outside us and that if someone is relapsing, they don’t have enough tools/supports/accountability. Us alone in our heads has us all drinking, me included.

but with the right amount of supports (different for each person) we can do this sober thing.

the challenge is getting people to try different supports when the original ones aren’t (or have stopped) working. we’re so stubborn and wolfie wants to keep us stuck, so that’s the hardest part of this. it’s not that rehab doesn’t work, it’s that no one wants to go. it’s not that antabuse doesn’t work, it’s that it’s hard to convince someone to take it because if they take it they can’t relapse and wolfie hates that. wolfie will argue against most supports.

wolfie wants you alone at home with a bottle. that’s the challenge as far as I can see: helping people to see that wolfie is bullshit and that there’s sunshine OUT HERE.

~

You might not agree with my advice to Rambling Rose. How do you feel about being 'ready'? Post a comment below.

Feedback from the new (free) meditation audio series:

Auntie Briggy: “Love this! Meditation is one thing for me that needs to be non-negotiable part of my tool box! You did a great job - meditation is just like sobriety - some days are shit and you don't pay attention for 2 seconds - some days you feel refreshed after but you keep staying with it. It was great to hear you doing something outside your comfort zone and trying a new tool! It teaches us courage to do things like this - try things - and keep trying them and adding things in.” Listen here.

Belle

I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • I would never have been “ready,” I don’t think. Oh, I wanted very badly to be a normal drinker, or even a pristine teetotaler, but I just loved wine too much to make that happen by willpower alone. I’m not the AA type, not at all, no way, but one of their tenets is 100% spot-on: “we realized we were powerless…” Hoooo boy, how true! I could no more say, “no, thanks! To a nice cold glass of pinot grigio or prosecco than I could fly! Until…after many failed attempts, many Day Ones, I found THE TOOL OF TOOLS. Antabuse! Zap. Miracle time. I won’t write an essay here—there’s info aplenty online—but the difference for me is, the drug does the one thing I could not do for myself: make the choice for me. Knowing I can’t drink shushes the inner voice, kills the debate before it begins in my little wino head, and by golly, it’s been almost seven months now, dry as a bone. Am I a “dry drunk”? Almost certainly! Do I care? Not a whit. As you say, Belle, one does whatever works.

  • Ready for me meant saying (out loud) “I will do whatever it takes” and meaning it. I knew I couldn’t live the way I was any more. The tools to do this may be outside of me, but what must come from within me is being open to using those tools, even when it would be so much easier just to drink.

    This is what I think is meant by having to really want it. The change in thinking comes later but it can’t come unless you make changes first. Ready means being at a point where getting sober is more important than avoiding being ashamed/embarrassed/self conscious about using the tools that are available.

  • I don’t know that you are ever ready. It’s like how they say there’s never a “right” time to have a kid or get married. You just pick a date and start and you know some shit will go wrong but you hope to cope. I agree that it comes down to the outside supports – you need enough different ones that if one doesn’t work for you, you can try something else. Keep looking for them, keep adding them to your toolbox and hopefully, hopefully, it will turn out that one day you can say “I was just ready to give up”

  • I was always ready ‘first thing’ in a morning after the night before, waking up with a hangover, full of regret/remorse, that was me! Wolfie was still sleeping it off…but slowly and surely as the time ticked away and he started to come round so did my thinking that maybe it’d be ok just to have one drink later.. Yeah I’ll stop off at the shop after I’d already checked I still had half a bottle left from the night before, more alcohol was needed though, that wouldn’t suffice! utter madness and complete self destruction, that was my cycle, going round and round like Groundhog Day…

  • I actually think the ‘ah ha’ moment comes much later – after I quit which was HARD… we are planning a Christmas holiday on a cruise that is all inclusive – husband still drinks and he mentions how nice it will be to have a drink on the cruise, looking at the sights, etc.. and my brain says ‘what for?’ – I would NEVER have said ‘what for’ if I hadn’t experienced ‘what for’ yet… you have to GET THERE first to understand it.. (and trust me I don’t feel it 100% of the time, it takes effort and constant reminders)

  • I honestly know that there is no right moment or epiphany. And even though I know that it is just so bloody hard to stop. Wolfe is so loud and convincing. I am sooo tired of thinking about drinking that I just want to lay down and cry. Today is day 1 and I just need to remember that this day right now is the right time to stop because there is no lightning bolt moment.

