Updated: Nov 10, 2019
It was not until last week that I was faced with how delicate sobriety really is. As I look for images to depict what I am trying to convey with my words, I found myself feeling a bit dramatic. A veil; tissue paper; edge of a cliff; a tight rope; those are all images that came to mind this past week. Sobriety is something you have to want. More than wish, stronger than a want, sobriety is something you desire. But what hit me more than anything this past week - y'all sobriety is ONE DRINK AWAY.
Could I have gotten sober and stayed sober any other way? I will never know. I always said to myself. I went to rehab, it was just a different sort of treatment. Where the rubber meets the road, that hardest part of recovery is on your own; and that is damn scary. It's in your home, it's in your routine, it's in your element of decisions you make every single day not to drink.
I had been home from the hospital two months. It was one of the first times I ventured out on my own in months (seven months). I remember this crystal clear winter day in February. The sun was shining, it was mild and I was on my way to get some new clothes. I had hit a milestone weight of 100 pounds, it was tremendous progress and time for clothes that fit. After shopping, I was going to meet a girlfriend for coffee. I thought it was such a great step in the right direction. I had sobriety in the bag. Nailed it! This was one of my drinking buddies and yet I felt so polished, so sophisticated and so strong, sober.
On my way to meet her for coffee, I stopped at a liquor store. WTF?! Yes, you can say that, what in the actual $*(#@? Still polished, still sophisticated, still strong - I was buying NA wine. Some good old fashioned non-alcoholic wine. Right? I mean, what's wrong with this picture. I bought two bottles, a bottle of red and a bottle of white. My husband was running in his first 5K the next morning, so I figured we would have a pasta (carb load) meal with our NA wine. I think back to this now and I still roll my eyes. That was how we rolled, a bottle for each of us, and let's be honest, that usually wasn't enough. I digress...
We meet for coffee and rehash the past months - my story - the journey that brought me to that day. In the coffee shop, talking about my sober living with an "I've got this" sort of attitude. Fast forward about thirty minutes, we were on to the subject of "smoking" and how I had been encouraged* to smoke a little to get my appetite kick started. *Encouraged by friends, not the advice of my medical team. My girlfriend, always down for a good time, thought this was a fantastic idea - we head back to my house and smoke a little.
I was NOT polished, I was NOT sophisticated and I was NOT strong in my sobriety. I was on the edge of that cliff, walking the tight rope, about the tear through the tissue paper, rip through the veil - NOT in control. Thankfully I recognized this, kept pushing through and continued to seek help. P.S. We never drank the NA wine.
You have to desire sobriety as if your life depends on it! It does. I did. I still do. Every. Single. Day. Change is hard and routine is easy. No matter how much you think you are in charge, addiction is driving the bus. Addiction runs the show and you need to learn how to navigate within. Addiction is a real bear to deal with - it is always going to be with you. Rock bottom is different for everyone as is their desire for sobriety. I believe it starts with your foundation - your core - your root chakra - your support. The root chakra provides the foundation on which we build our life. With sobriety - you dig deep - you ground down into your root chakra and you keep pushing through.