  • I was ready to TRY to quit in June of this year. happy to say today is day 164. so glad i found this amazing woman in france! without her bold, brave talk and tons of humor, i wouldn’t have made it this far. my goal is 6 months. that is in 12 days. will i drink again? i’d like to have a sober Christmas season so that thought is scary. wolfie is waiting. thanks to everyone on here!

  • I agree that it is important to gather sobriety support from outside. It’s helped me to be honest about my situation to loved ones, friends, and to read articles and books about sobriety. In the past, though, I think I relied too much on other people to stop drinking. For instance, I felt like I hadn’t read the right book yet – if I just tried another a method (like a diet) then maybe I could be sober. Or I felt like I could be sober if my husband would just stop bringing booze into our house. I felt like the answer was external. Finally, I sat down with myself and came to the conclusion that I needed to be the one saying “no”. If I couldn’t do this, no book or husband or fad was going to solve this for me. For now, I’d say that my sobriety is driven internally, but I am constantly supporting this resolve with outside supports that affirm my new lifestyle daily.

  • I’m so ready and determined every morning when I wake up feeling so much better about myself for not drinking. Wolfie starts about 3 (or when something shitty (or good) comes along to rev me up) and just slowly convinces me I can’t do this, I’ve done so well – I don’t have a problem, compares me to others who are drinking and having such a wonderful time. Sometimes I feel embarrassed about the positive blogs I write in the morning – seems like a different person sometimes.

  • I stopped once before and made it a little over a year sober before I caved. At the time, I was quitting because I thought I had some kind of a problem. I found Belle about a month into this and became a pen pal. Over that year, I was reading and understanding the “you don’t have a unique problem, alcohol is a problem” message, but in hindsight I know it didn’t truly sink in.

    This time around I’ve had several stumbles. Somewhere along the way, I recognized that I am making a choice to feel better. I stopped thinking I have a problem (i.e., the problem is me and I need to be fixed so I can drink!!.) and started accepting that alcohol is an addictive substance that has no benefit for me. That’s when I realized I was ready.

  • For me, I’ve never actually felt fully ready to quit on day 1, it’s been a confluence of factors which have made it happen. So I couldn’t “wait to be ready” as I’d be waiting forever

  • I think it’s bullshit about needing to be ‘ready’ before it sticks. I’ve been ready and had long periods of sobriety before and what’s ruined it for me is not taking care of myself. Not looking after my sober chick. Running on empty for too long. That happy thinking can change so quickly if I don’t look after myself.

  • I feel like I had to be ready. The moment of truth was realizing my son is old enough to remember things now that will affect him in his adult life. I don’t want to mess him up.

  • Maybe it’s like email inboxes or laundry or dirty dishes … there’ll never be a “ready”, there’ll never be a constantly clean house. Of course, I don’t want to hear that 😉 at least wolfie doesn’t want to hear that! But maybe we can learn to be open minded for new opportunities, let new guests in, even if there is still some dirt in the corners. sorry, slightly metaphorical mood today 😉
    Oh, and sometimes it’s good to sign up for a 100 day challenge “by accident”, not feeling ready at all …

  • We’ll only feel ready ironically when we’re sober. I couldn’t conceive a sober version of me because I’d never met her. She’s different than I might have imagined but I’m getting to like her more and more.

  • I don’t think there needs to be an aha moment or something along the lines of an epiphany.
    But I do think at some level that you need to want to feel better. And at some level to know that drinking as you are isn’t helpful.
    I know when I first started this journey I didn’t want to be completely sober; but I did want to feel better. The longer I’ve gone on , the more better moments I have and I know I certainly wasn’t getting any when I was drinking daily.
    For me it comes and goes ( the motivation to stay sober), and when it’s waning then I try to reach for more tools and supports.
    And I totally agree that it isn’t something to do alone. No way!
    I was stuck drinking for at least 10 years, if not more and wanting to break free , but feeling incapable of doing it; however hard I tried.
    Addiction is certainly baffling ( well I’m baffled by it anyway!)
    🤪

  • I agree, Wolfie is the problem, has nothing to do with not wanting it enough or not having a God moment. Wolfie is the reason that we can wake up in the morning and feel confident about the day, and have something new to try–a new perspective, a new mantra–but we forget all about it when Wolfie is carrying on and fighting against being starved out come the customary cocktail hour. And Wolfie has to do with what is going on with our biochemistry. Those drinking neural grooves are cut deep and it takes everything we’ve got, all of the tools, to start laying down new track. And it all takes a long, long time. This is what makes it so hard, in the end.

  • I know that the times when my gauge is on empty are the times when Wolfie gets louder. Taking on too much jeopardizes taking care of oneself. Self care in sobriety, keeping that tank full, has to take precedence over any “to do” list. Thanks Belle

  • Belle is right…. it’s about tools and support. I was ready for 10 years but never got past a week or two of sobriety. Then all of a sudden you try again and you are astounded to find yourself on day 21 and then day 76!!! I am happily astounded to be on day 528! Yay for tools and support.

  • Being ready to stop drinking…… wow, I was ready for a really long time, I am 54 years old and the first time I seriously considered quitting, I read a book on sobriety (that it was really a sugar addiction) and gave it a try that lasted about 7 months (with absolutely NO sober supports) I was in my early 30s.
    Then in a nano second my brain (wolfie) convinced me that I was in no way someone who needed to stop drinking. So, I continued to drink, sometimes happily and sometimes with consequences. I thought often how great it would be if the desire to drink just magically went away, I would pray for this to happen. Sometimes I would go on a diet that did not allow alcohol and sometimes I would give it up for Lent. But I continued to drink and at the same time wish that I didn’t. Wanting to quit and knowing I really needed to became a daily thought process!! Tired of Thinking About Drinking is so completely accurate in my situation!!! I think that all those wanting to stop thoughts built up inside of me. On New Year’s Eve last year I severely broke my toe after much drinking (I really don’t remember how I did it) but I could not walk on it and I had some really important things coming up. My first grandchild was going to be born in January!! I woke up on January 1st and I thought to myself, you have to figure out how not to drink anymore. IT WAS TIME TO QUIT!! I felt like God have given me a little jolt. I had been talking to God about this for a really long time. I then started reading everything I could find including my Bible about sobriety. I was lucky to find Belle with whom I really identify with and I have not had a drink of alcohol in 11+ months and never intend to drink again. My life is getting brighter and more joyful. I do sometimes wish I had stopped sooner and with supports, I think I could have. I must have needed a little cathartic writing today. I am a grateful and happy lady. Much love to all, especially ones who are thinking that it is time to quit. XXxoOOxox

    • This could be me writing this Patti. Except your 11 months down and I haven’t made it to 1 month yet. Know all about that fight with God. We’ve been at it for about 30 years. Anyway congratulations on your new sober life. Hope I can follow in your footsteps.

  • I think the best advice Belle’s taught me is that there is not necessarily a time when you are “ready,” but that once you stop drinking, things change. And that sobriety is the foundation that everything is built on. And that Day One is hard if it’s today, next week or next year. And since there’s never going to be a magically easier Day One, (it will be sucky,) you might as well make today your Day One …. if you’re still waiting.

  • Good gravy – I finally had to say to myself: I’m willing to start the 100 day challenge before I feel ready. Because “ready” never came, just like that magical Monday never came. I don’t know if it’s a leap of faith, but I do believe what I’ve heard you say, Belle, and it’s this: the behavior has to stop before you can really understand the “why” of what drove you to drink in the first place. And the simple behaviors of incorporating rewards and getting enough sleep and reaching out/staying accountable and NOT DRINKING led me to know I was more than ready to start a new life. Maybe it’s like the chicken/egg conundrum? You can’t possibly know how good it feels to be alcohol free for a few months until you’re alcohol free for a few months. Leap of faith, start before you feel ready.

  • I’m not sure there always is one single “ah HAH!” moment. Maybe for some people, which is wonderful, but I didn’t feel like that. I wanted to quit for years, tried to quit for years, spent ages with a few days here and a couple weeks there…and it wasn’t so much a moment but persistence that did it for me. I’d keep trying to get a few more days each time and along the way I was learning HOW to get a few more days each time which turned out to be “finding more sober supports” though I didn’t know it was called that then and after a couple longer-term (56 days, 202 days) quits I added -enough- sober support to keep going clear up to where I am now which is Day 922.

  • My ah ha moment came two years ago when I got wasted on my 8th wedding anniversary and hiked a mountain and fell face first in a glacial stream cuz I was thirsty, then heaved for the next 12 hours. No wait, my ah ha moment was two months later when I was pulled over drunk in a rental car 300 miles from home on Black Friday (cop let me off, wtf). Or was it when I went bankrupt and had my car repoed cuz I couldn’t stop pubbing? …. no, it was when I went to the looney bin from
    Alcohol induced psychosis. Nope, it was when I checked into rehab because of alcohol induced neuroligical disease…. nope…. it was when I gained the 40 pounds I lost back again for the umteenth time…. no no no….. shit. I geuss my point is if I keep waiting for the “moment” “the click” it gets worse each time. Supports work, treats work. CONTINOUS SOBER DAYS SHOW ME THAT LIFE GETS BETTER…. Slowly, surely. Review is good too. Le sigh!

  • Some days I have felt “ready” to be sober forever, then later thought, “oh wait, I don’t feel ready, after, all.” But I agree with Phoenix, above, “no day was ever the “right day” to quit, which meant EVERY day was the right day.” Thank you for continuing to share.

  • I struggle with this concept too. I’ve been “trying” to quit drinking for a few years now. I did get 100 days a couple years back, but since then the longest i’ve had is maybe 30-40 days? There has been no god or aha moment, no serious rock bottom. Just a blah sense of I want to not drink but because it’s never “that bad” then the urge to have a drink or two doesn’t seem like a bad idea. I think Belle is right. Maybe I will never be ready but I never to add in more supports and try different things. Cause one thing I have learned from the time I don’t drink is that I feel so much better than on the days I do drink.

  • from ckelly (day 2): My goal here is to stay engaged and not really to win the cookbook – though it does sound lovely, and I wouldn’t turn it away if I was the lucky winner.

    Yes, that Ahh Haa moment. Waiting for it all to click. Knowing that this time I quit for good and stayed sober…and ride off happily into the sunset.

    I struggle with those same challenges and it’s also what I dislike most about AA meetings. There are some very dogmatic people in those meetings who will only say you are in recovery if you have a spiritual awaking. If not, you are a dry drunk. Or, worse, just a relapse waiting to happen. I’ve also heard “You have to be willing to put in the hard work.” “You have to do the steps exactly as Bill W laid them out.”

    It’s all so frustrating. You are the only person I trust. What you say rings true with me. But, even that is not enough for this habitual relapser. I’m going to try adding 90 meeting in 90 day and take my 8% from the meetings. Maybe something will click. Maybe I’ll have a spiritual awaking. I don’t really care at this point. I just want to stop drinking. I want wolfie dead and buried.

  • The only right moment to quit and start the process is NOW. And it will never feel like the ‘right’ moment because the alcohol colors our thoughts, makes fierce arguments, and continues to win the push-pull with every second you delay that ‘jump off the cliff’ into sobriety. You are asking your alcohol-craving brain to help you choose against the very drug that it craves. Wolfie is a mother-fucking great debator. Waiting for the ‘correct moment’ or ‘wanting it enough’ reminds me of when I got cancer twenty-six years ago. There was a popular movement at the time about changing your mood or mindset in an effort to be healthy & prevent disease….as though you could wish the cancer away with positive emotions. Bullshit. Cancer is a biological process that didn’t occur because I was cranky when I should have been peaceful. I couldn’t meditate it away. In the same fashion, you can’t stop drinking just because you want to…..well, you can white-knuckle it for a while, but we wouldn’t all be here if THAT worked as easy-breezy as all that. The alcohol changes your brain functions on a cellular level and keeps that craving alive. The method that works…and has worked for me and others here…is to trust that you CAN quit and stay sober with the help of tools. Many tools, applied liberally. Trust and make the leap into sobriety. Today, right this minute. Don’t drink TODAY. And then start building your toolbox, whatever it takes, no matter how many tools, no matter how often you reach for them. It gets easier every day your brain gets further from the alcohol, and that is great news. Totally worth it.

  • I think that if you wait until you are ready, you will wait for ever. Humans aren’t creatures who love change so they prefer to stay where they are. Not only in the case of quitting drinking. For almost everything you can say: Start before you’re ready. And yes, you are right, the tools are outside, not inside.

  • I think, as you also said you know in your heart of hearts when enough is enough, and for me I have done this a good few times and fallen, but somehow this time feels different, the saying goes we should learn from our mistakes and most times we need to make mistakes to come back stronger. As for tools as many as you can put in place definitely helps and with technology these days it’s so much easier to reach out for help….even writing this now is a great help for me, one day at a time…30 days sober, life is good x

  • And I think the how is different for everyone. Some of the tools will be internal and some will be external and some will be a combination of both. And different tools will be needed at different times as we change and progress.The old story of the many paths to Rome. And if nothing is working, to keep searching until we find something that does because it is out there or in there, we just haven’t found it yet.

  • For me, no day was ever the “right day” to quit, which meant EVERY day was the right day. Which meant that if I was thinking about it again for the thousandth time, that that day right then and there was the right day. And I finally realized that thinking about it for the thousandth time over years and years of trying to moderate meant I would *never* “just cut back”. I could moderate for a day, two at most, before I went on a reflexive, reactionary, rebellious binge. It would never change until I died, unless I dealt with it. I had to deal With it or die With It. DEAL with it or DIE with it. Probably even die OF it–of a perfectly preventable, unforced error–and what stupider and more shameful way to waste the only life I had??? To live with that identity and that shame until it killed me, to become just another statistic because I didn’t have the courage to simply quit a bad habit??? Ugh, no!!

    It was like ending a toxic relationship–just deciding one day, at 10:29 am or 3:47 pm as I’m driving around doing errands or reading sobriety blogs at work or whatever, that my last drink was the night before. That I’d already quit, that drinking was simply no longer an option. Putting “The Change” in the past made it easier to swallow, and made the future suddenly about health and pride rather than hangovers and shame.

    I still kept my nightly rituals, because I realized that was half the issue–I just swapped alcoholic beer for ginger beer, and halepeno limeade with fizzy water for wine. (And flavored selzer water. And vitamin water. And “shrubs”–sweetened vinegar mocktails. And chocolate. And pizza. And and and *anything* other than booze.) Sure I get mopey sometimes about missing certain flavors, and I won’t deny I miss that instant escape, but that’s when I put on my big-girl panties and remind myself that *mopey beats hungover any day!!!* It’s no different than any other food restriction. Life is still life and can be stressful, but now that I come to each day feeling rested and proud of myself rather than exhausted and ashamed, the miracle is that I feel that need to escape *far less often.* The thing I was using to escape was actually *causing* a lot of the stress I was trying to escape from! I never found pride in a bottle.
    I never ever ever ever wake up wishing I *had* drunk the night before. Now I can actually move forward on fixing problems, developing good habits, and pursuing hobbies. I have traction where before I was just treading water because I was *always* either tipsy or hungover.

    The best analogy I have, and the one that has gotten me through the worst cravings, is ending a bad relationship. Yeah there were aspects that kept me in it for a long time, benefits I got, and things I miss now–but the drawbacks outweighed the benefits, and at a certain point enough was enough. The unknown future–whatever it held–had to be better than the known present. I’ve kicked that relationship to the curb, and now there’s no F’ing way I’m going to let it back in my life no matter how much it pleads. Nope, nope, nope, I’m done, it’s over, it’s simply not an option any more. It does NOT have my best interests in mind, it does NOT care about what it does to me. Alcohol is a narcissistic psychopath and I’ve wasted enough of my life on it. Any life without it is better than life with it.

    Sure, being sober doesn’t make life a bed of roses, and it comes with its own challenges…but what doesn’t? It’s just a matter of which stress you want to deal with. I’d rather deal with the stress of sobriety than the stress of drinking. Simple as that.

    • This is so well said and so genuinely straight forward. I am taking your comment, “deal with it or die with/from it.” Excellent.

  • Ah yes, being ready—more like jumping off a cliff. But realizing that it’s not that far from yesterday. Then you walk forward with a bottle of water and good shoes. You look around and listen to the birds or the street sounds. You notice your body is still you without all that guilty blight flowing in your veins and embedded in your skin. At night you sleep maybe the best sleep in years, or you don’t. You stay occupied by reading, taking a bath, calling a friend who is awake around the world, you write a note to Belle. Read what others say and know these are your people. They are walking the road, sitting and seeing the beauty of the world and the miracle of being alive. I am still walking, dropping some of the stuff on my back I don’t need. Wolfie shows his head: go on boy, bother someone else, get out. He gets. Talking to myself about the rest of it and trying to work it out. I am ready everyday. Angie, Day 47

  • For me you can feel ready but it doesn’t mean that you can do it. When I used to be a member of a forum and kept having Day 1s people would say’ you have to really mean it this time’ ‘try harder’ ‘you have to really want it’ or my favourite’ I don’t understand why you drink you just make a decision to not drink and stick to it’ all of these comments are completely unhelpful and just made me feel bad and a failure and that is not the best state of mind to help stop. I believe because of Belle and other people in the sober universe that you take the action and build on it and at some point Wolfie will be quiet and if he speaks it will be more like a whisper. I have days like that now when I can bat the thought away easily and days when the voice is loud. But I believe you keep doing the work/tools/ treats and I will get there. You can be ready to stop drinking but it doesn’t mean you know how. You can be ready to do a lot of things , take on a new job for example but it doesn’t mean you know how to do it.

  • This is one of your most relevant posts ever for me, Belle. Rambling Rose’s comments force me to think deeply about my own experience.

    I didn’t have a “God Moment” (never even heard that term before), but you know from our past communication that I have trouble understanding how people “white knuckle” sobriety. It seems too difficult if you’re “not ready.”

    But what is ready???

    I didn’t have a discrete “moment” was that allowed me to quit. It was years of waking up saying the same thing over and over: I gotta stop this. I can’t keep doing this.

    But I apparently could keep doing it. Until my life had ground to a halt.

    Was I ready? I doubt it. I was desperate. And the choice to continue doing the same thing was way scarier than trying something different. Drinking was killing me mentally, physically, and spiritually. Not drinking? I had no idea if it would help. But not finding out was no longer an option.

    There were a couple of over drinking events that preceded my last day 1. By themselves, these incidents didn’t flip the switch for me.

    However they gave me strength by first removing all of my strength. When I recognized that I was helpless against alcohol, that I had no control over my drinking I was able to find it in me to change from saying “I gotta stop this” to “I have to do something different.”

    Rose’s remarks will help me be more open minded about other’s struggle and my own. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  • I think getting sober is different for everyone. What is your bottom? What motivates you to be alcohol free? I don’t think it necessarily has to be a God moment, or a wanting it bad feeling. For me…bad doctor/blood test which show my cancer is growing again and liver enzymes are four times what they should be. HELL NO….that did it for me. No more alcohol for me today. And today is all I have. Not going to think about that trip to Ireland with my hard drinking Irish family…I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Frankly, I will plan a BIG sober treat for myself when I get back from that 2 week trip…perhaps a lovely day at the spa. Hang in there!

    • Weezie, you can do this. I was worried about a trip to Italy and all that wonderful wine. But I got through it. Since then we have been to France and Germany. Every trip gets easier. You’ve got this!

  • I went to AA for over 2 years and never “got” it as people kept telling me I would if I “ kept coming back”.
    They too talked as if it were some sort of faith experience and it was a miracle how they got and remained sober.
    Now , I do have a faith and that didn’t help me get sober. Mostly it kept me believing that one day I would do it.
    It was practical tips and tools that helped get me sober to start with.
    To keep going it has been having a relationship with someone further along and holding onto hope that it will get easier. I wouldn’t say being sober is all sunshine but it is definitely a much more real and genuine experience of life.
    I certainly wouldn’t want to go back to drinking daily. Thankfully that feeling of hopelessness and self loathing has gone.

  • The sober tools are definitely key in staying sober. If I do something(s) everyday for my recovery that is ideal.